A Hyndburn councillor, who receives at least ten enquiries weekly from people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, wants to remind residents to apply for funding.

Cllr Noordad Aziz said himself and other councillors across the area are concerned about the way the cost-of-living crisis is impacting residents and he wants to remind people to apply for the Hyndburn Household Support fund before the end of March.

Mr Aziz said a constant theme he is hearing from residents is financial difficulties can be overwhelming and he said, ‘they don’t have to face them alone’.

He said: “The Government have reintroduced this Household Support Fund again, so another chance for residents to apply until the end of March.

“As a councillor, I get about 10 enquiries a week or upwards of 10 regarding the cost-of-living crisis, so it is quite common.

“Some people are coming to me because they are struggling with their bills or struggling with other unexpected items that have broken.

“Everyone is right at the brink and any more increases in household expenditure is obviously going to impact on them.

“Councillors are very concerned about residents; you only have to look at the research, there are so many people who are struggling with the crisis who are also struggling with their mental health.

“It is impacting on mental health severely, so it is obviously a great concern because it is not just that they are struggling financially, it is also the additional potential demand on NHS services that are already stretched.

“It is a significant concern.

“Fundamentally, it is clear that the Government needs to provide better support networks because clearly the current structure is letting so many people fail, and it is only going to get worse as interest rates continue to rise.

“It is quite a sizable proportion of people who need help because if I am getting 10 enquiries a week, you can multiply that by 35 councillors across the borough, that is a lot of residents who are reaching out for help”.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have extended the Household Support Fund until March 2023.

The Household Support Fund is not an emergency fund, but it can assist with energy and water, food, clothing and limited small white goods/appliances.

Cllr Aziz said there are other ways residents can help each other during the crisis.

He said: “People can help each other by sparing items that they do not need any more that would come into great use for someone struggling.

“I already know that people are collecting food at the end of the night from supermarkets and sharing them out to community members.

“It will help if residents highlight any available or spare products and having the community spirit to stick together, helping eachother.”

Residents can apply for the fund here and applications end on March 31.