TREAD
FOOTSTEPS
OF HOPE

Fill the footsteps of an absent father.
Walk with vulnerable families,
this Winter.

17%

£34,368

Raised of £200,000 target

Just one more step to you, Abi,
I tread through the blanket of snow on the ground.
A leap and a jump is all it takes now
The longing for you hurts all year round.

I close my eyes as I leap, Abi,
Trying to erase memories of you taken away.
Though the footsteps in the snow here are melting, Abi,
Our life permanently froze in this season that day.


Without you,
who will be there for us now, Abi?
I pray hard, looking up to the sky
I have hope in our Ummah still, dear Abi,
They will rise to answer this season’s cry.



Winter has finally arrived. With the short days and dark nights, HHUGS families will have the struggles of their daily lives compounded more harshly than ever this season. With inflation remaining at a 40 year high, we may all be feeling the pinch of new challenges. As energy bills rise twice as high this winter, the cost-of-living crisis and soaring food prices, more families around the country will struggle through this season. With the government support scheme and energy price guarantee now both at an end, for almost 50% of Muslims in the UK trapped in a cycle of poverty, Winter delivers fresh pain.


This Winter, women turned into single mothers overnight will be forced to choose between ‘heating or eating’, and will struggle to provide safe, comfortable living conditions for their young children.


The sons and daughters of a father imprisoned often cannot afford warm and protective clothing to battle the worst of the elements. Bills, food costs, poor home insulation and no expendable income will hit harder. The onset of Winter compounds the emotional toll of isolation from the community, as well as the reality of homes simply not fit to withstand the plummeting temperatures. The dark nights exacerbate existing mental health challenges and more time at home cause traumas to resurface, so the sudden and immediate loss of a husband and father is grieved all over again.

With no price guarantee

and no energy bill support scheme this Winter, more than 1.8 million more people will be forced into poverty.

With energy prices

twice as high this winter, 8.4 million households will face fuel poverty.

38% of people

had to skip meals for an entire day because they couldn't afford to buy enough food.

13 million households

have not switched the heating on when it's cold due to fears of high energy bills.

3.5m have low incomes

and live in homes with an energy efficiency rating of band D or below

1 in 4

are expected to fall into energy bill debt this winter.

67% of parents

say increasing gas prices will mean they have less money to buy food, with 28% having cut down on the quality of the food they're buying

15.2 million people

are still in living in poverty in the UK

10,000 people

die each year from health conditions arising or worsening from having a cold home

Draught excluders are home accessories that are used to cover gaps and cracks in the make of a house so that heat loss doesn’t occur or the cold doesn’t creep into your surroundings. For homes that require maintenance, draught excluders plug the gaps beneath your door, the keyhole, or even the cracks in the floorboards. Draught excluders prevent heat loss in the home and cold drifting inside, a simple way to save energy and money.


“My door’s still broken; there’s a big, gaping gap, so a lot of draught comes in. This flat gets really, really cold.”



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Radiator reflectors are as simple effective intervention to help hold heat in the home. A sheet of reflective material is placed between the back of a radiator and the wall. Easily fitted, these are metal (commonly aluminium) or a foil-wrapped slim-line board. Radiator reflectors reflect any heat that would otherwise be lost through the wall back into the room, increasing the efficiency of the radiators.



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Fuel poverty forces many HHUGS families to cut back on heating, even in the height of winter and at the risk of their health. By contributing £30 towards an oil radiator, fan heater or convector, we can help them stave off the winter colds without running up a huge gas bill.


“I have to put the heating on, and the cost is too high so sometimes I turn it off as I know I cannot afford it.”



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Struggling to afford heating in the day, many families will go without during the night, putting themselves at risk of sickness. For the elderly, exposure to the extreme cold in this way, can lead to death. But just £40 can provide a family with winter duvets and blankets to keep them protected from the night’s bitter chill.


"Alhamdulillah, the duvets and radiator helped us immensely this winter. The cost of keeping the house warm was too much. The kids had a warm duvet and sleep patterns improved, without the kids feeling cold all the time."



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Many single mothers, already struggling financially, cannot afford the high cost of travelling to a prison in a remote location. The average distance families have to go for prison visits is an astonishing 120 miles away, made all the harder during short, dark Winter days. In many cases, the added impediment of mobility constraints, make these visits impossible for elderly parents to undertake alone.


“May Allah reward everyone at HHUGS for arranging transport for the prison visit. Alhamdulillah, if it was not for HHUGS and the volunteers who drive us, I wouldn't be able to do this, especially with a new born baby. […] My husband was so excited about seeing our son, it was the first time he’d seen him since he's been born.”


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Come Winter, many HHUGS families are forced to cut back on food or clothing in order to be able to turn the heating on for a while in their homes. With £100 we can provide clothing vouchers that will allow a single mother to buy her children well-fitting clothing to cover the entire season such as coats, jumpers and other seasonal essentials to keep them warm.


“When their Dad is imprisoned, at the very least you want to provide warm clothing, food and a warm house to comfort your children. My children often fall ill with runny noses without the heating. So for HHUGS to have helped us this winter to keep warm has been such a huge relief. To be able to get fleecy pyjamas and warm bathrobes for the children has helped so much."



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With a father or son in prison, most HHUGS families are shunned by their communities, and for many, even their extended families. This is hardest on the mothers, who are left feeling cut off and abandoned, and the elderly, who have little in the form of company and friendship at the best of times. Come winter, these feelings are exacerbated as it is harder to visit and see others. You can ensure these mothers and elders are given relief, with the sincere and constant comfort of friendship, through coffee mornings and phone support. Somebody to talk to, to seek solace in and to reach out to. Help build a strong network of support by connecting people together during a difficult and isolating season.


