Horsham Matters launches a Mobile Advice Hub to help vulnerable residents access essential services.

Horsham Matters, which supports residents suffering from food and energy poverty, is taking its advice services on the road in a bid to ensure residents across the Horsham District can access face-to-face support on issues such as housing, utilities, budgeting, benefits and debt.
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The results of the charity’s Hidden Poverty survey last year found many residents did not know where to access support and information and so the charity has launched the Mobile Advice Hub to address this need.

A vehicle kindly donated by GT Railways, has been refurbished to provide a comfortable and accessible meeting space and an area to carry emergency food and will travel on a regular schedule across Horsham District to groups, coffee mornings and community centres, providing support and advice to those most vulnerable.

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The charity is initially launching the service in a pilot area which includes Slinfold, Itchingfield, Warnham, Barns Green and Broadbridge Heath, before it launches it across the district.

Launch of the new Support on the Move hubLaunch of the new Support on the Move hub
Launch of the new Support on the Move hub

Emma Elnaugh, Managing Director, said: ‘We believe that access to advice and support, especially when it comes to money matters, is a key building block towards our goal of a future where no one needs a foodbank. The aim of this vehicle is to reach the hard to reach, those that are digitally excluded and isolated and rely on face-to-face advice. We are also relying on the local community to get the word out to those that might need this support. ‘’

“We are grateful to GTR, The Shanly Foundation, the Ian Askew Charitable Trust and Horsham District Council for their support of this project.”

Horsham Matters is working in collaboration with other organisations, including Citizens Advice, Age UK and Horsham District Council to maximise the use of the Support on the Move mobile advice hub and ensure that the most appropriate advice agency attends a location based on available data.

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Sam Raby, Cabinet Member for Housing Communities and Wellbeing said ‘’We are still in the middle of a cost of living crisis and helping our residents know where to turn is more important than ever. We are so lucky to have such a strong voluntary sector in our district and in particular the fantastic work being done Horsham Matters. The mobile hub will enable residents in our villages to access the help and support they need. I think it is an absolutely brilliant initiative.’’

Inside the hubInside the hub
Inside the hub

The vehicle was officially unveiled on Thursday, 21 March and included attendance by Sam Raby, Rob Whitehead, Community Engagement Officer, Paul Anderson, HDC Director of Communities, Trustees from the charity and Nick and Matt from Octotech, as well as Emma Elnaugh, Horsham Matters Managing Director.

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