A community support officer from North Wales gave insight into the increased demand for services in the region amid rising prices.
Lisa Goodier is the Senior Operational Support and Protection Officer for North Wales for the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.
One of Lisa’s main roles is managing helpdesks spread across North Wales.
The hubs were created in the midst of the covid pandemic with the aim of providing emergency care to those in need, in the form of Covid tests and food supplies.
Betsi Cadwaladr has since transitioned them from initial emergency support to a more sustainable source of help in the form of community support centres.
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Community Support Centers aim to provide a more sustainable source of help. The centers are scattered across North Wales and provide services such as legal advice, heating support, mental health support and food support.
This is essential at the moment for many families.
Lisa expressed her concerns about the potential for increased demand in January, when higher energy and food prices were looming, three months later and explains why her concerns were justified.
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She said: “Our centers are extremely busy, with a huge increase in the number of residents who are worried about their finances, unable to pay their utility bills and suffer from anxiety as a result.
“Additionally, we have a large number of people coming forward for food aid, many of whom have never had to do so before.
“It’s not just utility bills that residents are worried about, it’s all the other bills like rent/mortgage, shopping bills, the ability to buy new clothes for their full-time children. growth.
“There has been a significant increase in the number of residents wanting to access mental health support as well.”
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Lisa hopes that the longer the hubs are in action, the more comfortable people will be with using the services available to them.
She added: “As word about our hubs continues to spread, more and more residents are accessing the support we are able to offer as everything is accessible under one roof.
“It’s clear that this approach is really having an impact, we just need to do more, in more places and over an ongoing period.”
To learn more about Community Hubs and how to access them, click here