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 Forest of Dean District as they come through.
Donations can be made to the Forest Foodbank. Find out more here: https://theforest.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/
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 Forest of Dean 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. Below are two resources for how you can help support those in your community:
Forest Voluntary Action Forum (FVAF)
FVAF have a range of local volunteer opportunities you could get involved in which will help many people across the district.
Forest of Dean Mutual Aid Group
A Facebook support group to help people find ways of coping, to help ensure everyone can access food, heating, electricity and shelter.
For a full list of local support groups see our 'Support available in your community' page here.
Support a local community group
Community Lunch Club Grant Funding
A one off fund for not for profit voluntary and community groups is available this winter 2022-23 to help communities initiate projects and support pilot schemes responding to the Cost of Living crisis and warm spaces around community lunch or supper clubs through an asset based and sustainable approach. Applications are now welcome and will be considered on a first come basis and funds will be available until depleted. Find out more here.