In the face of the growing cost of living, Carmarthenshire County Council has hosted a collaboration event with its stakeholders and partners to share information, understanding and best practice to ensure that all agencies can work together, towards providing a truly multi-agency support package for vulnerable households.
Hosted in Llanelli, delegates contributed to a range of discussions, that focused on specific population groups, in order to better understand people’s current needs and the support available to each group.
Discussions were held on the support that is available for people who are in work but are on low income, or are looking for work, or are unemployed or losing their jobs.
Another key focus of the event was how to best support mothers or couples that are expecting a child, along with families, students and young people during the drastic increase in the cost of living.
Helping older people and pensioners was also at the forefront of the event and agencies were encouraged to share information on their efforts to support people who have been bereaved, carers, people with disabilities, ill-health or injured or have served in the armed forces.
The collaboration event sought to identify areas for possible cross-sector collaboration in the effort to prevent poverty, improve the lives of people living in poverty, help people into work and to better understand the challenges facing the residents of Carmarthenshire.
Deputy Leader and Cabinet lead Cllr. Linda Evans said:
“This is a very serious situation, and we are all worried about rising food, energy and fuel bills. It is vitally important that we get around a table with our stakeholders and partners to ensure that no stone is left unturned, in our efforts to support the people of Carmarthenshire during this cost of living crisis.
“So far, we as a council have distributed the Welsh Government’s Cost of Living Support Scheme to households and are currently issuing further support through the Welsh Government’s Discretionary Fund and Winter Support Scheme.
“We have created warm spaces at our libraries in Carmarthen, Llanelli and Ammanford and we are encouraging individuals and local groups to apply for funding from our Poverty Fund, to help finance new and pre-existing events and initiatives that could also serve as a means to provide a Warm Welcome Space for residents to attend, even if it is for a few hours a week.”
The Warm Welcome Spaces scheme is funded through the Council’s Poverty Fund.
A total of £180,000 is being made available through Carmarthenshire County Council’s Poverty Fund which is funded by the Welsh Government’s Discretionary Fund and other Welsh Government funding schemes.
Council Leader, Cllr Darren Price said:
“The poverty figures for Carmarthenshire, Wales and the UK are startling. 35.6% of households in Carmarthenshire are living in poverty. In Wales, 17% of children in poverty live in households where all adults are in work, an increase of 5% over the last ten years, and almost 1 in 5 pensioners in Wales are living in poverty.
“These are the people that are most vulnerable to the rising costs of living, and it is a worsening issue that one organisation alone cannot solve.
“The purpose of gathering our partners and stakeholders, here in one place, is to work together and coordinate our efforts to support those most in need in our county. There are many factors that contribute to the risk of someone being in poverty, therefore the approach to supporting somebody who is living in poverty is multi-layered and requires cooperation across different agencies and stakeholders.”
There are 2 ways of accessing this support.
Online – by visiting the council’s Claim What’s Yours Page where you can access information on a wide range of support schemes or arrange to speak with an adviser
Visit one of our HWB Centres – located at Carmarthen, Llanelli and Ammanford and speak with one of our friendly HWB Advisers.