A CHARITY set up by the Archbishop of York to tackle poverty has responded to its 3,000th request for help as demand soars.

Acts 435, launched by Dr John Sentamu in the summer of 2010, reached its latest milestone by giving a washing machine to a single mother.

The charity, based in York but serving communities across the UK, takes it name from a Bible passage urging people to share and give to the needy.

It allows people to donate towards particular individuals’ needs, such as paying off a debt, buying basic pieces of furniture or paying for school uniforms.

Requests are approved by churches around the country and uploaded anonymously to the charity’s website, where donors can give through charity officials to recipients of their choice.

People who have been helped include a woman from London who was in an extremely violent relationship and feared for her life, who was given help in meeting legal costs to change her name so she could leave her partner.

Director Jenny Herrera said that having received 2,000 requests by last June, just three years after its launch, Acts 435 had seen the kind of acceleration in demand which had been experienced by foodbanks across the country. “In just six months, we have helped another 1,000 people struggling financially through providing the cash they do not have so that they can obtain the specific, practical items that they need,” she said.

She has previously told how inspiring she had found it that people were wanting to give to help those in need. She said that as the country went through tough economic times, many people were struggling to cope with unexpected expenses and even everyday ones.

Dr Sentamu said people should each consider how they might offer practical help and support for people who were going through tough times.

“My charity Acts 435 is helping those going through tough times to get the help they need,” he added.