After the hottest summer for years, the weather is slowly turning colder. Autumn is coming and the berries are ripening all around. Our thoughts are starting to turn to how we will keep warm this winter and if we can afford our energy bills. Some households (around 4 million UK households) are in fuel poverty, unable to afford to live in a warm, dry home.
Fuel poverty causes misery, ill health and premature death in millions of households across the UK with high energy prices, dwindling household incomes and low standards of domestic energy efficiency all contributing to a cold homes crisis. People face difficult choices about whether to heat their homes and forgo another household necessity such as food, or spending what they need to keep warm and avoid falling into debt.
Wow well what a hot summer we've been having! What better time than now to fire up the barbecue and invite a few friends round for some food and drinks?
Sadly not everyone is so lucky so today we're going to spare a thought for those who need a little bit of help and the organisations who are helping to provide emergency food supplies to some of the most vulnerable in our society.
A recent article in The Guardian highlighted the plight of families struggling to feed their children during the summer holidays. The Trussell Trust said an increase in food bank use over the summer was driven by a rise in demand by children, as it released figures from its network of food banks across the country. The public are asked to donate to their local food bank during the summer holidays owing to increasing demand from families who rely on free school meals during term time.
OK so the toy volunteers were persuaded to have their picture taken for this article but just look how happy they are!
This week is Volunteers' Week which is a chance to say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK.
It takes place 1-7 June every year and is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity.
The benefits of volunteering are many and include lowering stress, making friends and finding a purpose in life. For further information on this event and how you can get involved you can visit the Volunteers Week website.