District Dispatch - 12 December 2023
Christmas is a time for spending happy hours with friends and family and getting involved in local festive celebrations. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to be in this position. As a council we are encouraging everyone to keep an eye out for anyone who might be alone or need some extra support.
Just a friendly face can make a huge difference, but it's also about making sure that people are warm and safe. This is especially important at this time of year when the temperature drops, and we are at risk of severe weather.
It's important that people know what services are available to help in these circumstances. One of the schemes that we deliver is the Chichester Warm Homes Initiative. This scheme is for residents on a low income and could contribute towards the installation of an efficient heating system, as well as loft and wall insulation. Our specialist advisors in our Supporting You team are also available to help with more information on our website or by calling 01243 534860. They work with our other teams and partners, such as Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice and our Wellbeing Service, to make sure that you are receiving the best possible support on a variety of issues from financial difficulties to health and wellbeing advice.
We also have a dedicated outreach team that works directly with rough sleepers to try and support them back into accommodation. If you are concerned about an individual rough sleeping, please let us know through Streetlink. This referral will go directly to our team, which will attempt to find the individual and assess their needs. Our officers also work very closely with Stonepillow, a registered charity, which provides a lifeline for homeless people with a drop-in day centre and a 24-hour hostel. The council provides an annual grant towards their work. If you want to offer support to the homeless over the Christmas period, please consider donating to charities such as Stonepillow, HEART and the Four Streets project, rather than giving money directly. By supporting these charities, you can be assured that the money will be used to provide the right kind of help and support needed by those who are living on the streets. Visit our Chichester District 'make your change count' page.
Our Community Wardens are also keeping an eye out for those who are on their own or feeling vulnerable. There also are many community groups organising activities and events to bring people together. These acts of kindness can make a huge difference to people who feel lonely or isolated. We are very lucky to have such wonderful volunteers across the district who make such a big difference.
Christmas is also a time when we should be supporting our local businesses. We have again launched our 'Countdown to Christmas' campaign which aims to highlight what's happening across the district over the festive period and encourage people to support local. This includes details of our latest parking offers. Our shops and businesses have so much to offer and so if you still have some last-minute Christmas shopping to do, please support our local businesses.
Please also be aware that some recycling and waste collection dates will change over the festive period. Please visit our Chichester District 'check your bin day' page to see how this affects you or download our Chichester District Council app, which provides personalised reminders and notifications, from the Apple or Google Play stores.
We are also working with St. Wilfrid's Hospice to provide a Christmas tree recycling scheme. St. Wilfrid's wonderful team of volunteers will collect your tree in return for a donation to the hospice. They will then pass the trees to us to recycle. To register or to find out more, please visit St Wilfrid's Tree Recycling page.
Cllr Adrian Moss
Leader of Chichester District Council