This autumn we have been running our 1-2-3 campaign in response to fuel prices, food prices and now housing costs increasing. The campaign shared practical ideas on how to make a difference to our own cost of living and how we can help others. The campaign included:
One thing that I can do to reduce my fuel bills – one of our trustees has turned down his thermostat, on the hot water cylinder, to 50 degrees. Most people have their gas boilers set to 60/65 degrees, but turning the temperature down to 50 degrees is hot enough for baths, showers and washing up while saving money.
Two things that someone can do if they are facing particular hardship: above all, ask for help! With so many of us facing the challenge of managing our money, whether in work or not, you are not alone. And as we learnt through the pandemic, challenges can happen at any time to anyone.
We also recommend finding out what help is out there – the Access to Food map has information on community food support across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, you can access the map here.
And if you think you need help, then perhaps ask a friend to go along to your nearest food bank or other community food setting together.
Many people are asking us about what they can do at this time.
Here are our top three practical things that we can all do:
- Support your local food setting in every way you can
- Many of you already collect food donations, please keep going as demand is going up and supply is going down. All Food Bank+ supported by Faithworks are now on the Bank the Food App. This provides up to date information on what food items are needed – this can be downloaded from Google Play here or from the Apple Store here.
- We also need individuals to donate financially (monthly donations enable the Food Banks to more effectively plan for the future) and perhaps send a note of encouragement to the team there on the frontline – they need perseverance and daily hope!
- You can find your local food setting either on the BCP Access to Food map here or Help And Kindness’s Dorset map here.
- Know how to help those in crisis
- The Homelessness Partnership BCP site has lots of useful tips on how to help those who are sleeping on the streets including practical ways you can give – toiletries are a particular need currently.
- Consider opening up a “warm, safe space”
- If you know of a building that can be made available, such as a community centre or church, opening up this space to the local community can make a huge difference. Cooking a meal together, even just once a week, having others to talk to, a board games and activities area and homework corner are all simple ways to help provide safe and warm spaces to help others.
There are many innovative examples that can be developed including: community fridges, or having a tumble drier available to save people having wet clothes at home in a cold flat.
- Or perhaps simply invite your neighbour in for a drink or a meal so that you only heat one place.
You can find more ideas from the 1-2-3 campaign on Facebook below…