We are aware of a growing number of families under increasing financial pressure and the knock-on effect this has on family life and wellbeing. Did you know we work closely with a number of local support initiatives and organisations who provide assistance to our families at Portway?
I know it can sometimes be hard to ask for help but please don’t feel embarrassed – you are not alone and we will help where we can.
Below is a list of support services which can offer help:
Andover Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
The CAB have a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of issues that affect individuals and families and can signpost to relevant support agencies: from debt management to legal matters and your rights.
Although their offices in the Chantry Centre are currently closed, they provide the ADVICELINE which is a Freephone number: 08082 787 862. There is also the option to email or request a call back. Details can be found on their website www.testvalleycab.org.uk
Andover Foodbank – Catholic Church, Alexandra Road, Andover
We work closely with the Andover Foodbank who continue to provide an essential service to many families across the local area. We are able to issue foodbank vouchers to parents on request.
Opening times: Mon – Fri 9.30am to 12.30am
Other community venues across town hold a small number of food parcels and opening days/times vary. Information can be found online or give one of their friendly team a call on 362111.
Andover Community Pantry
Operated by RCS Ltd from the Longmeadow Centre, Cricketer’s Way the community pantry is open to all families providing a range of fresh produce and cupboard items. Families are required to pay £5 per visit (1 visit per week) for which they will receive products to the value of £15 minimum.
Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri 09.30am to 12pm
We have been working with Fareshare and the local supermarkets for the last 3 years, collecting donated food and redistributing it to our families to prevent hunger and avoid waste.
Although collections depend on availability of produce and therefore cannot be guaranteed, we have the following weekly collection slots:
We regularly make up individual bags for Portway families to collect, with any surplus fruit, vegetables and bread placed outside the Infant School main reception for parents to help themselves to.
If you’re feeling embarrassed about visiting the Foodbank, unsure where the Community Pantry is or would like to request a bag of Fareshare produce, do not hesitate to contact Gemma, Family Support Worker who may be able to help.
Gemma holds a small stock of pre-loved uniform (trousers, skirts, cardigans, jumpers etc). As a school we also issue vouchers to eligible families to purchase uniform and/or school shoes.
You may also be eligible to access funding from the Miss Gales charity to help purchase school uniform too.
Coming into the colder months, we have some winter coats that have been gifted by Portway parents or the local church.
Fuel/Energy and moneysaving
If you are worried about rising energy prices, especially as we head into winter, here are a few tips to save some pennies:
- Turn off standby appliances. Turning them off at the wall can save £30 per year. Consider using timer plugs to schedule appliances turning off
- Install a smart thermostat – by only heating the rooms you need to, you could save £75 per year
- Turn your thermostat down – turning your heating down by 1 degree could save up to £80 per year
- Wash clothes at a lower temperature: wash at 30 instead of 40 degrees and try cutting down on the number of cycles you do a week
- Be smarter about water:
- Washing up in a bowl can save £25 a year instead of using a running tap
- If you cut 1 minute off each shower, you could save £7 per person each year
- Draught-proof your home: a cold draught can cause your home to lose heat and lead to you putting the heating on. Using draught excluders or draught-proofing kits are great to prevent this.
Hampshire County Council have the ‘Cold Spots’ helpline 0800 804 8601 (may be charged from mobiles) and a link to their website can be found here: Hitting the cold spots | Health and social care | Hampshire County Council (hants.gov.uk)