West Berkshire Council launched a cost-of-living support center this winter for residents facing financial hardship.
It will provide advice and meet the needs of residents with the support provided by local charities and voluntary organisations.
It’s expected to open in the coming weeks, with more details on how to access it to be announced soon.
The new hub is being created by West Berkshire Council in partnership with Greenham Trust and the Volunteer Center West Berkshire – and will see it working closely with the local community and voluntary sector.
Prior to the launch in October, initial activity will include working with partners to map providers of food and other voluntary sector support for residents impacted by the cost of living to ensure that a full range of support is available to refer residents as needed.
“This new hub will provide a one-stop-shop for residents struggling with bills and wanting to know what help is available locally,” said Lynne Doherty (Con, Speen), leader of West Berkshire Council.
“It will bring together different agencies, skills, knowledge and service delivery to ensure residents are supported through a difficult winter.
“Through the pandemic and the support provided to Ukrainian families, we have seen what can be achieved when the community comes together and I am confident this center will make a difference for vulnerable residents as well.
Chris Boulton, CEO of Greenham Trust, said: “This winter is going to be particularly difficult for many people. By working closely with the council and voluntary sector, the hub will allow us to support local people across the community who need it most as quickly as possible. In times of crisis, we must act quickly. This hub will.
Volunteer Center West Berkshire director Garry Poulson said: “We know that the voluntary sector will exert its considerable weight and help people and their families at a time of great stress and tension.
“This hub will seek to ensure that no one falls through the cracks and gets the help they need, whether it is emotional, practical or financial help via the dozens of organizations in the West Berkshire who have empathy for the plight of people in these trying times. .”
The cost of living support center will be the latest in a range of support for residents affected by the rising cost of living.
A new online resource, where residents worried about paying their bills can learn about help available locally, can be found here https://www.westberks.gov.uk/cost-of-living