As the country slowly began to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, prices across all areas of life have begun to rise. The cost of living crisis is affecting every household throughout the country but the least well off in our communities are being hardest hit and many people are already struggling to cope.
People cannot afford to heat their homes or cook a hot meal. Through our own projects we are witnessing an increase in demand for support as people are impacted. Food banks across the city are seeing more people along with a decrease in donations. A number of warm spaces have been set up around Lincoln with growing numbers attending for somewhere warm to spend time with an opportunity for hot food and drink.
developmentplus works hard to support a range of people in our community with services that support their wellbeing and mental health. Therefore, in response to the rising costs developmentplus in conjunction with our third sector partners have developed two projects to assist people through the current crisis.
Lincoln Warm Home Support
As the cost of gas and electric continues to increase it is thought that up to 16.4 million people will be in fuel poverty this winter.
This project is funded by the National Grid Electricity Distribution – Community Matters Fund and aims to help to people in our area that are struggling to keep their homes warm. Working closely with partners across the City including Warm Welcome Spaces, we are setting up a programme that will enable agencies across Lincoln to refer people they are working with for assistance.
In conjunction with Bridge Church Lincoln we are purchasing items that may provide some help in reducing fuel bills and keeping homes snug. It is hoped to support up to 100 people or families with bespoke Warm Home packs that can include carbon monoxide detectors, blankets, radiator bleed keys, radiator reflective foil, window draft excluder tape, blankets, thermal curtains as well as personal care items. In addition, it is hoped to link people with warm hubs and additional fuel poverty support.
<strong>Warm Welcome Spaces</strong>
Cooking on a Budget
Just as people are struggling to afford to put on their heating, they are also anxious about the cost of putting the oven on to cook a meal. Millions of people are having to make the choice between heating and eating, with many people skipping meals and cooking less to save money.
Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and working with our partner agencies Abbey Access, Green Synergy and Mint Lane Café we are developing a programme to help people cook healthy, nutritious meals for less. These courses are specifically for those people already attending our Better Together and Bridging the Gap projects.
There will be three opportunities for people to participate:
Green Synergy will be hosting a Cooking and Growing on a Budget programme. The aim of the programme is to build people’s knowledge and confidence in growing and cooking natural, nutritious and satisfying meals.
They will host twice weekly sessions, providing people with seed growing kits to begin their own kitchen or container garden with support to then cook with the items they have grown themselves.
Abbey Access Training will be holding sessions in how to use slow cookers and microwaves. The course will include an overview of healthy cooking and eating and how to save money by using these cheaper cooking methods. There will also be sessions in health and safety hygiene practices, preparation skills and how to store food safely. Each lesson will include the preparation and cooking of four dishes. Those attending who do not have a slow cooker or microwave will be provided with one at the end of the course.
Mint Lane Cooking School – this will be a relaxed tutor lead service to develop those attending’s basic cooking skills. People will be able to join weekly sessions and cover topics such as knife handling, kitchen hygiene, batch cooking, cooking on a budget, safe storage, making food last and making use of food waste.
The food prepared and cooked by the group will be from the Fairshare Scheme, in line with Mint Lane’s ethos of reducing food waste.
All of three of the courses will include an opportunity for the people taking part to come together to share food, important for people’s mental health and wellbeing.
developmentplus will be supporting both the Lincoln Warm Home Scheme and Cooking on a Budget programme by providing administrative support and managing the referral processes.
Both projects are only available by referral but for more information please contact;
Laura Harris, Project Admin Support