Venue: Albany Academy, Bolton Road, Chorley, Lancashire, PR7 3AY
Contact: Cathryn Filbin Email: email@example.com
Keeping people warm, well and financially stable this winter
Representatives from the Citizens Advice Bureau, Help Direct and Age UK will be presenting information and giving details of their services which can ease the effects of cold weather, high fuel bills, financial difficulties and loneliness throughout the dark winter months
Councillor Hasina Khan, Chair of the Equality Forum welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced Vice Chair, Reverend Martin Cox.
Reverend Cox introduced the meeting as the first one to be held out in the Community and reiterated that every other forum meeting would take this format. He then reminded the Forum of the rational for the meeting being held in the community and introduced the topic for the meeting which was – keeping warm, well and financially stable this winter.
Representatives from the Citizens Advice Bureau, Help Direct and Chorley Council attended the meeting and members of the Forum were asked to split into three groups and spend 15 minutes visiting the representatives from the three organisations to find out about services available to residents.
Information provided at the meeting included:
Citizens Advice Bureau
· A demonstration of the Citizens Advice Bureau website which offered information, help and advice on a wide range of issues which included benefits, debt and money. There were fact sheets and template letters available that people could use, including ones to creditors for those experiencing financial difficulty.
· Safe Trader Scheme which was funded by Lancashire County Council and managed by Lancashire Trading Standards Service. The aim of the Scheme is to help the people of Lancashire to find reliable, local traders and support local businesses.
· Age UK’s Home Help Services which helps people 50 years of age or older assistance to help them remain independent in their own homes.
· Heating Systems Maintenance – this work involved the servicing of residents boilers and a radiator checks by a Gas Safe registered heating engineers.
· Warm Homes Check which includes simple draught exclusion work within a home local gritting service for private paths (when required and subject to weather conditions).
· Energy Switching Support Service which helped residents check whether they are on the best and cheapest gas and electricity tariff, based on existing fuel consumption.
· Meals on Wheels – a subsidised service for home delivered meals, available across Chorley
· Chorley’s Credit Union – a safe and secure way of saving money and accessing low cost finance
Reverend Cox thanked all those who attended the Forum for taking part and advised that the next meeting of the Equality Forum would take place in the Lancastrian Room, Town Hall, Chorley on the 9 April at 6.30pm.