Tackling the Cost of Living Crisis: Acts 435

Tackling the Cost of Living Crisis: Acts 435

12 September 2022 by Revd Alice Smith in Debt and Financial Wellbeing.

As we approach the autumn and winter of 2022, churches are considering what they can do to respond to the very great need in our communities with the ‘Cost of Living Crisis.’

In our latest blog, Revd Alice Smith shares how the work of the Acts 435 charity has enabled her to practically support her parishioners in their times of need.

When I have finished writing this article, the next job on my list is to apply for a passport. Not for me, but for A, who is a guest at our food bank.

She’s been struggling to open a bank account so that she can receive her benefits because she’s not had any photographic identification. So we’re going to get her a passport, and although it won’t solve all her problems, at least she’ll be able to prove who she is.

Passports don’t come cheap, but thankfully, I was able to list the request on the Acts 435 website, and within a week, someone had donated the £75 that it would cost.

A few days after that, the money magically appeared in our church bank account, and now I can go ahead and spend it.

It’s just one of the sorts of things that I use to assist those who come to me needing help.

I’ve bought people second hand washing machines, new fridges, work uniform, cookers, paid energy debts, tablets, shoes, the list goes on…

Anything up to the value of £150 for specific items, or £100 for more general requests, can be listed.

The full cost of everything I have ever listed has been met, usually within a week or so.

It’s all administered through an online portal, from listing, acknowledging receipt and confirming that the funds have been passed on. The yearly report takes about 18 seconds to complete, and signing up was a breeze too. They also have some larger grants available if you get in touch.

It’s a fantastic resource for churches to help those in need. As we begin to contemplate what will be for many a tough winter ahead, knowing that I can practically offer people something, and be pretty much certain I can follow it through, is so helpful.

And it’s a great way to help people as an individual. 100% of your donation goes to the person you want to help. You receive a thank you, and possibly a prayer request as well.

I can’t really find anything to fault about this wonderful charity. You won’t regret signing up for a minute.

Part of me has wanted to keep them to myself, worried that if more people list requests, there’s more chance of them not being fulfilled. But I’m told that even though the number of requests is growing, the number of donors grows with it, almost as if God is involved…

We hope you find this series of blogs related to tackling the Cost of Living Crisis helpful. If you, or anyone you know, is doing something innovative to support people in your community through this time, please let us know - we would love to share it!

You may also find some of our other resources on this topic useful - please click HERE to access reports, articles, our Money Help Toolkit, links to charities working in this area, and more.

Revd Alice Smith

Alice Smith

Mthr Alice is parish priest of St John the Evangelist, Brownswood Park, in Hackney, part of the Stepney Area of the Diocese of London

View all posts by Revd Alice Smith

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