The latest in the series of Stoke-on-Trent Community Share Networks has recently taken place. The sessions are designed as an opportunity for organisations across the area to:

Themes are chosen based on local area intelligence and feedback on challenges. This week we were discussing something that is on most people’s minds at the moment, the cost of living.
Penny from All the Small Things talked about community organising and the Cost-of-Living Alliance.

The Cost-of-Living Alliance aims to:

The group discussed the challenges their organisations were facing with increased costs and demand going into winter.

Funding was of concern across the board, particularly for projects with multiple years of funding as costs now and estimated going forward are significantly different from when the bids were submitted. We’d encourage anyone in this position to start talking to their funder early to find a way to move forward. Support is available from VAST to help consider your options.

Organisations expressed concern for their own staff and the challenges they will face this winter, particularly those working from home who may already be isolated.

Simon Harris from Citizens Advice Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire rounded off the session with a summary of their recent report ‘Turning Down the Heat’ and the trends they have seen over the last 12 months as well as the concerns going into winter. You can read the report here.