Help, advice and a free pizza: cost of living event in Poole

SEVERAL charities attended an event in Poole over the weekend to offer advice to people struggling financially.

Organizations including food banks, community pantries, financial advisers and many more attended the event at St James’s Church in Poole on Saturday 12 November.

People were there to offer advice to those struggling with the cost of living crisis, paying bills or mortgages, or struggling to feed their families.

Groups that have taken part include Citizens Advice Bureau, Shelter, Live Well Dorset and many more.

Echo of Bournemouth:

Organizer Gill Payne said: “It grew out of the fact that Erika Sloper [Poole Waste Not Want Not] and I both run food charities where we have people living in food poverty.

“The problem is not food for those who come to us in food poverty; there is always something else going on and it could be anything.

“What we’ve done today is bring all of our supporting partners together in one place. Those who need help don’t have to go online or call: they can meet someone face to face.

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“It’s quite a one stop shop for pizza pick up and advice.”

Erika Sloper from Poole Waste Not Want Not said: ‘We support the journey with money management. We are a social supermarket offering fruits and vegetables and healthy meals.

Echo of Bournemouth: St. James's ChurchSt. James Church (Image: Daily Echo)

“We also have a café where people can come for a drink and make friends. Often people don’t talk to anyone else, so they come to us for warmth and a meal.

“It’s not just people living in poverty or receiving benefits who are struggling. We have people who have jobs come to us saying they are struggling with mortgages, buying food, and so on.

“She bought food with her credit card, which means she has nowhere to go because her credit card is maxed out.

“She feels embarrassed and ashamed, but we like to remind people that they are not alone.”

The event also featured free fresh homemade pizza courtesy of Purbeck Pizza.

Owner Tim Kidney said: “We raised over £4,500 during covid to fund coming to places like these.

“People love pizza and the reception has been great.”

Christy J. Olson