The Somerset Masonic Charity recently donated £1000 to the West Somerset Crisis Fund, which is operated and allocated by the Community Council for Somerset (CCS). The Crisis Fund is used to help people when either there is no other support or benefits available or when quick action is required. The donation given to the Crisis fund is ringfenced to the team of five West Somerset based Village Agents, to rapidly access funds to assist those in dire or emergency need.
CCS established the Crisis Fund in 2020, and has a Somerset-wide fund, as well as District specific funding pots – full information can be found here https://somersetagents.org/crisis
Since establishing this fund, CCS have been able to help clients in need with funding towards heating, clothing, food provision, home moving costs and provision of furniture/appliances. Most of the clients CCS supports are vulnerable people, who may be elderly, isolated, low-income families, have physical or mental health concerns or individuals who are struggling on benefits – many of these people have no-one else to turn to. CCS also supports Carers and young Carers who may be struggling in their caring role.
The demand for support and help from Village Agents across Somerset, including West Somerset, has continued to increase during the past 12 months amid the current economic situation. Rising inflation and most notably food and energy costs are having a severe impact on those families and individuals already struggling to manage financially.
Graham Puddy from Somerset Freemasons presented a £1000 cheque and a funding plaque to Wayne Stokes and Mark Shields from CCS, accompanied by local Freemasons from Exmoor & St Bernard’s Lodges based in Minehead and Quantock Lodge based in Watchet. The CCS team described the ongoing need to keep donations coming into the Crisis Fund, the enormous help it has provided to people most in need and described some of the many examples of interventions that have profoundly changed people’s lives for the better in West Somerset.
(Posted by Ed Richings ACO(SW))