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Over 200,000 people volunteer in the West

Lou Kirby runs Lockleaze cafe in Bristol Credit: ITV News

An estimated 220,000 people volunteer in some way in the West of England every month. If these volunteers were paid - it would have cost authorities £254 million.

Lou Kirby runs a cafe in Bristol, not to make money, she runs it seven days a week as a community resource.

She also cooks and delivers meals for people living at home who can't get out.

Tonight's programme is a special report on how the state of the economy has impacted our lives. Tune in at 6pm.

Have you started volunteering in the past 5 years? Email us

Pounds in your pocket? ITV West Country special on how the state of the economy impacts you

Do you feel better off than 5 years ago? Credit: PA: Joe Giddens

This evening's programme will be a special programme looking at what the state of the economy means to you.

In our region over £600 million has been cut from Council budgets and we will be analysing what that means for communities and businesses across the West.

Ben Barry from Bristol earns £8 an hour, which is above the minimum wage, but a delay in a tax credit claims meant he went for months without benefits money.

Ben was referred to a foodbank which he never thought he would have to use.

Tune in this evening at 6pm for our ITV West Country special.

Titanic deckchair sells for £100,000 in Wiltshire

A deckchair from the Titanic has sold at auction in Wiltshire today for just over 100,000 pounds.

The chair was from a first-class promenade deck of the ship. It was salvaged from the ocean by a team sent to recover bodies after the Titanic sank. The chair was sold at the Devizes auction house Henry Aldridge and Son to a UK-based collector.

The chair was from a first-class promenade deck of the ship. Credit: Henry Aldridge & Son


More than a third are paid less than the living wage

More than 1 in 3 people in the region earn less than a living wage Credit: PA

Kingswood in South Gloucestershire has the highest number of people earning below the living wage in the South West.

More than half of its population are paid less than the amount deemed necessary to live on - which is currently set at £7.85 an hour.

According to the Trades Union Congress, more than a third of jobs in the region pay a lower wage than this.

Are we in the midst of the longest wage squeeze on record?

Average pay in the South West fell by nearly £300 last year, according to new figures published by the Trades Union Congress.

They say the average full-time employee wage in the region has fallen by more than £2000 since 2010. The TUC also claim workers have endured the longest wage squeeze since records began in the 1850s.

Average pay is down, according to new figures Credit: PA
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