FREE cost of living events hosted by Teignbridge Council are each proving valuable successes.

The Courtenay Centre in Newton Abbot hosted the most recent event.

Charity and organisation stalls provided advice on housing, energy, finances and cooking. Each stall was manned with friendly people eager to chat and offer guidance.

The event was open to everyone and inspired honest conversations. Stallholders and organisers noticed that: ‘People are more likely to tell you that they are struggling because it’s no longer an anomaly or embarrassing.’

Jo from Quell, a mental health charity in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay said: ‘These cost-of-living events are really valuable for local people, they’re an opportunity for people to have practical and emotional support that can make a real difference and I think they’re a brilliant opportunity for people to find out what’s available to them.’

Further resources were also provided at the event, such as ways to calculate benefits, food bank information, where to go for debt help and QR codes, business cards, and leaflets for other charities that weren’t at the event but would be of assistance.

As well as being a space for serious and honest conversations, the event was also friendly fun and interactive. There was free tea and coffee from the centre and a free raffle with prizes including an air fryer and a slow cooker. 

Clare from The Crafty Cook, who provide community cooking lessons and advice on reducing food budget, offered vegan brownies made from sweet potato. They provide workshops on how to cook cheap, balanced, exciting and nutritious meals. Their website ([email protected]) provides free resources including meal planners.  

Justine, Newton Abbot, who attended the event said: “It’s great to be able to explore community resources and bring people together. It enables and empowers people to take more control of their lives.”

The next events are on October 18  at Christow Community Hall, and October 26 at Buckfastleigh St Luke’s Church Hall.