Free event to help post-Covid Islanders

Island charities and help organisations are holding a free event to help people hit financially by the Covid-19 crises. The event will take place in the Trafalgar Room at the Riverside Centre on Newport Quay, on Thursday 15th October from 9.30am to 1.30pm.

It is organised by the local Footprint Trust and the Islehelp Partnership. Those attending include; Citizens Advice, AgeUK, IW Foodbank, People Matter, SSAFA and the Isle of Wight Council.

Those attending can have a friendly chat with experts from a range of organisations, and will get a free cup of tea and a slice of cake! Thanks to The Southern Co-operative a free raffle has been provided, with the chance of winning a delicious food hamper.

The Island’s Footprint Trust have issued a stark warning about growing levels of poverty on the Isle of Wight, post-Covid. The charity specialises in helping households in reducing their utility bills, and is predicting that there will be surge of people needing help as poverty levels rise.

Their warnings are based on research from the *Institute for Fiscal Studies, and other sources, which suggest the Isle of Wight and other rural and coastal areas will be the hardest hit. This is due to increased levels of unemployment, shorter working hours, and the hit on the tourist trade. This adds to the general underlying child and fuel poverty on the Island, one of the highest in south east England.

The Trust’s work has recently had a boost thanks to funding from the People’s Postcode Trust and the Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme, which means more vulnerable households can be helped.

Speaking for The Footprint Trust, Ray Harrington-Vail said;

“Many people of the Island were already struggling to make ends meet, making choices between using energy or buying food. Last year we assisted over 1,700 people in various ways, helping them to cut their utility bills…”

“Our event will give people a change to find out the help available to manage their money, stay in budget, cut bills and get support, help and free training. Details of the new government Green Homes Initiative will also be available, which can provide up to £10,000 funding for insulation and green heating systems.”

To keep people safe the event will have a ‘one-way system’ in place with social distancing and those attending are asked to wear face-coverings in line with government guidelines. Riverside Centre has a track and trace procedure and hand sanitising points.

After the event experts will be available via this Facebook link,   or by phone to take questions, for those not able to attend. In the meantime anyone with any concerns or needing immediate help can contact Islehelp  or phone 03444 111 444 or The Footprint Trust  or phone 01983 822282.


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