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Support for working families in Torfaen

two women cooking soup
Bron Afon's Helping Working Families project includes One Pot Wonders, which is about cooking on a budge

A Big Lottery-funded project is helping the lives of working families in Torfaen be “a little easier” as parents struggle to cope with rising childcare and energy costs.

Several families have shared their stories with Bron Afon Community Housing as part of a community consultation for the social landlord’s Big Lottery-funded project, Helping Working Families. They live in Torfaen with a child or children under the age of 18 and are experiencing in-work poverty.

Suzy Sorby, Helping Working Families Project Officer at Bron Afon, said: “Families have told us they are scared for winter, with energy bills increasing and no extra disposable income to help afford these payments.

“There’s also a worry about Christmas, without the pressure parents are already under to make it the most magical time of the year. Our Helping Working Families project brings people together in a friendly, open environment to find out what matters to them in today’s tough times. We’re putting into practice some of their great ideas for making life a little easier.

“We’re also noticing how working with our volunteers is having a positive effect on their wellbeing.”

Kristina Jones
Kristina Jones

With input from parents involved in the project and with support from partner organisations, Bron Afon has organised a range of activities, such as One Pot Wonders, which is about cooking on a budget and Reflect The Heat, which shows how to use reflective radiator panels to lower heating costs. There’s also a Halloween event planned for young children to get together and have some fun.

Kim Hale from Pontypool, said: “As a busy working mum, I find I have less time to go out and make friends. This group has bought together like-minded people from all areas of Torfaen with a sense of community and I enjoy the fact I’m helping others.”

Kristina Jones, also from Pontypool, is another volunteer. She agrees: “I have always been made to feel very welcome by Suzy. Reflect the Heat and One Pot Wonders is not only making me feel that it will help my family financially but also being involved in these projects gives me a sense of belonging to a group, which is really helping my mental health and wellbeing.

“I am excited that the One Pot Wonders are also going to provide my family with more variety of healthy foods.”

Suzy added: “It’s been amazing to see how well the project is doing thanks to the families, who are determined to make things better for themselves and others.”

Kim Hale
Kim Hale

Find out more about Helping Working Families

Email suzy.sorby@bronafon.org.uk to find out more about getting support or volunteering with Helping Working Families

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Support for working families in Torfaen