News from our Village Agent – March 2021

Hopefully by now the weather has started to get warmer! That was a very cold February!

Staying Warm and Well

Being home a lot more over the past couple of months has bound to have bumped up   fuel bills – and March could still surprise us with bitter weather, so please do get in touch if you are struggling with fuels costs. We help distribute the Surviving Winter grants which are available for older people living in Somerset, who are unable to adequately heat their homes https://www.somersetcf.org.uk/winter – we want everyone to be warm and well this winter!

Alternatively you can contact the Centre for Sustainable Energy and their Home Energy team who are on hand to deal with fuel debt, help find cheaper fuel, aid in switching suppliers and much more – just watch this Talking Café they co-hosted with our Village Agent Wendy Rudd to see why it is so important to stay warm & how they help: https://youtu.be/XjmwI0nk9C0. You can also complete their online referral form on their website: https://www.cse.org.uk/advice

Don’t forget you can also join our Community Oil Scheme and save in bulk orders of oil! www.ccslovesomerset.org/oil. 50% of the small annual fee goes into our Crisis fund to help people in need in Somerset.

Crisis Fund

The Crisis Fund is distributed by our Village and Community Agents to help people in crisis situations and for whom a small grant can make a huge difference in their life – At this time of crisis and hardship for many in our communities this need is greater than ever.

We help when others can’t, won’t, or don’t.

We have never actively fundraised before for the Crisis Fund, but this has been an unprecedented year, and our important ‘pot’ of funds has almost depleted due to unprecedented demand due to the Coronavirus.

We would love to raise £20,021 in 2021 for the Crisis Fund, and are asking YOU to get involved anyway you can with sponsored runs, bake sales (after lockdown!) – setting yourself any kind of #CrisisFundChallenge – or by simply and very kindly donating! Follow us on social media @RuralSomerset for updates and how to get involved!

Some examples of what these grants have been used for recently: 

  • To buy 2 mattress protectors for a carer who was supporting their loved one with night time incontinence
  • To support a family with funeral costs after their teenage son died in a road accident
  • To buy children’s clothes for a family who had recently lost Dad to cancer
  • To buy half a tank of oil for a lady with a chronic health condition who was struggling to heat her home
  • Paying to PAT test and move a donated Fridge Freezer to a family in need
  • To buy a washing machine for a carer who is struggling to keep up with washing demands
  • To buy food and drink for a client who had been struggling to get shopping during the lockdown. The Agent went shopping for the client to ensure she could eat and drink until the food bank was open

Please visit  www.ccslovesomerset.org/somerset-crisis-fund/ to find out more. You can donate to a county wide ‘pot’ https://localgiving.org/charity/somersetcrisisfund/ or directly to the district you live in:

Sedgemoor:

https://localgiving.org/charity/somersetcrisisfund/project/sedgemoorcrisisfund/

West Somerset: https://localgiving.org/charity/somersetcrisisfund/project/westsomersetcrisisfund/

South Somerset: https://localgiving.org/charity/somersetcrisisfund/project/southsomersetcrisisfund/

Taunton & Surrounding Areas: https://localgiving.org/charity/somersetcrisisfund/project/tauntoncrisisfund/

Mendip

https://localgiving.org/charity/somersetcrisisfund/project/mendipcrisisfund/

Somerset Food Resilience Taskforce

We are proud to be part of the county-wide initiative, and we organise, co-ordinate and deliver the delivery of food boxes and pre cooked meals to those in need via our Agents, community groups/kitchens – over 20,000 items of food a WEEK are delivered – 200,000 since lockdown began last March – a staggering number!

Would you benefit from a free food box?

No one should go hungry in Somerset, and our boxes are not means tested, simply for people in need whether you’re struggling to cook or obtain food. If you are an unpaid Carer and would benefit from respite from cooking, we can provide some meal packs for you and the person you care for. If you need help with any of this, please do contact your local Village Agent on 01823 331 222 or visit https://somersetagents.org/help-with-food/

Want to get involved? Our Smart Communities team can help get your community set up with equipment such as fridges & freezers, and food to stock them! Visit https://ccslovesomerset.org/food-resilience/ for details.

Stay safe, stay well and stay active!

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