The voluntary sector doesn’t work in isolation. Most groups are part of much bigger networks, either thematically or geographically, and are constantly working together to address needs, fill gaps, or maximise existing local assets.
Increasingly, these organisations find themselves part of a holistic solution to people’s health and wellbeing woes, supporting communities to live well. Everything has an impact on our wellbeing, and so it makes sense that every service should have some input, when needed, into making sure that our wellbeing is as good as it can be.
One example of how the voluntary sector works collaboratively, both with other sector organisations and with statutory partners, is around the cost of living crisis. The cost of living crisis has been a frequent feature in the news over the past few weeks and months, with more and more people struggling to pay the bills and make ends meet and all of these concerns can take a toll on people mental – and physical – wellbeing.
Neil Smith, the mental health multi-agency strategic lead for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership, said: “We know that rising food, fuel and energy costs, to give a few examples, are having a big impact on so many people right now.
“We recognise that for some people, the day-to-day cost of living is starting to feel unmanageable. But it’s important people know help is out there – and more importantly they reach out for that help if they need it.”
Most debt and money issues can be sorted through the help of organisations such as Citizen’s Advice, even if at first they can appear overwhelming. And there are other sources of support right across the sector, organisations that can help people with fuel and energy concerns, access to food, befriending, mental health support, and more.
So just like the voluntary sector doesn’t operate in isolation, neither should anyone else. Nobody is alone, everyone has help and support at hand if they ask for it, so that we can get through the challenges of the coming months together.