Helping you through the winter

09 Dec 2022

This week has been the coldest week of the year and temperatures have dropped fast. Sadly for many people, that means making tough decisions about whether they can afford to heat their homes as soaring energy costs and food prices increase the strain on family finances. 

In Sutton, we are working to support those struggling through the cost of living crisis. We recognise the current situation is having a significant impact on residents, businesses, charities and local communities in the borough. That's why we have put in place a number of measures to support everyone across the borough.

Our Warm Spaces can be found in all our libraries, and in five of these you can find trained volunteers who provide advice on additional support and how to access this. There is also free access to computers and wi-fi - all in the warm. It was good to talk to two of our inspiring volunteers when I visited the Warm Space in Sutton Central Library recently. I am so grateful that we have people in the borough who are willing to step up and help others who might be struggling.

The Council’s Welfare Benefits Advice and Support Team have also been assisting people in the borough with advice to help maximise their income.. They let people know about cost of living support available, help with energy costs, the Community Uniform Bank operating in Children’s Centres around Sutton, as well as providing information on the community food shops and workshops to provide support for businesses and charities.

We know that some people are finding it difficult to afford basic essentials like sanitary products. I am pleased that this week the Council has made a commitment to provide free sanitary products in several places, including in the main Civic Office reception, Sutton Central Library, leisure centres and within our Children's Centres. This follows a successful recent trial which demonstrated a clear need among the borough’s residents for such products.

The Council is able to fund the availability of these products with some one-off funding from the Government. However it is essential that long-term funding is provided to ensure that period products are permanently available for girls and women who are struggling financially. I have written to the Government to ask that they commit to long-term funding for this.

If you are struggling to cope this winter, please know that support is available if you need it. You can visit our dedicated webpage to learn more,call 020 8770 5000  or  speak to one of our Warm Spaces volunteers in our libraries.

Keep warm, stay safe and ask for help if you need it.

Councillor Ruth Dombey

Leader of the Council

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