Based in Peterlee, the East Durham Trust is supporting families facing hardship in the once proud mining community
A mum didn't tell her little boy it was his birthday after Universal Credit left her with no money.
It is just one of the heartbreaking stories heard by staff at the East Durham Trust in Peterlee that offers a frontline service to those struggling on the controversial benefit.
Once a thriving coal mining community, the villages were built around the industry but when the pits closed thousands of people were left unemployed. Now, East Durham is one of the most deprived areas in the UK and has felt the full force of Universal Credit since the roll out started two years ago.
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East Durham Trust
T: 0191 5693511