Tag Archives: Anxiety

Stay Warm This Winter as Energy Prices Rise

The Bus Stop Club and Hope Church share tips to help people

During Warm Homes Week 27-30 September, The Bus Stop Club Charity and Hope Church, Ferndown is highlighting the issue of fuel poverty.

The charity and church run a Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre which offers free debt help for clients in the local area. 

Pam Ansell, East Dorset & Ringwood Debt Centre Manager, said: “We’ve seen food prices rise, the Universal Credit uplift being cut and now with fuel tariffs increasing we’re worried about where this will leave people.”

“We’re encouraging people to access help and support towards the beginning of the winter rather than waiting until the end.

Many of those we help have struggled to stay warm over the winter, but knowing where to get support, combined with some simple energy saving tips, can make a difference.”

There are several schemes and top tips which can help people with saving money and staying warm this winter:

  1. Check with your energy company whether you are on the most appropriate tariff for your gas and electricity and if necessary, shop around for a cheaper deal by swapping suppliers.
  2. Ensure that your meter readings are accurate and that you are only paying for the energy you use.
  3. Investigate whether your home needs insulation to keep as much of the heat you are paying for in your home rather than having it escape through the roof and walls. Find local sources of support for warmer homes such as boiler grants and free loft insulation. For more details see:
    simpleenergyadvice.org.uk
    moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/free-cavity-loft-insulation or moneysavingexpert.com/family/grant-grabbing
  4. Turn the thermostat down by just two degrees from 20°C to 18°C. This will make a big difference. If you can afford to, make sure that you have your boiler serviced to ensure it is operating efficiently. If you still feel cold, wrap up in a jumper or blanket before turning the thermostat up any higher.
  5. Spend less time in the shower by setting a timer. This could save a family of four, on average, as much as £100 per year.
  6. Use cold water for handwashing. It’s the soap that kills the bacteria, not the hot water.
  7. Unplug your microwave. A microwave uses energy to power its clock 24/7. By unplugging it when you’re not using it, you can really cut down on electricity.
  8. Replace your light bulbs. Moving from traditional incandescent bulbs to CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) or LED bulbs saves money because they are 90% more energy efficient and last 50 times longer.

CAP client, Peter, explained how CAP helped him:The letters were piling on the anxiety. It wasn’t good. When you’ve got that pressure on you, it makes you feel very depressed. You don’t want anybody to find out, so you try and keep everything to yourself. 

I was paying to settle my debts with gas and electricity – it was an accumulation of debt over time.

Now the debt is paid off. It makes life easier! I don’t have to pay those increased costs as I’m not in debt anymore. The payments have come down, so I have more money to play around with. Now, I have gas, electric and insurance which is all paid by direct debit. Then I have water and television that I pay for regularly. Now once I’ve paid those I don’t have to worry.

When something comes through the door now, I don’t have to feel afraid anymore. It’s great! I’m not fearful of it.

Working with CAP has made a big difference to my life now. It’s a sense of being determined not to get into that situation again. That’s the biggest thing for me. And to try and keep to a budget.

It’s a bit of a reality check. It’s easy to get into debt, anybody can get into debt, and there are people a lot worse off than me. But there’s no use running away from it and burying your head in the sand. You’ve got to face up to it and want to try and sort it.”

Pam added: “For some people, like Graham, it may be that debt help is needed but for others, these simple tips or knowing where to access help with grants and low-cost support schemes can be all that’s needed to go into the winter feeling prepared.”

If anyone reading this is worried about debts piling up that are causing anxiety and stress, then contact CAP on 0800 328 0006 as soon as possible to get free debt help.

East Dorset & Ringwood Debt Centre Encourages People to Seek Free Debt Help Urgently

The East Dorset & Ringwood Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre based at the Bus Stop Club Charity and Hope Church has been delivering free debt help to people across the area for over seven years and throughout the pandemic.

With measures such as the furlough scheme due to come to an end on 30 September, it is expected that more people will need to know where to turn for help with problem finances.

Pam Ansell, East Dorset & Ringwood CAP Debt Centre Manager, said: “We really want to urge people who are struggling with debt to seek help as early as possible.

The furlough scheme has helped plug the gap for many people, but not everyone will be able to get back the same hours and income with their employers. 

At first, it might seem you’ll be able to manage by tightening your belts a bit, but low income and debt often go hand-in-hand. In fact, at CAP, low income is the most common reason for debt.  

Over half of people in debt wait over a year before seeking help.  The quicker people get in touch, the sooner they can get support and solutions in place.

Sadly, we’ve seen all too often that people are struggling to find enough money to cover essentials like rent and heating and then not having enough money left for food or to pay back arrears. It’s a juggling act which is impossible to manage without help.

CAP client, Lisa*, said: “The lockdown has been hard, but the team gives me a weekly phone call to check if I’ve got enough food and I’ve paid my rent. They’ll go the extra mile.”

