Working together to support residents through the cost of living crisis
Shropshire’s public and voluntary sector have joined forces to support residents through the cost of living crisis.
Over the last four months the council has been developing a plan alongside its partners to ensure residents know how to get support with energy, food, money, debt and more.
The Social Taskforce has brought together a huge range of organisations including Shropshire Council, Citizen’s Advice Shropshire, Age UK, Marches Energy Agency, Community Resource, Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance and other key partners.
Jackie Jeffrey, Citizen’s Advice Shropshire’s chief executive, said:-
“We know that many people in Shropshire are worrying about the winter months, the spiralling cost of food and energy and it can feel overwhelming.
“As organisations that support people in Shropshire, we have been worried too so we have come together, in partnership through the Social Taskforce to ensure we have things in place to support you.
“The taskforce represents all sectors, public and voluntary, and we now have a number of initiatives set up to help Shropshire residents. You are not alone, together we are much stronger, and we are here to help.”
Together the partners have set up a dedicated cost of living advice website which signposts residents to all the help on offer in Shropshire, run vital training sessions for frontline staff so they are equipped to support them, carried out extensive research to identify the most vulnerable residents, and lobbied MPs and the Government.
Rachel Robinson, chair of the taskforce, and Shropshire Council’s executive director of health, wellbeing and prevention, added:-
“If you or someone you know is worried about the cost of living, you are not alone. There is a wide range of support on offer. and through the taskforce we have been able to bring all that help and information together in one place for residents to access.
“Even if you’ve never needed support before, I really encourage everyone to take a look. We’ve put together a really handy checklist of things everyone can do to maximise their incomes and reduce costs, whatever your circumstances; including what financial support is available. There is also expert advice and tips from our partners on things like the energy price cap/guarantee, pre-payment meters, protecting yourself against scams; and more, where you can get further specialist advice and support.”
Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for finance and corporate resources, said:-
“We know that the rising cost of living is already having an enormous impact on our residents – many of whom may be experiencing financial hardship for the first time in their lives – and the situation will only get worse as we head into winter with more and more people affected.
“By working together we can pool our resources, experience and knowledge so we can provide a safety net to as many people as possible, including our most vulnerable residents.”
To find out what support is on offer, people should visit the cost of living help webpage here.