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Leader's blog - 7 December 2022

Published: Tuesday, 6 December, 2022

This is the first Leader's diary of December 2022 and as the nights draw in further and the temperatures dip lower this week, we as a council are stepping up our work to protect the most vulnerable in our communities amid the Cost of Living crisis.

Our Tenant Services team’s housing officers are working together with our Neighbourhood Wardens to make visits to people who we know are most vulnerable, so we can run welfare checks on them and keep in touch too. We can make sure they have supermarket vouchers and financial advice during what is a very tough time.

The council has declared a Cost of Living Emergency, and officers from across many different services are working on ways to help those who are struggling – while we cannot cover everything, we can help people find the right help. Our dedicated Cost of Living page covers Money, Energy & Water, Food, Family & Childcare, Mental Health Support and Warm Spaces.

Tenant Services has also run a drop-in event recently with practical advice on how to use less energy, and on growing mushrooms – some of our Independent Living complexes now have mushrooms growing free-of-charge for residents to pick.

Another way of helping people during the crisis is the innovative clothes rail scheme at Stroud Library, run with Gloucestershire County Council. Job interviewees who can’t afford interview clothes can take what they need, thanks to SDC staff who have donated clothing.

On a personal note, I joined fellow volunteers at Tesco in Cam on Saturday to collect Foodbank donations. It is awful that we need foodbanks but humbling that they are there and that people give so generously to them.

Finally, on the subject of looking out for each other, if you are concerned about someone who is sleeping rough, please use StreetLink to make a report so they can get appropriate help.

This week's blog was written by Cllr Mattie Ross

Chair, Housing Committee 

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