Our village with miles of beaches is now a ‘ghost town’ – the locals are being evicted and cannot afford children’s shoes

RESIDENTS are furious after their village has become a ‘ghost town’ where locals are struggling to survive.

Withernsea in East Yorkshire is a popular summertime seaside resort when families flock to the sandy beaches during the school holidays.

Many shops are boarded up due to the cost of living crisis or are not open continuously


Many shops are boarded up due to the cost of living crisis or are not open continuouslyCredit: DELIVERED
Some residents have complained that Withernsea is a "ghost town"


Some residents have complained that Withernsea is a “ghost town”.Credit: DELIVERED
Brent and Sue Denning keep their gift shop open just so people know it's not closed


Brent and Sue Denning keep their gift shop open just so people know it’s not closedCredit: DELIVERED

But outside of the holidays, locals have branded their village a “ghost town” which has been hit by a cost-of-living crisis that has left hundreds dependent on emergency food packages.

Hundreds more households have signed up for a community program to collect bargain-priced supermarket groceries.

Charity bosses say the city is now so poor some children have “no shoes” and warn parents have turned to predatory loan sharks to survive.

The heartbreaking conditions have even drawn teachers and nurses to the city’s food bank, desperate for food to feed their families.

A toy bank has even been opened just for children living in poverty to have a birthday present to open.

Retiree Ray Morley, 75, has lived in Withernsea for 45 years and spoke of how the ailing High Street – with three vape shops and four charity shops surrounded by discount stores – was suffering.

Mr Morley said: “People run out of money to spend once they’ve paid the bills.

“When the caravanners and vacationers aren’t here, it’s like a ghost town.

“Hopefully when spring comes, they’ll come back and bring some life to the place.”


At the Shores Community Pantry, two out of three of the city’s 6,500 residents have signed up for access to cheap groceries.

Manager Jayne Nendick, 54, said: “For a community to thrive we must first ensure it survives.

“Right now we see people in need. We have to help them get back up.

“We don’t want the city to collapse and roll into the gutter. We are trying desperately to help those with the limited resources we have.”

The pantry sources discounted groceries from supermarkets and resells the goods at a fraction of the price, including 50p for a supermarket-size bag of fruit or veg and 50p for a 250g pack of minced turkey.

The business buys shares in FareShare, which it then sells at discounted prices to welfare and low-income people.

Marie Bone, 40, bought an £8 M&S chicken dinner for just £3 as well as pies for under a pound.

She said: “They get food deliveries twice a week and as soon as it goes in the store it goes out again.

“It’s probably the busiest shop on the high street because nobody has the money to pay supermarket prices.”

Where to find help if you’re in financial trouble

The Healthy Start program offers prepaid grocery cards to women who are more than 10 weeks pregnant or parents with children under the age of four.

As a rule, they must also receive certain benefits, such as e.g. B. Income Support, Income-Contingent Unemployment Assistance or Child Tax Credit.

Some supermarkets that are part of the program are Tesco, Island and Aldi.

Also, Sainsbury’s is offering an extra £2 to customers who shop with a Healthy Start card.

The Budget Support Fund Thousands of households can get £60 free supermarket vouchers to spend on groceries and essentials.

The aid is being spent as part of a new round of funding of £421million being made available by the Government to the Household Support Fund.

To be eligible, you must be a care leaver or have a child receiving free school meals.

What you can get depends on your personal situation and also on who your local council is.

social care

Most municipalities maintain their own social assistance systems for households with low incomes or in crisis situations.

Grants can sometimes be worth up to £1,000.

Marie continued: “I spent a tenner and got about £30 worth of food. That’s enough for me for two weeks.

“It’s a life saver. There’s not much here and it’s so hard to get a job.”

A campaign to discourage people from turning to loan sharks will be launched this year in the city, which is home to the 19th-century Pier Towers.

The council fears hundreds could turn to illegal lenders to pay mounting bills.


Ms Nendick said her charity had distributed 286 food parcels in December and expects record-breaking numbers in January.

She said: “I’ve been here for 18 years and this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen. During Covid I thought it was bad but that’s nothing compared to now.

“The problems escalate daily and one wonders where it will all end.

“I wouldn’t call it the usual suspects who have problems – it’s the working poor.

“We see people working in education or healthcare where their income doesn’t match their expenses.

“They have cut absolutely everything and there is still a deficit. We see despair every day.”

“They have cut absolutely everything and there is still a deficit. We see despair every day.”

Jayne Nendick, 54,

Brent Denning, 65, and his wife Sue, 61, run Inspired gift shop on Withernsea’s High Street.

They shared how they’re open seven days a week just so passers-by don’t think their store is among the many that have closed.

Sue said: “We open on Sundays so people know we’re open. We don’t take much money at all, but we don’t want them to think we’re closed.

“Fortunately we get along because people know us and we have been here for a few years. But many other deals were like revolving doors. They keep opening and closing.”

Brent added: “People in the community are really struggling to make ends meet.

“All their money goes into heating and there is nothing left to spend. It’s the same everywhere – not just in Withernsea. Everyone is in the same boat.”

At the personalized gift store Precious Prints, Ellen Cleworth, 45, accused the city council of turning their backs on Main Street.

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She revealed that she has to clean up dog poop in front of her shop “once a week” and rarely sees street cleaners.

Ellen said: “They don’t seem to care. It’s a shame we’re not getting the support we deserve.”

Empty streets in summer are a common sight in Withernsea


Empty streets in summer are a common sight in WithernseaCredit: DELIVERED
Locals say there isn't much in the area and it's difficult to find a job


Locals say there isn’t much in the area and it’s difficult to find a jobCredit: DELIVERED

https://www.thesun.ie/money/10165011/village-miles-beaches-ghost-town/ Our village with miles of beaches is now a ‘ghost town’ – the locals are being evicted and cannot afford children’s shoes

Fry Electronics Team

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