If anyone reading this is worried about debts piling up that are causing anxiety and stress, then contact CAP on 0800 328 0006 as soon as possible to get free debt help.

*Name changed to protect CAP client’s anonymity.

Charity of the Month – Bus Stop Club in print!

The Blackmore Vale Online Community Magazine

We were delighted to be featured as charity of the month! See the detailed information below.

Click here to see our in depth article on page 56 and view the publication.

Charity of the Month, The Blackmore Vale, Page 56, March ’21

“The Bus Stop Club is a local charity located in the Turbary Resource Centre, at the edge of Ferndown. We are a befriending charity, seeking to support parents and families from the East Dorset area and beyond. Our small core staff team are very blessed to have a number of loyal volunteers who work alongside us.

Food: Since the first lockdown last year we have had to change some of our activities, but our Centre remains open every day Mon to Fri 9-11am for essential groceries – we also have donations of fresh food available on Tuesday mornings. We are very grateful for food donations from customers that we collect weekly from our local Sainsbury’s store. We are also part of the Fare Share (Tesco) and Neighbourly (Lidl) food donation schemes. Currently we are delivering groceries on Fridays to a number of individuals and families in need. We are currently delivering craft packs on Wednesdays to local families with younger school children, thanks to financial support from Cash 4 Kids.

We are supported financially by local trusts, foundations, community chest grants, churches and individuals – we are very thankful for all the support we have received, particularly during periods of lockdown since March 2020.

Our main project is the East Dorset CAP Debt Centre, also covering Ringwood and Bearwood. CAP stands for Christians Against Poverty, a national charity based in Bradford with hundreds of Centres all over the UK. Their services are free to those in unmanageable debt. Since starting our East Dorset CAP Centre we have seen 26 individuals go debt free. We currently have vacancies for new clients, so if you or someone you know needs support, just phone the CAP freephone number: 0800 328 0006. CAP Head Office will be glad to speak to you and explain how CAP can start you on your journey out of debt. There are also local CAP Centres in Poole and Bournemouth.

MOAT Coaching: Since September 2020 we have been offering individual coaching sessions to those who want to manage their anxiety better, and to learn some strategies for processing historical trauma. MOAT Coaching is available to adults at a cost of £20 registration fee. We currently have spaces, so if you are interested please drop me an email. Those who have completed the programme have all found it very helpful. Susan Sutherland, Project Manager.

Contact details:

www.thebusstopclub.co.uk ssutherland@hotmail.co.uk

Mobile: 07866 692528.”

60 Christmas dinners cooked and delivered with goody bags!

What a wonderful way to spread some good Christmas Cheer!

Smiling Susan Cooking 60 Christmas Dinners
Smiling Susan Cooking 60 Christmas Dinners

The Bus Stop Club broke its record this Christmas by cooking and delivering a total of 60 Christmas dinners to individuals and families we support! This was in place of having a sit down meal together at the Centre with clients and volunteers from our various projects including After School Craft, CAP Debt Centre, MOAT Courses (1:2:1 Management of Anxiety and Trauma Recovery), Food Store Cupboard and many others who receive our support.

Each dinner was delivered to the door by one of our super volunteers with a smile and a large goody bag full of generously donated groceries and treats. We say a big thank you again to all involved from those donating and collecting food supplies to assembling meals and goody bags to driving and delivering them. Thank you! Clients have said what a difference this made at this time, with some texting or sending us a Christmas card saying thank you!

Management of Anxiety and Trauma Recovery 1-2-1 Coaching

Management of Anxiety and Recovery from Trauma Courses

M.O.A.T. 1-2-1 Coaching

This new 1-2-1 coaching course has been running since September at the Turbary Resource Centre, and is open to anyone who wants to improve their wellbeing. Susan Sutherland is a mental health practitioner and has been studying Trauma Based Care, which has enabled her to write and present these informative and practical courses. The course is split into 2 sections: anxiety management and trauma recovery. Participants have found that they make much personal progress in coping with anxiety and experiences of trauma. This helps them to have better health and well being.

Key physiological information is conveyed in a way that is easy to understand. This, in turn, empowers participants to put into practice the various practical steps to wellbeing. Each attendee follows along in their own visually well-presented folder and are welcome to ask questions. Due to the psychoeducational nature of the course it is a permitted activity during lock down restrictions and adheres to social distancing and hygiene measures.

A registration fee of £20 is payable to attend weekly coaching sessions of 50 minutes, covering both parts of the course. Those who attend can opt to do either just Part 1, or both Part 1 and 2. 

The availability of individual coaching is proving to be a timely resource. benefitting one and all especially at this season of pandemic. It is open to anyone over 16 from the wider area of Dorset.

Please feel free to pass this information on to a friend or contact who may find it helpful.