Cost-of-living support: Wigan Council is Here For You

Cost-of-living support: Wigan Council is Here For You

Generic Cost of living support social graphic (002)

Cost of living support

A wide range of cost-of-living advice will be available across Wigan Borough as part of an upcoming flagship campaign.

Here for you, which will launch in full later this month, is Wigan Council’s response to the increasing pressures facing residents.

The local authority will be linking up with its partner organisations and the borough’s community network to urge those struggling to ask for help.

Residents will be encouraged to share the key messages of the campaign to ensure households are aware of what is available.

Staff across the council’s libraries and leisure centres will be able to signpost those struggling to the appropriate help and support.

Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux, said: “We know the pressures that our communities are feeling and there’s no hiding that there is worse to come as we approach the autumn and winter months.

“But we also know that our borough has such a sense of community spirit and will react in the right way to adversity.

“We are doing all we can to make sure that any support that is available can be accessed by those who need it through this campaign.”

Here for you will help to signpost residents to both local authority led services and other organisations that can offer advice, guidance and support, whether online or by utilising its network of community hubs.

Wigan Council recently confirmed it is exploring options to create ‘warm welcoming spaces’ in public buildings, reflecting similar plans across the borough’s community and voluntary networks.

Each 'welcoming space’ will differ in what it offers, but their core purpose is to provide judgement-free spaces for residents to come and keep warm in the winter months, with staff and volunteers on hand to lend a listening ear.

Councillor Susan Gambles, cabinet portfolio holder for housing and welfare, said: “We saw during the Covid-19 pandemic how our borough pulled together.

“We know times are very difficult, but we want the message to go out loud and clear that we are here to help and this will be a joint effort.

“Wigan Council’s teams of experienced and helpful officers are working extremely hard to ensure we can be as proactive as possible to the changing circumstances facing our households, businesses and communities.

“Our message to residents is please ‘just ask’ and if we can help or point you in the right direction, we will.

“It is of course a worrying time for all of us, so we are encouraging you to get in touch as soon as possible for early help, support and advice.”

Over the last five weeks, Wigan Council’s welfare team has provided £2.1m in support to pensioners and means tested free school meal families through the Household Support Fund.

And in the last week alone, council officers have seen over 550 referrals from residents in need of welfare support.

Coun Molyneux added: “It is clear that local authorities up and down the UK will be planning their own versions of this work – it is a situation that we are facing together.

“But it is worth emphasising that this comes alongside the significant financial pressure town halls are having to endure and have done for more than a decade.

“We are leading into a critical time and we hope the warning messages being delivered from the local government sector do not go unheard.”

Find out more by visiting our Here for You pages.

Posted on Wednesday 5th October 2022

© Wigan Council