Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s column. I hope you are all managing to stay warm following the recent icy patch. Pretty as it may be, it’s certainly causing problems for so many people who are struggling with their energy bills and the general rises in the costs of living. The cost of heating is extremely high at the moment, at a time when prices of other essentials are also shooting up. Many are having to juggle the costs of food, energy, transport and other expenses and I know for some it can start to become incredibly daunting. Whilst there is government and energy company support for some, this by no means applies to all. If you are struggling there is help available, so in the first instance do get in touch with colleagues at FTC who will be able to help.
If, like me, your work is seasonal, and you find yourself with some spare time, I highly recommend looking at some of the free courses on offer at Somerset Skills and Learning, where you can learn a new skill and stay warm at the same time. There is a huge range of courses on offer at the central Frome location, from art, photography, cooking and business skills through to a range of sessions aimed at supporting and enhancing health and wellbeing. Many of the courses are free to attend if you are a Somerset resident and on a low income, and now could be just the time to take up something you’ve always fancied doing or learn something new for a change of career or to enhance job prospects. Check out their website for the full range, and I’m sure there’ll be something on offer for all tastes.
If you haven’t yet paid a visit to the Good Heart café on Palmer Street, now is also a good time to see what’s going on there. They have recently started a morning session for mums and dads to drop into after the school run for a free cup of tea or coffee and a warm space to spend time playing games, reading, chatting to others or simply hanging out. You can also get a hearty and very cheap lunch every day. You can find details of their opening times and other info on their website; it’s a cosy, welcoming place run by a group of lovely volunteers who’ll be happy to get the kettle on!
To wrap up – literally! – this week can I please also remind you to look out for wildlife around you? Feed the birds if you can, as this is a particularly hard time for them, but more importantly keep an eye on any elderly or vulnerable neighbours you have. Warmer lighter days will be with us again soon but in the meantime let’s keep looking out for each other and as always, don’t hesitate to contact me or my colleagues if there is anything we can help with.