Derek Thomas MP has thanked everyone involved in last week’s Cost of Living Fair in Helston for showing how much help and support is available for local residents.
The event was held in Helston’s Bowling Club on Friday afternoon, and was hosted by Derek and Cllr Tim Grattan-Kane, Mayor of Helston, and Cornwall Councillors Cllr Guy Foreman (Helston South) and Cllr Mike Thomas (Helston North).
The intention was to give anyone concerned about rising prices access to a wealth of useful information, including practical advice, tips on saving energy or money, and what help and support is available to them.
Local businesses and charities had stalls where their representatives spoke to visitors and passed on contact details and information. These organisations ranged from Citizens Advice and Community Energy Plus to South West Water and Western Power.
“The rising cost of living is by far the biggest concern for people in this constituency, but it’s not always easy to find out what help or advice is out there.
“I’m delighted that so many great organisations agreed to come to Helston to make it as easy as possible for people to get that support.
“I’d like to thank Helston Bowling Club for hosting us – and providing refreshments – the other organisers, the Mayor and the Town Council, and Councillors Foreman and Thomas, and all the organisations that took part for making it a success.
“This is a new venture, but now we have seen how useful it is we are planning similar events for other parts of the constituency.”
The following organisations were represented:
Community Energy Plus
Cornwall’s energy advice charity can help anyone with energy advice and practical help to ensure their houses are warm and healthy. They can help you understand your bills, manage debts, and talk to your supplier, and can assist in applications for the Warm Home Discount and other benefits. They are a good first port of call for anyone worried about their energy bills this winter.
www.cep.org.uk or phone 0800 954 1956
Citizens Advice Cornwall
Citizens Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice for everyone in Cornwall. They have a new home at the YMCA in Penzance, for “drop-in” sessions from 9:30 until 12 Monday to Thursday. Their advisors help with any issue, from benefits, debt and housing to consumer issues and relationship breakdowns.
Drop into Penzance or text the word ADVICE to 78866
Cornwall Fire and Rescue
Cornwall’s fire and rescue service work on preventing fires and accidents in the home. Anyone can undertake a free home fire safety check online, and the most vulnerable will be offered a home visit to make sure that they are living safe and well. This approach provides a pathway to other organisations that can give extra support and advice.
Christians Against Poverty
CAP is a debt counselling charity, funded by local churches but open to everyone who needs support with managing debt. The charity provides home visits and seeks to support clients through the whole length of their journey out of debt. They offer a face to face service in your home or in their Helston centre, or over the telephone if preferred. They also run a drop-in Job Club for those who want support in their search for employment in the Central Methodist Church on Fridays between 10 and 12.
https://capuk.org/get-help/cap-debt-help or phone 01274 760720
Helston and the Lizard Foodbank
The local foodbank is open three days a week in Wendron Street, with a weekly pop-up in Mullion Methodist Church, giving food boxes to anyone with a voucher. You can get a voucher from the Citizens Advice Bureau, job centres, doctors and health visitors, schools and other public bodies – and the foodbank itself can put you in touch with the right agency. They are always happy to receive donations – look in Tesco to see what their most urgent needs are.
Helston Community Larder
Food waste is an environmental issue – but tackling waste means that there’s more good nutritious food for everyone. Helston Climate Action Group collects food from supermarkets, farmers and gardeners and distributes it at Helston Family Hub every Tuesday afternoon and at Mullion Cricket Club on Wednesday mornings.
Inclusion Cornwall is a partnership of organisations & services working together to ensure all of Cornwall’s residents thrive and prosper. They ensure everyone can access opportunities and reduce health inequalities, and can find the right support for those who are vulnerable because of poor health, low income or living in a cold or damp house.
Transformation Cornwall supports groups tackling poverty and exclusion in Cornwall – providing bespoke support to individual organisations, introducing them to funding opportunities and strengthening links between organisations working on tackling food poverty and financial inclusion.
Western Power Distribution
Western Power provides a Priority Service Register for everyone who might need extra help at home during a power cut. Those on the register also gain access to impartial advice from the Centre for Sustainable Energy, who can help households stay warm and manage their bills. They can undertake benefit checks and advise on other funding sources, as well as providing practical advice on ways to reduce energy bills.
Cse.org.uk/advice or phone 0800 082 2234
Who Dares Works
Who Dares Works is a partnership working to help local people reconnect with education, training and employment. Those who are eligible to work, but not in employment, can receive mentoring and specialist support to build confidence, motivation and self-belief, and a host of work-related activities, from volunteering and community projects to taster days and work experience.
https://activeplus.org.uk/who-dares-works/ or phone 01326 567174
Southwest Water can help anyone save on their water bills with advice on saving water and free water-saving products like tap inserts and cistern bags. There is additional support for anyone on a low income or who has got behind with their bill, from flexible payment plans to help you spread the cost of your water bill to support tariffs that reduce the amount you pay if you’re on a low income.
https://www.southwestwater.co.uk/help/need-help-paying-bill/ or phone 0344 346 1010
Age Concern is a charity that brings older people together, making sure that they are still mentally active and part of the community. They provide lunch for senior citizens in Helston every Monday – and can come and pick you up in their minibus, specially adapted for disabled access. There are also Memory Cafes every other Tuesday for those affected by memory loss.