Support is only a phone call away

Last Updated: 9 January 2023

9 January 2023

Anybody in South Lakeland struggling to make ends meet after the festive period is being reassured that support is only a phone call away.

Councillor Suzie Pye, South Lakeland District Council's Portfolio Holder for Health, Wellbeing and Poverty Alleviation, is urging anybody struggling financially or emotionally to ask for help.

Cllr Pye said: "I would encourage people to reach out for help. Many are finding times very tough, not knowing how they will meet their bills. Some families may well be struggling for the first time. It is so important that people feel able to ask for help as soon as it is needed. It is almost always easier to find solutions if help is sought earlier rather than later.

“Many communities in South Lakeland are starting to offer welcoming spaces where people can go to, to keep warm and have a hot drink. I hate to think that for the foreseeable future we might come to depend on these Warm Spots, in the same way that in many of our communities Food Banks are no longer the exception, but the rule. While there is a need in South Lakeland for such provision, we are grateful to the volunteers and organisations within our communities who are meeting that need. If you need to access warmth and a hot drink over the coming months then do visit the interactive map of Warm Spots on the Cumbria County Council website, where information can be found about registering new Warm Spots.”

South Lakeland District Council works with more than 100 organisations to find ways of reducing financial hardship through our Building Financial Resilience partnership, chaired by Cllr Pye.

Contact details of partners and others able to offer support can be found on the SLDC website at: www.southlakeland.gov.uk.

This includes SLDC's Handy Person Scheme, which offers assistance with simple but essential jobs around the home to people who are unable to undertake the task themselves and have no other person available to help them; Disabled Facilities Grants scheme, which helps pay for changes so people can stay living independently, with South Lakeland District Council undertaking eligible works up to a value of £30,000; and the Council Tax Reduction scheme, which helps residents on low incomes to pay their Council Tax.

A downloadable, printable support leaflet, which includes information about Warm Spots, help with food, credit unions and more can also be found at: https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/costofliving/default.asp.

Projects the council has recently funded from the Portfolio Holder’s Poverty Alleviation fund include a Warm Space project in Staveley, food vouchers and parcels for families experiencing severe hardship in the Cartmel Peninsula and English lessons and driving tuition for Ukrainian refugees to support them to settle and integrate in local communities in Arnside, Kendal and Sedbergh.

Other awards include support for carers under 18 (out of school activities) and for Women’s Community Matters to deliver advice and other services for domestic abuse victims in Kendal Town Hall.

In addition, SLDC has an Emergency Fund for partner agencies who are dealing with clients with an immediate and severe need. Currently Age UK and Inspira have been granted funds to support their clients.

Earlier this year, South Lakeland District Council agreed funding of £160,000 over the next two years for South Lakes Citizens Advice.

Citizens Advice provide free, independent, impartial and confidential advice on a wide range of areas including debt, benefits, employment, housing, relationships, consumer issues and any other problems.

For new enquiries or for telephone advice, ring 0808 2787 984 or 015394 46464. For debt and on-going enquiries, telephone 015394 46464. Alternatively email by using the contact form which can be found on their webpage at www.southlakescab.org.uk/