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District Dispatch - 19 December 2023

As we approach Christmas, please check in on those who are living alone, or do not have any family. Christmas is meant to be a time of joy, but for many people it can be a very lonely time.

Councillor Adrian Moss, Leader of Chichester District Council

If you are someone who feels isolated, you may want to consider signing up to Age UK's free telephone friendship service (opens new window). They offer two different free friendship services - one matches over 60s with a friendly volunteer for a weekly chat, while they also offer a 24 hour helpline service, where people can call for a chat, day or night - whatever the reason. There are also many churches across the district that are offering Christmas dinner for anyone who is on their own and would like some company.

Christmas is also a very costly time and can be a real challenge for many. I would like to say a big thank you to Grace Church and the Trussell Trust Foodbank for delivering festive gift boxes to those residents in our short stay accommodation. Families across the area have been donating Christmas boxes full of treats. We hope that this will put a big smile on the faces of the families benefitting from the boxes. Thank you to everyone involved with this. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, please remember that our Supporting You team is here to help, visit our Chichester District Council Supporting You team webpage.

Our own staff have also been supporting the Chichester District Foodbank's reverse advent calendar initiative, by donating goods each week. The foodbank needs your help more than ever and so if you are able to donate food and goods, please visit the Chichester District Foodbank website (opens new window) for more information. Your help will make a big difference.

As I mentioned last week, some recycling and waste collection dates will change over the festive period. Please visit the Chichester District Council 'check your bin day' page to see how this affects you, or download our app, which provides personalised reminders and notifications, from the Apple or Google Play stores. You can find out more at our Chichester District Council app page. Just remember to opt in for the notifications once you download it, so that you are alerted of reminders and any changes.

Recycling is a way we can all make a difference to our environment. Thanks to you, we are already recycling 47% of household waste in our district, but together we can recycle even more. Our Chichester District Council app provides helpful recycling information on what can and cannot be recycled. Simply enter the item or material into the app search function to find out how to recycle it. We are also aware that many of you are keen to know what happens to these materials once we have collected them. The West Sussex Waste Partnership has produced a series of short videos showing the different materials that we collect and what happens to them after that - from transfer stations to processing sites. You can find out more by visiting West Sussex's 'think before you throw' campaign (opens new window).

Also, please don't forget that 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 turn into wood chippings and mulch that will be used across local farmland. To register or to find out more, please visit St Wilfrid's Hospice Tree Recycling page (opens new window).

Please also be aware that our council offices will closing on Friday 22 December at 2pm and will reopen on Tuesday 2 January. For any district council related emergency, please call our out of hours number on 01243 785339.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year from all of us at Chichester District Council.

Best Wishes

Cllr Adrian Moss

Leader of Chichester District Council