‘Warm boxes’ and food centres for vulnerable Inverclyde residents

CARE packages are being provided to 500 vulnerable Inverclyde residents to help them stay warm while emergency food centres are also being set up amid the cost of living crisis.

So-called ‘warm boxes’ have been made up by Inverclyde Council/HSCP as part of the local authority’s £130,000 Warm Hand of Friendship initiative and are being delivered to those who need them.

The council is also organising emergency food centres at locations in Greenock and Port Glasgow to support anyone who is struggling over the festive period.

Each warm box contains gloves, scarves, hat, flask, torch and some also have puzzle books and pencils to help people keep warm and entertained during the cold winter months in the face of the cost of living crisis.

The 500 warm boxes are being delivered by volunteers, including from local group Compassionate Inverclyde, home care staff and the council’s community learning and development service to those who are housebound, who are living alone or will be facing severe fuel insecurity during the cold winter months.

The boxes have been donated by McLaren Packaging with C&A Home Store commissioned to stock and pack the boxes.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, Inverclyde Council’s convener of education and communities, said: “Once again Inverclyde is showing what an incredibly caring and compassionate place it is by going the extra mile to make sure some of our most vulnerable residents are supported during the cold, winter months in the face of ever-increasing costs.

'Warm boxes' for Inverclyde residents as part of the Warm Hand of Friendship initiative.
'Warm boxes' for Inverclyde residents as part of the Warm Hand of Friendship initiative. Pictured is Councillor Jim Clocherty, Inverclyde Council's convener of education and communities, with Valerie Ward, centre, and Lynn Ricketts, who are volunteers with Compassionate Inverclyde.

“It’s sad that in this day and age we’re having to do this but, like we did during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have stepped up to help fellow residents in their time of need. 

“This is also another fine example of the excellent partnership working between the public, private and third sectors to deliver an important and much-needed initiative that I’m sure will be appreciated by those who receive a warm box or who access one of the food centres.”

Funding for the boxes was provided directly by Inverclyde HSCP as part of the overall Warm Hand of Friendship scheme.

The list of clients who will receive a warm box have been identified by the council’s home care service, i58 Foodbank, and the Salvation Army, while Compassionate Inverclyde will provide warm boxes to those who will be going home from hospital and those who are part of the Friends of Inverclyde Group.

The council’s community learning and development service will also be opening:

  • The Port Glasgow iYouthZone on Tuesday 27 December 2022, Thursday 29 December 2022 and Tuesday 3 January 2023 to provide food to people who are facing food insecurity during the festive period.

The local authority is also supporting:

  • Branchton Community Centre, which will also be open on 27 December, 29 December, 3 January and 5 January from 10am to 2pm offering bags of food to those facing financial security.
  • The Salvation Army in Port Glasgow will be open on Friday 23 December and Friday 30 December for people requiring to access their foodbank.
  • Port Glasgow Church Angels Food Bank will also be open on Tuesday 27 December, Thursday 29 December, Tuesday 3 January and Thursday 5 January from 10am-12pm to provide food bags.

Inverclyde Council has also provided nearly £80,000 of grants to around 30 local organisations to provide residents with access to ‘warm spaces’, food and warm items of clothing during the winter months as part of the Warm Hand of Friendship scheme.

Grants have been administered by CVS Inverclyde.

A £360,000 package of anti-poverty measures was approved by the council last month to provide additional support to families and households this winter, including the Warm Hand of Friendship scheme.

For more information about help and support available this winter, visit www.inverclyde.gov.uk/warmspaces.