People worried about the rising cost of living are being reminded that help is at hand in a new county council campaign.
The ‘Here to help’ campaign and dedicated webpages are directing people to support with things like managing debt, paying bills, food and essentials, staying warm and helping others. Access to the online benefits checker and information on funded childcare are also available.
Information on other council schemes to help people with the cost of living pressures, such as the Staffordshire Warmer Homes scheme and the Pre-Loved School Uniform Market are also available.
Working closely with district and borough councils, the county council is supporting over 21,000 households through the Government’s household support funding. Pensioners who qualify for a council tax reduction are being offered a voucher for £125 to help with food and fuel costs.
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities at Staffordshire County Council said: “ We know that many families are feeling the pressure from the increasing cost of living, rising energy costs and everyday essentials, which is why we have launched our new campaign and webpages.
“For anyone struggling financially, there is lots of support available from many different organisations, and the help is often closer than people think. Getting help early can make a big difference too and the webpages will be able to signpost people to the most appropriate support.”
Staffordshire libraries have also teamed up with Morrison’s supermarket and Lakeland Dairies in a project to offer people a free hot drink when they visit the library. As well as serving the hot brews, staff and volunteers at Perton, Burton, Leek, Newcastle, Stafford and Cannock libraries will be taking the opportunity to let people know about the range of services, activities and support available in their library.
The Staffordshire Warmer Homes scheme continues to help with the rising costs of energy by installing free, greener and more energy efficient heating in people’s homes. This includes things like solar panels, air source heat pumps, external wall insulation, underfloor heating and other measures. The £5.6m scheme has already installed more than 450 free heating solutions into around 400 homes, saving those residents more than £650,000 in heating bills.
The Pre-Loved School Uniform Market is another project run by the libraries service that is helping families with school age children. The project, available in Cannock and Stafford, allows families to pick up items of school clothing to help support them with their children’s school uniform needs. The market stocks school trousers, skirts, shirts, ties and branded school sweatshirts. People can find out more at the library.
And with small businesses being the lifeblood of the Staffordshire economy with an increasing number of people running their own company, the Here to help campaign website also includes a summary of the latest support available to businesses. Advice on saving money, details on the Get Started programme for start-ups along with signposting to organisations who can give expert advice is available.
Further details on the Here to help campaign and the wide range of support to help with the cost of living pressures is available at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/heretohelp. People can also visit their nearest community help point, library or children’s centre for support.