“Everyday somebody from HHUGS rings to ask me, ‘how am I? How am I doing today? ‘I can’t go to my family, because they don’t like the Muslim thing my son went into. My mum doesn’t speak to me. Where I need the support, I don’t get it. I don’t, I’m lonely, I always say to my family, if it wasn’t for the Muslim people I wouldn’t be anywhere because I’ve had nothing from the family as such. HHUGS is like a loving mother whose love reaches out to people. HHUGS is my mum, my grandmother and I am truly grateful for them.” (Grace)


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4 sessions of Professional Therapy (or £50 per session)

Many HHUGS families struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and a host of debilitating mental health conditions that impact every area of their life. This is further compounded by the fact that cold housing increases the risk of multiple mental health problems for adolescents, by more than four times (compared to 1 in 20 for those not in fuel poverty). Providing targeted support from professional therapists can unlock the darkness inside that devastates lives.


“Alhamdulillah the therapy and the counselling has provided me a safe space to speak to someone without fear of any judgement, knowing that it’s safe, secure and private. That is the most fulfilling and most comforting thing to have and to know – that whatever you feel and you're struggling with, that there’s someone you can offload to who is a professional that understands. It has changed my life so much and I am grateful that I have that. Alhamdulillah for HHUGS providing me with that safety net.” (Hajar)


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With the cost of food rising by 12.6%, food insecurity during Winter months leaves many single mothers with the choice to “heat or eat”. More than 4 in 10 families – over 3 million – said that they are likely to cut back their food expenditure due to heating bills this winter. Vouchers allowing families the independence to purchase staple food items will bring dignity and relief to families who often struggle in silence. 1 in 5 UK children under the age of 15 suffers from food insecurity - lacking secure access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. Provide at-risk families with voucher to purchase a month of food items that will ensure everybody in the household will have their nutritional needs met in a time where money is tighter than ever.


"They came to my children and my needs when my benefits were significantly reduced. It was such a small amount of money that we had to live on which made me become in debt. Alhamdulillah with the help of HHUGS it made our lives easier to bear and not worrying whether to buy food or putting on the heating as well as paying bills."



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With their limited budget failing to cover the high cost of utility bills, many HHUGS families are faced with the hard choice between buying food or heating their homes. By contributing £400 towards their gas and electric bill this winter, we can help them get through the cold months without having to cut back on food or other essential needs.


"If it wasn’t for HHUGS, we would have been completely unable to afford any gas or electricity."



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With their assets confiscated and benefits frozen, some families of prisoners are unable to pay the rent. Facing eviction in these harsh Winter months is a terrifying thing. But with £500 we can help a family pay their rent for the month and ensure they aren’t left to sleep rough this winter.


"They helped me with rent payments, without which we would be homeless. I had so much debt when I contacted HHUGS but they helped me pay off my rent arrears, my water bill and my council tax arrears, which lifted a huge burden off my shoulders."



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About half a million families said that they are likely to take out a loan this winter in order to cover the costs of heating their home. Many HHUGS families are struggling under the weight of considerable debts to cover basic living expenses like rent, utility bills, food, clothing costs, legal fees and household maintenance. With rising fuel costs and houses deemed fuel-inefficient, the costs of getting through Winter can fast spiral. 2.8 million households enter winter with energy debt, with an average increase in debt of 22% from last year. With assets confiscated and benefits frozen, HHUGS families can quickly accumulate rent arrears and unpaid bills. With limited financial resources, these become near impossible for them to pay off. Relieve a mother from the crushing weight of debt by lifting the burden from her shoulders this Winter.


"We are so grateful. We can’t even thank you all enough. The Winter support helped us in the time my family needed it most; we were struggling with debt. The help kept my family and I warm, fed, we didn’t fall into debt. Our hearts are filled with gratitude, our home is warm, our bills are paid."



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By embracing a HHUGS family, you can alleviate the harsh effects of the weather this season. Together, we can help remove the anxiety around Winter for those who cannot afford to protect themselves adequately against it.

HHUGS’ mothers are often forced to choose between whether to ‘heat or eat’.

Children may be forced to skip meals, have inadequate nutrition or study and sleep in uncomfortably cold conditions.

The increased need for central heating impacts HHUGS’ families already struggling with rent, utility bills and make up those suffering from fuel poverty in the UK.

Children are not dressed in protective or weather-proof clothing for the dipping temperatures, making them vulnerable to bullying that can have crippling consequences.

Children are four times more at risk of developing multiple mental health problems, when living in fuel poverty. The ailing mental health of those who have witnessed their family member removed from their home is compounded by the isolation of Winter, with adverse weather and long dark evenings making routine errands and visits that much harder.

Existing physical ailments (particularly of the elderly) are exacerbated by the cold of this season. Serious illnesses are more difficult to treat when Winter impacts your mobility and access to health-care facilities.

Tread Footsteps of Hope for those desperately seeking warmth this Winter.

You provided £219.5k:

£102,901 to feed 70 families for the Winter months

£34,709 to relieve debts

£29,756 on rent to shelter 12 families for Winter

£28,502 on winter fuel

£19,767 to clothe children and adults

£1600 to protect 37 families with duvets

£767 for 34 homes for radiator reflectors

£494 on draught excluders.

Sign up to raise £300 to keep a family warm this Winter from the comfort of your home.




Embrace the cold so they won’t have to. Sign up for our Winter Walk.




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