Winter is Coming and Island charities show how they can help…

The Island’s popular Riverside Centre opened its doors for its first public event for nearly two years. Some 150 local people came along to the recent Winter is Coming event which brought together a dozen local charity organisations to showcase the support they give to the Isle of Wight community.

The event was organised by The Footprint Trust on behalf of the IsleHelp Partnership, a group made up of the main advice and information providing charities on the Island, which includes Citizens Advice IW, Age UK IW and People Matter IW. Other organisations attending were; South West Advocacy Network, Isorropia Foundation, IW NHS Trust, IW Foodbank, Adult & Community Learning. Southern Water promoted their Essentials tariff, and other help available to households on low income.

Citizens Advice IW and Age UK IW gave guidance on benefits, allowances and money issues. Footprint Trust staff talked with people about ways in which to cut energy bills and grants and assistance for those struggling with rising utility costs.

Local MP Bob Seely visited the event and had the opportunity to listen to charity front-line staff about the economic issues facing many low-income Islanders. He talked with Ray Harrington-Vail from The Footprint Trust. Ray explained the issues facing people who are vulnerable this winter, due to increasing fuel poverty and other issues and the help his charity and others in the Islehelp partnership can offer.

Paul Savill, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice IW said

“ It was nice to be able to chat to members of the public about their concerns which included housing, energy bills and Universal credit and we will get advisers from the charity to phone them all to go through the problems they are facing. Today was the second part of Winter is Coming as we have already briefed professionals from other charities and public bodies on what support we can offer to help Islanders prepare for the cold months ahead. We will continue the 60-minute briefings for organisations on Zoom with another on 29th November. Please email if you would like a link.”

The event was made possible thanks to sponsorship from Utilita Energy and funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and the Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme. Those needed help and assistance can call Islehelp on 0800 1448848 or The Footprint Trust on (01983) 822282.

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