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News Report Page 9 of 12
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Southport Foodbank fundraising appeal

SOUTHPORT Foodbank is launching an emergency fundraising appeal to help deal with the needs arising out of the Coronavirus crisis and beyond. A generous local pensioner has kicked off the appeal with a ₤2000 donation and much more may be needed to cope with the expected influx of clients as a result of jobs lost and the wait for universal credit and other difficulties.  The anonymous donor explained:- "This is not going to work unless we all pull together. Although people my age are confined to barracks, we need to help each other if we possibly can. Food is absolutely basic and we should do all we can to help."

CEO Richard Owens said:- "This is unprecedented and extremely worrying for many people. We're doing all we can to help existing clients and have reworked our distribution times but we expect there'll be many more people needing Southport Foodbank in the months ahead. We recognise that with food shortages in shops people may more readily want to give money in order to help."

Compassion Acts supports people in need through Southport Foodbank, debt and welfare advice, Food Pantry and more. To donate money you can go to:-  Write a cheque made payable to:- 'Compassion Acts' and send to:-

Richard Owens CEO
Compassion Acts
Lakeside Church
PR9 0LA.

For gift aid options or receipt also contact:-

Coronavirus is bringing communities together

AN exclusive phone interview with Sofia Panayiotaki, who is the CEO of NEEDaFIXER, a network of Directors and film fixers in 100+ countries. Sofia can explain the sudden increase in demand for local Film Directors and Fixers and the impact that COVID-19 is having on the film production industry.  "The impact that the virus is having on the filming industry is huge. On average, we produce around 150 projects a month, via our network of film fixers around the world. With the Coronavirus outbreak, almost ½ of our agreed projects were either cancelled or postponed for an unknown later date" said NEEDaFIXER CEO, Sofia Panayiotaki.

Think of tax and benefits before accessing pensions and other savings, experts warn

AS a result of the Coronavirus situation, people will be looking at their finances. The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) warns that there may be tax and welfare benefit consequences to drawing on savings, which mean that people may not receive as much as they expect. LITRG is advising people to consider things carefully before they act.  The group has published guidance to help people try to weigh up the tax and welfare benefits consequences of drawing on pensions and other tax advantaged savings schemes, such as ISA's and Help to Save accounts, during the current Coronavirus situation. Victoria Todd, Head of LITRG, said:- "We understand that many people are under significant financial pressure at the current time and may need to consider accessing savings, including pensions, to help. While we cannot give financial advice, we want to help people understand the tax consequences of drawing on savings and we are working hard to produce guidance to help people understand all of their support options.3 Common mistakes we have seen; even without the pressure of the current situation; include:- those aged 55 and over taking lump sums from their pensions while still being responsible for children and triggering a high income child benefit charge. Tax Credits claimants might also see unwittingly a reduction in their award from such actions; not only for the tax year in which the payment is taken, but also in the following year. Welfare benefits might also be impacted as a result of decisions taken in haste; for example, untouched pension savings may be ignored in means tested benefits calculations, whereas pension funds that have been withdrawn could be assessed as income or capital, depending on how the individual takes them. The current situation might lead to people acting hastily but the timing of decisions is often crucial. While we understand these are extremely challenging times, and it is important to remember that tax and benefits impacts are not the only considerations to be taken into account, our key message is to try to think of all the consequences before you act."

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