Colchester’s strategic partnership, One Colchester has launched its 2022-23 Winter Resilience campaign to help those in need stay safe, warm, well and connected this winter.
Thanks to partnership working, funding and community spirit, this project continues to provide advice and support through the One Colchester initiative delivering roadshows in the community and distributing winter packs to those affected by the cold weather, including families on low incomes, people living with long-term health conditions or at risk of social isolation.
The launch took place at Elim Church, Greenstead at a winter warmer community event which was organised by Les Nicoll, who runs the N.E.S.T (North Essex Support Team) charity. The charity helps struggling families and individuals in the community and is a partner in One Colchester running a series of activities and events in the local area.
Tracy Rudling, Chief Executive Officer of Community360 said: “We are delighted to be working once again with key partners who provide much needed help and support when things get tough during the winter months. This also includes funding local projects and conducting outreach across the borough.”
She added: “Winter can increase isolation, loneliness and causes financial hardship for many people worried about paying increased heating bills. This year we face the extra challenges presented by the cost-of-living crisis. That’s why it is crucial that we continue working together with partners to support our communities. I would like to thank all the community organisations that have joined us to support the winter campaign including our wonderful army of volunteers. A big thank you also to Les Nicholl, N.E.S.T and all the local organisations involved for the amazing community work they do and for hosting the launch.”
“The Community Winter Warmers Team are proud to host and very much support The One Colchester Winter Resilience Campaign. Said Les Nicoll, N.E.S.T.
He Added: “We have been running the Heart of the Community initiative for some years. It is a successful collaboration of many local organisations, led by Essex Fire and Rescue Service, Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, Essex Free School Uniform Service and North Essex Support Team. The lead team have been supported by Greenstead Community Centre, Tots 2 Teens, Community360, Precious Bundles, CBC Neighbourhood Team CAP, plus local community churches and other groups.
Over the years we have given away more than 150,000 items of preloved warm clothing, bedding, shoes, and boots. All recycled and distributed to several thousand families and individuals in need in our communities.
This has only been achieved by the tremendous hard work, determination, passion and the unbelievable generosity of our friends and neighbours. This is a simple format, creating the opportunity for the community to get immediate and practical help, as well as signposting to other support agencies and charities.”
The Winter Packs, a crucial part of the campaign will this year include a guide to local support services, including signposting to social groups, and contain practical items, such as clothing, basic refreshments, a torch, blanket and flask and will be distributed to those identified as being in need by partnership members.
A dedicated supply of packs will be held at the One Colchester Hub and will also be held at Colchester Hospital for staff to distribute to patients who would benefit from the packs when they are discharged.
The One Colchester Hub will once again be hosting information and health events, clubs and activities. This year the team will also be signposting to support available for cost-of-living issues.
The Winter Resilience Steering Group, chaired by Community360, who co-delivers the project, brings together representatives from the public and voluntary sector to facilitate support over the winter months. The project has been funded by The North East Essex Alliance and supported by donations in kind.