The Warwickshire Local Welfare Scheme has begun its operation in Warwickshire. The county council’s program supports vulnerable people at times of great crisis by providing food, or vouchers, and helping with heating—all through a telephone call to its hotline. For those who have no telephone, Henley Community Library’s phone is free for them to contact the scheme.
Henley Community Library also supports the new, community-initiated Food Bank in the St. Nicholas Church hall in Henley in Arden. It gives food to the most vulnerable people in the area. The Library helps by posting its notices, collecting cash donations, and handing out shopping lists of needed items to potential donors. The Food Bank’s Director has now joined the Community Library’s Board, ensuring that close liaison continues.
Henley Community Library has also taken a more direct initiative to help the vulnerable. At an Arden Community Forum meeting in December, a Citizens Advice Bureau worker talked about the increasing need for the agency’s services and the need for more outreach clinics.
Henley Community Library promptly offered its space and volunteer support to assist a CAB outreach worker for such a clinic outside of library hours. The Library has received provisional funding approval from Orbit Heart of England Housing Association to pay for the outreach worker and is refining safeguarding arrangements to meet CAB and Orbit expectations. CAB representatives have visited the library to assess its suitability and discuss logistics and costs. The clinic is planned to open twice a month.