How you can support your local community through the cost of living crisis
Many people will be struggling with the cost of living but also many people may want to support others in their communities. If you want to help we have listed a number of ways you could help:
Looking out for people around you
Many people may struggle to either access support or find out what support is available to them. If you have friends, family or neighbours that you think may be struggling you could help by
- Check in on people you know - you could knock on the door of an elderly neighbour, friend or family member to check they have food or heating
- Passing on information about what support is available - some people do not have access to the internet or other places where people can find out about support. You could help someone to access the information on what support is available
- Encourage people to access support - many people are hesitant to access support or feel that there is a stigma around claiming financial or other support. You could encourage them to access the help available to them.
Donate to a local cause
If you are able to, you could donate to support a local community group or other support organisation to help them help local people. We will post information here on specific donation requests for the Cotswold District as they come through.
Cotswold District Foodbanks
You can donate financial support, time, business partnership and food to your local foodbank, all of which can make a real difference. For more information go to: Cirencester Area Foodbanks, North Cotswolds Foodbanks.
Volunteers are needed for the Tetbury Community Fridge which works to reduce food waste and offers a foodbank service.
Severn Wye Energy Agency
People who receive fuel rebates or winter fuel payments that they don't need can donate all or part to SWEA's scheme which supports people in fuel poverty. For more information and how to donate go to: https://severnwye.org.uk/donate/ Donors can ask for their money to be used in the Cotswold District.
Take part in a national support scheme
There are a number of national support schemes running where you could help support local people:
OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. This could be food nearing its sell-by date in local stores, spare home-grown vegetables, bread from your baker, or the groceries in your fridge when you go away. For your convenience, OLIO can also be used for non-food household items, too. Find out more here
Warm Welcome is a national scheme looking to support local communities to set up warm spaces. If you run a local organisation and want to set up a warm space they can provide support. Find out more here. You can also download a guide to creating a warm space here.
Volunteer for a local support group
There are many local groups and organisations that need volunteer support to help them deliver support to local people.
Go Volunteer Glos
If you would like to volunteer take a look at the Go Volunteer Glos website here. They link people aged 16 and over into the largest choice of volunteering opportunities from a wide range of organisations, including charities and community groups, all across our county.
Cotswold Friends helps reduce isolation and supports independent living providing transport, befriending, carer support, independence and hospital support, community activities and intergenerational projects across the Cotswolds. They have over 300 volunteers supporting their services, and over 2,000 people using them. They have a wide variety of volunteering options. Contact them on 01608 697007 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or apply on their website: https://www.cotswoldfriends.org/volunteers/
Become a volunteer mentor for a young person
WAM Youth helps support young people to be confident in their identity and build resilience for life. They are hearing from more and more young people that they are feeling the pressures and worries of cost of living, both for their families and daily lives, as well as what it might mean for their future as they become adults. For more information on becoming a mentor see here: https://www.wamyouth.org.uk/what-wam-does/mentoring/
Old Woolhouse Warm Space, Northleach
Open Monday-Friday 9-1:30 at the Old Woolhouse (Black Cat Cafe) in Northleach. Volunteers work in pairs either 9-11 or 11-1:30. They are required to keep the fires going to keep the space warm, make sure there are supplies out for members of the community, help those unable to get themselves hot drinks (we work on a help yourself and pay as you can basis). At the end of the day, volunteers put everything away and leave it ready for opening the next morning. All volunteers do basic safeguarding training and have some simple training about the building (safe alarms, fire exits, light switches etc). Contact: Amy Lesley on email@example.com or 01451 860601.
South Cotswolds & Cirencester Foodbank
Volunteers are the life blood of foodbanks. Your skills could be just what the community need. There are thousands of volunteers across the UK, helping The Trussell Trust Foodbank Network get emergency food to people in crisis. We want you to enjoy volunteering and there are lots of ways to get involved. Whatever role you choose, you will make a real difference to the life of someone in crisis. More information and how to volunteer: https://cirencester.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/volunteer/
Cirencester College adult education classes
Volunteers are needed to support some of their adult Maths and English education classes. Comprehension of the subject matter at a reasonable level would be beneficial. Functional Skills English, Mondays 6-8pm. Functional Skills Maths, Tuesdays 6-8pm. These classes run from the college until June 2023 and you would be providing support on a 1-2-1 basis with specific learners within the class. If interested please contact: Chris Smith Tel: 01285 640994 or 01285 626224 Email: Chris.Smith@cirencester.ac.uk.
Gloucestershire Carers Hub
Gloucestershire Carers Hub is an experienced and friendly local team ensuring carers have the support, information and time they need. Volunteers play an important role within the organisation working in a variety of posts. For more information go to: https://gloucestershirecarershub.co.uk/volunteer-with-us/