January 2021 Village Agent News
Christmas really brought out the best in everyone following a challenging year. We had so many donations to our ‘Gift of Small Things Christmas Appeal’ that we were able to deliver well over 300 boxes absolutely STUFFED with presents for those most in need in Somerset. A HUGE thank you to all those people who arranged drop off locations in their community and to the many hundreds of people who donated - it made such a difference!
For Village Agents, the new year and colder weather always brings challenges to our less fortunate clients who struggle with fuel poverty. Often the choice is between food and heating, which is a heart-breaking position to be in! There are many ways to help people in crisis or fuel poverty –
Firstly: You can donate your winter fuel allowance to the Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) here: https://www.somersetcf.org.uk/winter. SCF then work with us to allocate donations as needed. This year, many people will be staying at home to keep themselves safe; they’ll be cut off from family & friends and will be facing higher heating costs. Your donations will help us make sure around 500 vulnerable older people across Somerset have the support they need to get through the winter.
Secondly: Our #LoveSomerset Crisis Fund: https://ccslovesomerset.org/somerset-crisis-fund/
has proved to be an enormously valuable extra “tool in the bag” for Village Agents to help people facing personal and family crises. At this time of hardship for many in our communities, we desperately require donations. https://localgiving.org/charity/somersetcrisisfund/ You can donate online via the above link or by contacting us directly – all support, no matter how small, makes a huge difference to people! We help when others can’t, won’t, or don’t.
Thirdly: You can join our Community Oil Buying Scheme to ensure you benefit from the best bulk buying discounts on heating oil. You can find out more here: https://ccslovesomerset.org/oil/. We receive 50% of the small annual membership fee, which goes into our Crisis Fund!
Village Agent TOP TIPS for staying warm and well this winter:
Check out the energy (& money!) saving advice here: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/energy-at-home/heating-your-home/ Contact the Centre for Sustainable Energy who can help find a better rate: https://www.cse.org.uk/. If you haven’t changed energy supplier in over a year you are guaranteed to save money by changing! CSE can help you with this.
Don’t forget that our LIVE Talking Cafes - (11am weekdays on Facebook and afterwards on YouTube) regularly cover fuel saving tips, debt advice and more. Just check out https://ccslovesomerset.org/talking-cafe/ to find all previous Talking Cafes on this subject under ‘Everyday Advice & Money/Debt Support section. Tune in at www.facebook.com/talkingcafesomerset
If you need help with any of this please do contact your local Village Agent on 01823 331 222 or visit www.somersetagents.org. We wish you a healthy and warm start to 2021!
Nic Edwards, Village Agent, East Mendip
07946 461468 firstname.lastname@example.org