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Eat Well Spend Less a success

Published: 21/10/2022
Stalls at the Eat Well Spend Less roadshow

A series of Eat Well Spend Less roadshows took place July, August and September, across East Kent, focussing on providing targeted help and advice for local families who may need extra support because of rising food prices.

The 12 events (three in Ashford) brought together a range of partner organisations (over 50 across the region) including Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, frontline NHS staff and council officers, outreach organisations and charities, in one easy-to-access place.

The roadshows had a family-focus to provide practical advice, information and support in key areas such as: healthy eating on a budget, benefits advice, free school meals and healthy start vouchers, support available from food banks and other voluntary sector provisions.

Ashford’s events took place at The Ray Allen Centre, Stanhope, Repton Connect and the One You Shop, Park Mall and offered:

  • Recipe bags which included the ingredients for two low cost meals
  • Food from FareShare
  • Products from the Hygiene bank
  • Advice from ABC’s Welfare Intervention Officers and various housing officers
  • Health checks and advice from One You
  • Information on local courses and local community groups helping people to improve their lives
  • Services provided by Children’s Centres
  • Advice on social care and public health
  • A local pastry chef showing how bread rolls can be made with 4 basic ingredients
  • Covid-19 and flu vaccination ambassadors

Over 280 families/individuals attended across the three events where staff were able to put them in touch with a range of assistance. They also saw a number of members of the public who wanted to know how they might be able to help others in the community.

As a result of the event Ashford Borough Council’s Welfare Intervention Officer is now running a weekly clinic at the One You shop every Wednesday from 1pm to 4pm.

As the roadshows were so successful future events are being lined up including at Park Mall on 7 December.

Cllr Paul Bartlett, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Safety and Wellbeing said: “Increasing numbers of people are facing hardship with the current cost of living crisis which, in turn, has a huge impact on mental and physical health.

“These roadshows have been a fantastic opportunity for people to get advice on how to save money and find out what support is available to them and I’m thrilled to see how many people came along to take advantage.

“We are already looking forward to future events and how we can make the information and support available even more accessible at a time when it is crucial to so many.”

The roadshows were funded by Kent County Council Helping Hands after a successful bid application by the East Kent Food Poverty Group. Events also took place in the districts of Canterbury, Folkestone and Hythe, Dover and Thanet.