Effects of recession 'devastating' families

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Indy Politics
UNEMPLOYMENT, redundancies, home repossessions and mounting debts are having a 'devastating' impact on family life, according to Relate, the marriage guidance charity.

The charity's annual report shows the number of people seeking help over the past five years has soared by 50 per cent - taking inquiries to an all-time high.

In the past 12 months counsellors increased their workload by 15 per cent, seeing 70,000 new cases. Almost 400,000 interviews were given to people seeking help.

The report notes: 'If a couple are constantly worrying about how to pay the mortgage, the rent, the gas, electricity and housekeeping, or struggling on social security, the strain can make the relationship crack.' Men are particularly hit by unemployment which knocks their self-confidence.

David French, director of Relate, said that although its government grant rose by pounds 340,000 to pounds 1.5m, more was needed if the charity was to help 10,000 people on waiting lists and start clearing the four-month backlog.