As part of its commitment to helping residents hardest hit by the cost-of-living crisis, Horsham District Council hosted a Cost-of Living Summit at Ashington Community Centre on Thursday 25 January.
The Summit saw some 60 different community organisations gather to discuss how they are working with the Council to tackle the effects of the current cost-of-living situation and what they can do moving forward.
Keynote presentations were made on the day by Network and Campaign Lead Amalia Lovett of local charity Horsham Matters and CEO of Citizens Advice West Sussex Emma Cross. Amalia shared results of their recent poverty survey and how they plan to respond to the feedback gathered. Emma Cross, addressed the changing needs of struggling residents locally and emerging concerns as a result of the ongoing cost-of-living situation.
Interactive breakout sessions with delegates at the Summit identified key challenges for both residents and community groups and what could be done by the Council and partner organisations to combat difficulties and deliver better solutions for the future.
Just some of the key challenges highlighted were:
- Improving accessibility to services both digitally and non-digitally
- Managing the increased demand for debt advice
- Providing more support for residents with mental health concerns
- Support for the lonely and isolated.
CEO of Horsham Matters Emma Elnaugh commented:
The Cost-of-Living Summit has provided a great opportunity for community service providers to come together with a common aim to improve the lives of residents.
CEO of Citizens Advice West Sussex Emma Cross added:
“The cost-of-living crisis has had such a major impact on people’s lives.
It has been really beneficial for us all to meet face to face at this event to share our knowledge and be a voice for local residents to give them support now and in the future.
The Summit provided a really good platform for community support professionals to focus on making life easier for vulnerable and struggling residents as the cost-of-living crisis continues.
The Council’s key partners play a vital role in how it delivers much-needed services to residents facing hardship, be it financial, emotional or health related.