Bell View helping people through the cost of living crisis this winter
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Since the cost of living crisis began and people’s financial struggles have mounted, it has launched several initiatives to help.
The charity aim to support older, vulnerable, disabled and disadvantaged people through donations and funding.
Juliet Short, services manager, said: “Although much of our work focuses upon older people, our doors are open to all. We want to extend a warm welcome this winter and encourage everyone to pop into Bell View. You may be 100 hours old or 100 years young – but we’d love to say hello.”
The charity team are offering help to the community in several ways:
Bell View is opening up their cafe space, The Hub, throughout the winter to reduce the number of people being forced to choose between heating and eating. The hub is set up to open as a warm space until March.
The space is fitted with a working kitchen, free Wifi and has board games up for grabs.
The charity has launched ‘Soup Club’ which takes place on a Wednesday and Friday between 12pm and 4.30pm. Anyone is welcome to sit in the cafe and enjoy a bowl of soup with a roll, free of charge.
‘It’s always time for tea’ has also been launched this winter, welcoming people into the cafe daily from 9.15am until 4.30pm. The cafe is giving people a free hot drink and a biscuit.
THE FOOD PROJECT
The charity is also hoping to help people eat from the comfort of their own home.
Using food donated from local businesses, such as Coastal Grains and surplus food from local shops, Bell View is making home cooked meals to be given to the community. The meals are varied and suit all dietary requirements. These are picked up frozen and can be packaged for individuals or families. Bell View are giving the meals to people for free, and there is no proof of income to collect these. This decision was made as people may struggle one week, due to an unexpected bill, but not struggle the next. To collect meals there is also no personal details taken, in the hopes of reducing stigma about asking for help.
Outside Bell View reception, the charity team have installed a food share table. People can donate food that they don’t need or pick up anything from the table, no questions asked.
The charity have also been working with Belford Primary School to assist with free school meals. This is being continued throughout winter and staff are hoping to broaden this out to anyone who needs help.
After Storm Arwen hit the village and left many people without power and water for several days, Bell View decided to prepare for if this happens again this winter. Thanks to grants and funding, Bell View have purchased a generator, meaning if the power is off for the community, people can go there for Wifi, heating and advice. They are also hoping to purchase blankets and flasks to donate to people in need.