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Volunteer Groups Offering Support in Highland Perthshire this Winter

LISTEN: – Angela Hanvey, Anna and Tom Sibbald explain how people can get support this year Photo Credit: Liza Summer

Perthshire based charities are offering help to residents of Highland Perthshire who are struggling financially and with costs of heating their homes as the cold winter months approach.

Charities Christians Against Poverty (CAP) and Warm Connections each offer advice and services like “no cost, low-cost changes or improvements” and access to government grants and loans.

Angela Hanvey from Charities Christians Against Poverty (CAP) said: “Christians Against poverty or CAP as it’s more commonly known is a national organisation which helps people who are struggling with unmanageable debts. So, anyone at all across Highland partner can approach cap for debt help.

Whilst CAP is Christian run, being religious is not required and the organisation are keen to help anyone in need.

Angela Hanvey explained who is eligible for the help CAP offers: “Anyone at all doesn’t matter who they are. They don’t have to be Christians. Although it’s a Christian organisation that we are and I work for, but it could be anyone, anyone at all who is struggling with unmanageable debt.

“If your heating bills have gone up and suddenly find yourself in arrears, maybe you have become Unemployed, you’re maybe on long term sick anything at all. That means that you’ve gone into debt. Then we can have a look at your budget and find a way forward to help you get out of debt and just enjoy that freedom of having nothing new debts behind you.”

Warm Connections have their own guidelines of who they can help which Tom Sibbald outlined: “Warm Connections is perhaps just slightly broader, in that we start point is people who are risk or under threat of fuel poverty, so that might be about struggling to heat your home, or to choose between energy, use for cooking or for food or heating. If that’s add a stress and a pressure, then do get in touch and we can see if we can help to reduce those. Some of those costs.

“I think with everything that’s gone on over the last 18 months with the cause of the pandemic. I believe there’s a perfect storm coming up. It’s going to be difficult winter for many folks, and rising inflation.

“I believe the current figure today through a night by the government was 4.2%. Been a long time since we’ve seen inflation at that level, and the high energy costs over what is now going to be quite a cold winter.”

Angela Hanvey, Anna and Tom Sibbald emphasised that although seeking help is not always easy, no one will be judged, and that friendly advice or assistance is always available.

Anna Sibbald said: “It’s always OK to ask for help. I think as human beings often we’re a bit too independent and maybe a bit too proud to ask for help.

“We have no agenda apart from where we just want to give folk are the best advice. Best advice that doesn’t have to be complicated always.

“I would say that’s a good number of people they find it very hard to ask for help and as Anna mentioned pride comes into that embarrassment. They can be a feel ashamed that they can’t cook by themselves.

“These projects they might be church projects, but people just care they want to show that they care. They want to show that it’s OK to ask for help. It’s not a weakness, it’s not showing weakness. The organisations don’t judge you; they just want to reach out and show you that there is a way forward to get out of whatever problem you might be facing.”

For more information, you can contact Christians Against Poverty by calling 0800 3280006 or going by visiting: www.capscotland.org and www.cipscotland.org

To contact Warm Connections, they can be reached at www.warmconnections.net

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