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News release from: 07/11/2023

South Cambridgeshire residents urged to utilise cost of living support

South Cambridgeshire residents urged to utilise cost of living support

South Cambridgeshire residents are being encouraged to ensure they take advantage of all the cost-of-living support they are entitled to this winter.

With the weather getting colder and communities spending more on heating, the District Council is beginning a new campaign to urge residents to make full use of assistance available.

Research suggests that around 25% of some benefits go unclaimed. The Council is therefore encouraging residents to check they are claiming what they are legitimately entitled to.

The campaign also reminds people that local foodbanks – all listed on the Council’s website - are there when needed, and you don’t need a voucher to use most of them.

There is also an appeal for residents to get energy-saving advice and find out about grants for home improvements to cut spending on energy bills during the winter.

In the weeks ahead, the campaign will see helpful reminders on social media, at stops along the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway, in local media, within the Council’s latest residents’ magazine, and online.

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Bill Handley, said: “Our new campaign centres around three key themes. They are encouraging residents to claim benefits they are entitled to, making full use of local food banks, and providing energy-saving advice. We have tried to make it as easy as possible for people to find out what they can access – and then take-up those offers of support. Cost-of-living issues continue to have an impact on so many people in our district, from those already struggling to those with moderate to good incomes. All this support is meant for people who live in South Cambridgeshire. So, whatever your household’s circumstances, it is likely that there is at least a little extra help or advice available.”

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The Council declared a cost-of-living crisis at its September 2022 Council meeting. Since then, working in partnership with local organisations, a raft of support has been provided to South Cambridgeshire residents. This includes the distribution of free electric blankets and slow cookers to over 400 people, the establishment of a Mobile Food Hub and the evolution of Warm Hubs into ongoing Community Hubs that continue to run in 13 locations across the district.

The Council’s cost-of-living support programme was also discussed at a Cabinet meeting today (Tuesday 7 November).