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Renfrewshire’s community groups have said that working together will be key to supporting people through the cost-of-living crisis.

At a roundtable discussion, councillors and council officers met with community groups and third sector organisations to have a frank and open conversation about the impact rising costs are having now on people in our communities.

They said that people in their communities are experiencing significant difficulties now, and for some groups it is the worse than during the pandemic. Groups suggested that they would need to work more closely together to share information and resources as well as helping to support their staff and volunteers’ resilience and wellbeing.

Depute Leader for Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, chaired the meeting and said it was important that the Fairer Renfrewshire programme and local cost of living response was taken forward in close partnership with community groups and organisations.

She said: “We’ve already seen how quickly local groups can provide help and support to those who need it within their own communities during the pandemic. During this emerging cost of living crisis, they will once again be the heart of their communities and we, as a council, want to do everything we can to support them. It’s why we will continue to listen and talk with our third sector and community groups as well as identify practical things we can do together to support our communities.

“Groups told us that people are already feeling the effects of rising energy bills and the costs of living. They believe, and I believe too, that we all must come together like we did during the pandemic to offer the support that people need right now.

“As a council, we will do everything we can to support people and community groups and organisations, but I would urge anyone who can spare any amount of time to volunteer, to join their local group and help support neighbours and your community. Your help and support will be welcomed with open arms.”

Discussions also took place on early intervention and ensuring people could get help and advice.

Councillor Cameron added: “Our community groups are excellent at directing people to advice services when someone needs expert advice. Getting the right advice as early as possible is incredibly important and I would urge anyone who needs that advice to get in touch with advice services now.”

The council’s Advice Works team are available by emailing adviceworks@renfrewshire.gov.uk or calling 0300 300 1238.

Appointments with an adviser at Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau can be made by calling 0141 889 2121.

For energy advice and help understanding energy bills, email emu@renfrewshire.gov.uk or call 0300 300 0300.

The council has also launched the Winter Connections programme to support local groups and create a network of local places and spaces where people can connect with others within their community this winter.

To apply for the fund, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/winter-connections-fund

For more information on cost-of-living support, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/cost-of-living

Written by: PaisleyRadio

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