Redundancy is straining relationships

Fifty people a day in Norfolk and Suffolk are seeking help with their relationships as the credit crunch continues to bite and more and more people face redundancy.

Fifty people a day in Norfolk and Suffolk are seeking help with their relationships as the credit crunch continues to bite and more and more people face redundancy.

Relate Norfolk and Suffolk, part of a national charity which helps people with relationship problems, has seen a 20pc increase in demand for its services when comparing the first quarter of this year to the first quarter of 2008.

The news comes as new statistics revealed 2.1 million people are unemployed across the country.

Liz Farrow, general manager of Relate Norfolk and Suffolk, said on average across the two counties 50 people a day seek help from the charity six days a week, eight more each day than a year ago.

She said: 'People are coming to us who already have problems in relationships but the financial situation is what has tipped them over the edge and made them decide to get help. You go through a huge range of emotions when you are made redundant because your job is a huge part of who you are. It can be absolutely devastating.'

She said that often relationships can suffer as a result because frequently people take out their feelings on those they are closest to.

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Relate aims to help people through difficult times by offering advice, relationship counselling, workshops, mediation, consultations and support face-to-face, by phone and through its website.

Below Relate counsellor Denise Knowles offers advice on dealing with redundancy and the impact it could have on your family:

t Being made redundant means you have to make some major adjustments, and it is only normal to feel frightened, shocked and angry. Don't be hard on yourself if you are finding it hard to adjust, it is perfectly normal. Seek outside help, advice and support.

t Look at your finances to get the full picture, seek advice and check if you are entitled to benefits.

t Remember redundancy often is not a reflection on how good a person is at a job but rather how well a company is doing during an economic downturn. If you are the partner of someone who is made redundant do not point the finger of blame at them.

t Talking to each other can really help. If you are angry at the situation make sure the people around you do not think that you are angry at them.

t Re-evaluate your dreams for the future. Do not hold on to a dream that can no longer be realised because this can lead to disappointment and resentment.

t If you have children, explain to them what is happening and any big changes that may occur.

Be a role model - children look to their parents to learn how to deal with life and that includes how to deal with shocks and changes.

t It is important to keep in touch with friends. If you cannot afford to go out as much anymore perhaps ask your friends round for a night in and ask them to bring their own drinks.

t Remember your job is only part of you, and you have other things you are good at. This might be a good time to think about what else you enjoy doing. You could perhaps start a course, do some volunteer work, or look at developing a new career.

For more advice contact Relate Norfolk & Suffolk on 01603 625333, 01473 254118 or 01284 767305.

To visit the Relate website go to