Charity sees rise in calls to helpline from people in Yorkshire and The Humber

Housing and homelessness charity Shelter is urgently appealing for support for its helpline this winter, after seeing a rise from callers in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Over the last year, the helpline’s advisers spoke to more than two thousand callers on the brink of homelessness.

Overall, the number of callers from Yorkshire and the Humber to the helpline – which is in part funded by Marks & Spencer (M&S) – rose to more than 13,500 in the last year, an increase of 19% from 2012.

As England’s shortage of affordable homes continues to push housing costs sky high, the charity is expecting even more families to be in desperate need of its help this Christmas.

Recent Shelter analysis of government statistics revealed that 46 households in Yorkshire and the Humber are at risk of losing their home every day.

Shelter helpline adviser Nadeem Khan said: “It’s so heart-breaking to hear from families struggling to keep a roof over their heads, especially around this time of year.

“Hearing the panic in a parent’s voice when they’ve just been evicted or had their home repossessed never gets any easier. Sadly, every year we get more and more of these calls over the holidays, and this Christmas will be no different.

“That’s why the support we get from Marks & Spencer customers is so important to our work. As demand for our help goes up, the money raised through the Food On The Move Range helps us be there for families when they need us most.”

Marks & Spencer’s director of Plan A, Mike Barry, said: “This is our ninth year of supporting Shelter at Christmas and helping homeless families at a time when they need it most. We are proud to be associated with a charity that does such amazing work.

“With many donations to the Shelter helpline coming through our Food On The Move range and coffee sales, every time a customer comes into store for lunch they are helping to ensure no call for help goes unanswered this Christmas.”

Shelter is asking shoppers to buy their lunch from M&S’ Food on the Move range this winter to help ensure they can be there for families struggling to keep their home this Christmas.

To date, the retailer has raised over £7.5 million for Shelter.

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