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Thurso group to host training to tackle cost-of-living crisis

By Gregor White

Thurso Community Development Trust (TCDT) is to deliver online training sessions aimed at tackling challenges related to cost of living.

The project, for community groups and those they work with, aims to ensure those working on the frontline feel better equipped to provide guidance and advice to address the cost-of-living crisis and all forms of poverty.

Funded by SSE Sustainable Communities, the training package will include a demonstration and roll out of a "one stop shop" web resource developed by the development trust with support from Highlands and Islands Climate Hub.

It will help community workers and volunteers access vital information on areas such as emergency help, benefits, energy and bills, debt, health and wellbeing, food support, family support and help for older and disabled people.

Community co-ordinator Penny Gunn said: "This training and web resource is vitally important as we enter another winter with soaring energy bills, increased food costs and other forms of poverty.

"People are experiencing a wide range of issues that can increase risk and isolation, including transport, digital barriers, pet poverty, period poverty and the health implications of living in a cold, damp environment.

"It is a shocking fact that nearly a third of households in the Highlands live in fuel poverty, compared to 24 per cent nationally, and 22 per cent face extreme fuel poverty, a situation that we need to do all we can to work to alleviate.

"This training and web resource will help community facing groups to have confident conversations with the people they interact with and who know best about their needs.

"They will be able to offer support by directing them to all the support tools and funding assistance available."

The training will also cover advice on how to make homes more energy efficient to reduce bills and make homes a safer place to live.

TCDT development manager Danielle Moodie said: “Thurso Community Development Trust is seeing more and more people who have never experienced poverty before being affected by the cost-of-living crisis.

"In Highland communities there are challenges accessing services that may mean these people and families are not aware of the support available.

"We believe that with the right tools, community groups are well placed to offer support.”

Training sessions will commence on Tuesday, November 28 and will run until December 14.

Further dates and in-person group sessions will be arranged in the new year if there is demand.

Highland community groups can book a session via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/highland-cost-of-living-support-tickets-757769778807?aff=oddtdtcreator

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