Keep Us Warm This Winter: Community groups across Harrogate ready to offer support to the most vulnerable as we head into the winter
A number of community groups across the Harrogate district say they are primed and ready to help as fears grow that winter chill could cause hardship as gas prices rocket
Harrogate and District Community Action (HADCA) has been at the forefront of community support during the Covid-19 crisis with its HELP project providing both practical and emotional support for local residents.
Support is now focused on helping people to re-join their community and enabling people to continue living safe and well in their own homes.
But as the threat of rising fuel prices grips the nation, there are growing fears that this winter could prove one of the hardest in a long time for people already struggling to make ends meet.
Frances Elliot, Chief Executive at Harrogate and District Community Action, says her team is ready to offer support.
“Families and individuals in the Harrogate district are facing new and ever evolving challenges this winter as a result of surging gas prices and food shortages, coupled with the decrease in Universal Credit.
“We are lucky to have a network of organisations across the district that can help people navigate these challenges by providing specialist advice.
“Having a chat about one issue someone is facing can often lead to identifying other challenges that could be addressed and we help people access the most appropriate sources of support.
“The voluntary and community sector is well placed to respond to the challenges local people will undoubtedly face this winter and HADCA will be at the forefront of ensuring people know where to turn for support.”
The Harrogate District Foodbank is part of The Trussell Trust’s network of 428 food banks working to tackle food poverty and hunger within the local community.
Dawn Pearson, Harrogate District Project Manager, believes that the food bank will be under more pressure than ever before due to the current crisis the country finds itself in heading into the winter.
She said: “From a food bank perspective, we do see an increased demand for food during the winter months.
"However this year may be a little more difficult as the extra Universal Credit given during the pandemic is being stopped in October.
"Sadly clients have become reliant on this extra money and we feel that they will struggle to buy food once they have covered the costs of their energy bills.
"Normally Trussell Trust has a rule that we only give clients three vouchers during a six month period.
"However, during the pandemic we have been serving all clients as often as they have needed and we feel we may need to continue this to some extent during Winter."
There are many support groups across the Harrogate District available for anyone who is in need of help and support as we head into a difficult few winter months.
Listed below are a few of those who can assist you, please do not hesitate to give them a call should you need their services:
Harrogate and District Community Action
The Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP)
Harrogate District Food Bank
Supporting Older People
Oatlands Community Group
Warm and Well