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Community North Wales Politics Wrexham

Social enterprise to receive Wrexham Council ‘cost of living’ funds

A WREXHAM city centre community hub could be about to receive £10,000 to further help people through the cost of living crisis.

Wrexham Council’s Executive Board look set to approve the funds for Yellow and Blue (YaB) from a pot of money the authority set aside to help projects supporting residents through the crisis.

In November the council confirmed £166,000 had been made available to support the cost of living crisis (COLC) from a variety of sources.

There is £25,000 left in the pot and if agreed at next week’s meeting, £10,000 will be given to Yellow and Blue, the social enterprise based on Henblas Street in the city centre.

The money would be used by Yellow and Blue to provide refreshments, snacks and more substantive meals.

It would also help with the additional expenses needed to extend their opening hours, with costs such as internet, heating, lighting, cleaning, facilities for charging mobile phones and IT equipment, enrichment items and activities etc.

The enterprise will also continue to produce promotional material including physical and electronic posters, notices, and social media posts.

In November the Executive Board agreed for £141,000 to be used for cost of living interventions, with just £25,000 so far left unallocated.

A report to the executive board, to be presented jointly by Pant and Johnstown Cllr David A Bithell (Ind) lead member for housing and Bryn Cefn Cllr Beverley Parry-Jones (Con) lead member for corporate services, outlines the money already spent by the council specifically for the crisis.

These include

£22,000 to Wrexham Foodbank – to support expansion of provision;

£44,000 on a Warm Places to establish a grant scheme for local organisations to bid for funding to deliver their ‘Warm Places’ offer (this may include provision of meals);

£60,000 (£20,000 per year across three years) for the Citizens Advice Bureau to extend services specifically to provide additional advice/support associated with the cost of living crisis;

£5,000 to deliver a number of community based ‘Cost of Living Information and Advice Multi-Agency Events’; and provision of printed materials and information;

The report states: “The council’s response to the Cost of Living Crisis has been both immediate and dynamic in order to ensure actions delivered were timely and responsive to the situation.

“Further interventions and opportunities to support organisations extend their services to meet increased demand as a result of the cost of living crisis continue to be identified.

“Since the November report, increased contact with Yellow and Blue (YaB) based in Henblas Square has identified how, with additional financial support, this organisation could continue to provide much needed support to individuals and families experiencing hardship and in need of support.

“This report recommends that £10,000 from the remaining £25,000 COLC funds be allocated to YaB.”

The report adds: “The recommendation to allocate £10,000 to YaB would enable the organisation to expand, enhance and replicate their festive provision into spring 2023.

“With domestic fuel prices increasing rapidly, it is expected that many people will struggle to keep their homes at a healthy temperature, particularly those people at home all day, the elderly, vulnerable and home workers.

Wrexham Council’s Executive Board will make a decision on the funding when it meets on Tuesday (January 24).

In addition, further Welsh Government funding has been awarded via the WLGA to the council for the employment of a Food Network Coordinator and funds to develop a Food Partnership network. A total of £97,000 has been awarded for a period of 12 months.

They will also decide on approving this at the meeting.