Woking Borough Council has published a 15-point action plan which sets out how partners will work together to support residents through the current cost of living crisis.
The action plan focuses on signposting those in need to local services, keeping vulnerable residents warm this winter, ensuring no one goes hungry, and providing access to direct financial support.
The action plan was developed in partnership with local stakeholders and service providers at the Council’s Cost of Living Summit, which took place at the end of October. Representatives from The Lighthouse, Surrey Coalition of Disabled People, Welcome Church, Surrey County Council, Citizen’s Advice, Foodwise, Woking Foodbank, and others, have all inputted into the plan.
Commenting on the update report presented to the Council’s Executive on Thursday 17 November, Cllr Ann-Marie Barker, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: “Positive progress is already being made because of the summit. By working together we can strengthen our offer to support those who are vulnerable this winter and beyond.
“For example, the borough has more designated ‘warm hubs’ than in any other part of the county, and we have successfully distributed more than £200,000 to pensioners and vulnerable households to help them through this winter. The council is working with Citizens Advice Woking and the Department of Work and Pensions to identify eligible households for these Household Support Fund grants, and a further £190,000 will soon be given out to support people with disabilities.
“Woking’s second Community Fridge is due to open on 5 December, in Maybury, and council officers are working with food providers such as Foodwise to identify warehouse and distribution space so that we can increase the supply of affordable groceries coming into the borough. Related to this, Foodwise is also helping vulnerable families to cook healthy meals on a budget, who have been put forward by our Family Centres.
“I’m very pleased with what’s been achieved so far, particularly the level of collaboration among partners. We’re all working towards a common goal, which is to support residents as best we can through these challenging times.”
Details of the cost of living support available locally was included in the council’s Woking Magazine, which was distributed to all households in October 2022. This information is also available on the council’s website and continually updated:
- Financial payments
- Preventing homelessness
- Help for families
- Foodbanks and ways to reduce food costs
- Bill saving advice
- Managing debt and mental health
- Local helpful organisations