A pioneering new event will take place at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness on 22 March to encourage local communities to seek advice and information from a wide range of services.
The event is open to anyone who wants to find out more about what support is available to support individuals and families in Highland.
Specialists will be on hand to provide advice, support and general information on many issues including drugs and alcohol, mental health and wellbeing, community safety, creative play, support for families, care experience, and the cost-of-living crisis.
Highland Council’s Welfare Team will be available to provide financial advice and information, along with the new HALO project offering clothing and supplies for children and families in need.
Whether there are questions about very young children, teenagers, children with additional support needs, or general welfare issues there are a variety of professionals and groups on hand.
The event is the latest arm of the new #HelpingHandHighland campaign, which has been running on Highland Council’s social networking channels since before Christmas.
The #HelpingHandHighland social media campaign was designed to signpost communities to resources to help them cope with the cost-of-living crisis.
The cost of living has been increasing across the UK since early 2021 with the UK’s annual inflation rate at the highest it has been since 1982, affecting the affordability of goods and services for households – most significantly through rises in home energy costs, food, and fuel.
This can impact on every part of a person’s life from finances to wider health and social issues.
Delivered by the Highland Child Protection Committee, the event will run between 11am and 3pm on 22 March and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions, source information, or simply network with other people by way of peer support.
Everyone is welcome to attend this free event. Confidential spaces will also be available for anyone looking for advice from the services onsite.
Highland Council’s Executive Chief Officer for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, Fiona Duncan, said:
“This is the first time we have done anything like this here in Highland and to have all these agencies and their expertise under one roof is a great opportunity for people.
“There will, I am sure, be lots of people out there with concerns about issues which are having an adverse effect on their lives and this event is a great opportunity to seek out advice which has the potential to make a real difference.”
Mhairi Grant, Independent Chair of the Child Protection Committee said:
“We are delighted to deliver this event.
“There’s no pressure to speak to anyone.
“If you just want to come down and pick up some information or giveaways and leave, then that’s fine.
“But I would encourage anyone who may be struggling with a specific issue to come along.
“We recognise the huge pressure on families, individuals and young people and this event is an opportunity for the collective agencies to provide support and protection where it is needed most.”
The event’s ‘Marketplace’ will feature a host of agencies including the following:
- CALA (Care and Learning Alliance)
- HALOS (Highland Action for Little Ones) and those under 18
- The Welfare Team at Highland Council
- Mikeysline – Highland’s listening service which aims to prevent suicide, raise awareness of mental health issues and break down stigma
- RISE – sexual exploitation of young people, based at Police Scotland’s Divisional Police Headquarters in Inverness. It is a partnership between Highland Council, Police Scotland, The Child Protection Committee and Barnardos)
- SNAP (Special Needs Action Project)
- Inverness Women’s Aid
- Thriving Families – https://www.thrivingfamilies.org.uk
- Inspiring Young Voices – https://www.inspiringyoungvoices.org/what-we-do/participation/highland-chat4change/
- CHAMPS – Care Experienced Young People group – https://www.highland.gov.uk/highlandchamps
- Safe, Strong and Free – https://safestrongandfree.org.uk
- NHS Highland Public Health
- Highland Alcohol and Drugs Partnership – https://www.highland-adp.org.uk