Halifax Opportunities Trust is sign posting a number of services to support people through the Cost of Living Crisis (COLC)
Halifax based anti-poverty charity, Halifax Opportunities Trust (HOT), is addressing the Cost of Living crisis (COLC) by offering a range of free services and support for residents of Park Ward and the 1,700 people it supports throughout Calderdale each day.
With over twenty years’ experience in working to support individuals, families and groups of people overcome challenges and barriers to; work, education, integration and wellbeing. The current COLC is proving a difficult time for many, especially for the communities we serve, which is why we’re sign posting a range of initiatives that aim to support people through the COLC.
Free Organic food in Park Ward
HOT’s community garden and kitchen, The Outback, in the heart of Park Ward on Lightowler Road is built on an ethos of sustainability and helping people become self-sustaining through a wide range of green projects. It sows, grows and harvests fruit and vegetables from its plots and hosts a Tuesday Takeaway each week, offering free meals to any one who turns up.
Each week the Tuesday Takeaway feeds around 60 people with healthy meals using produce from the Outback and other ingredients that would otherwise go to landfill, provided by FareShare and donated by local businesses. This service is weekly and runs from 12:30pm with meals available for anyone who visits.
In addition to this, The Outback recently opened its Pop-Up shop that runs every Tuesday and Thursday between 11am-1pm. Selling seasonal handpicked fruit and vegetables, grown onsite, the community Garden is able to support the local community with fresh, organic produce at a low cost.
Find out more, here: https://www.regen.org.uk/wellbeing/the-outback-garden/
The Outback has recently joined a local voucher scheme in partnership with local school, Halifax Academy. The Outback will support eligible families with £2.00 worth of produce for just 50p, when provided with a voucher.
Support for the Halifax Community Fridge
As part of HOT’s charitable work, we’ve also helped to support the local Community Fridge. With an aim to make ‘bins hungry, not people’ the community fridge strives to meet two key objectives; reduce food poverty in Park Ward and minimise food waste. The Community Fridge is located at the Markazi Jamia Masjid Ahl-e-Sunnah wal Jamat Mosque on Gibbet Street and is open to all.
HOT recently helped to co-ordinate a charity cricket match, where HOT and the Community Fridge joined forces to play against the local Council and other Calderdale players. Raising funds through sponsorship, the match raised over £2,500 for the Community Fridge, meaning it can meet an increasing demand and continue offering vital services for Park Ward locals.
Unlocking Opportunities for Local People
The Trust is supporting local people looking for work, new skills, career progression and volunteering opportunities by hosting an Opportunities Event on 15th September 2022. There will be many teams from the Trust at the event to provide guidance and advice on the opportunities available through HOT as well as the services it delivers. Members of HOT will also be able to offer support for anyone seeking advice on other employment related areas, such as CV building, interview skills and breaking down barriers to work.
The event will also host an Employer Marketplace to showcase the employment opportunities available through local organisations, signposting vacancies and providing attendees with the opportunity to discuss aspirations with real employers and gain further understanding of the experience they might gain.
Find out more, here: https://www.regen.org.uk/work-with-us/hot-opportunities-event/
FREE Budgeting Advice Sessions
Supporting children and families is a core area HOT works in. As the COLC accelerates, the Trust’s Children and Families teams have been working on a number of activities to offer support for parents and carers, who may be experiencing financial challenges as a result.
The first ‘Budgeting Like a Boss’ session was held at Todmorden Children’s Centre in partnership with Noah’s Ark and was completely free for those attending.
Support with managing bills or applying for benefits
The Hanson Lane Enterprise Centre acts as a community hub for local people in Park Ward. Here, the Employment, Inclusive Integration and Community & Wellbeing services are delivered and offer wrap around support for many of the people who visit.
To support the local community through the COLC, the teams at Hanson Lane have been helping people with their benefit and tax paperwork and providing guidance on the services available in the local area, where additional help can be accessed. Additionally, the Employment Services team is offering money saving advice and will host a stall at the upcoming Outback Open Day for families and local Park Ward residents in attendance.
Due to the reputation of HOT and its wide range of services, it is also able to partner with third parties to give further assistance. HOT is now supporting people on pre-payment meters with emergency fuel vouchers, supplied by Fuel Bank. This is an ongoing initiative and more information can be gained by contacting [email protected] – at Employment Services.
Halifax Opportunities Trust is dedicated to supporting the local community through its six core service areas; Employment, Community & Wellbeing, Enterprise, Children & Families, Learning and Inclusive Integration. Taking a holistic, whole person, approach means addressing national issues and flexing services to support the people who are impacted. The COLC is something that is hitting the local community hard; by signposting the services the we’re providing to help, we hope to uphold our main charitable aim of relieving poverty.
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