December 2014

Christmas and New Year is a time of celebration and relaxation but it is important to remember that for many, Christmas can be the toughest time of year, especially if you are living alone, unemployed, there is ill-health in the family or you are worried about out how you are going to pay for Christmas with the cost of living crisis hitting so many people across Bridgend. For some, Christmas can make existing problems seem bigger at a time when everyone around is having fun.

I meet people every week in surgeries and events who share with me their own personal stories about the effects of this squeeze on living standards. Real median wages for all employees have fallen by more than £1,600 a year since 2010 meaning the large expenditure at Christmas is tough for many people.

Last year Bridgend foodbank, was the busiest foodbank in Wales, feeding around eight thousand hungry adults and children, almost 6% of Bridgend county’s population. The community helping those in need across Bridgend is a crucial element of why the food banks are able to care for those people struggling to get by.

For this reason, I wanted to remind everyone that we all have a role to play in looking out for our relatives, friends, neighbours and members of the community within Bridgend county borough this Christmas. By looking after one another, being generous in giving and supporting others, we can make a big difference to the wellbeing of each other this Christmas.