STRUGGLING residents are being offered financial and mental support in the face of the cost of living crisis.
Warwickshire County Council has committed to provide help for families and individuals trying to make ends meet as food prices and energy bills rocket.
WCC has been allocated some £3.47 million from the Government’s Household Support Fund. This will largely go towards providing food vouchers to benefits-eligible families via the Local Welfare Scheme (LWS), with some also committed to providing welfare grants to community groups, homelessness charities and other suitable projects.
The LWS provides emergency support for people in times of unavoidable crisis who have no other means of help. The priority is to fund items necessary for day-to-day living, such as food, water and energy.
Via the LWS, residents are also able to apply for emergency funds for food, fuel, warm clothing, and other essentials.
WCC spokeswoman Coun Heather Timms said: “Winter is often a time of increased strain for many people, and this year it is exacerbated by the rising costs of living. No one should have to choose between heating their home or feeding their family, and that is why the Local Welfare Scheme exists.
“We are committed to supporting our communities, families and residents in any way we can. There is a lot of information available on our website about the help available, and I strongly encourage anyone who may be struggling to look online and get in touch with us.”
And help is also available for residents suffering stress due to money worries.
Financial stress can have a huge impact on our mental health, particularly over a prolonged period.
Stress can have many different effects, including physical symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches and nausea, or mental symptoms like feeling overwhelmed or difficulty concentrating.
It can also cause changes to behaviour such as sleeping too much or too little, being irritable or drinking more alcohol.
A self-help guide to dealing with stress is available to download from Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, including more information about what stress is and what causes it, plus ways to manage your stress and stay well.
For those feeling desperate a confidential helpline provides emotional support 24/7. Call 0800 616 171.
WCC spokeswoman Coun Margaret Bell said: “It is completely normal to be worrying about money at the moment.
“However, it is important that this doesn’t start impacting other areas of your life, like sleeping, your health, work and your relationships. It is always easier to address problems early, so if you are starting to feel overwhelmed, reach out now for support.
“If you are at the point where you feel like you can’t cope, it’s even more important to get help. Call the Wellbeing For Warwickshire helpline or speak to your GP as soon as you can.”
* WCC website offers:
Cost of living support – www.warwickshire.gov.uk/costofliving
Information to stay safe and well – www.warwickshire.gov.uk/wellness
Local Welfare Scheme details – www.warwickshire.gov.uk/localwelfarescheme (or call 01926 359182 or 0800 4081448)