FENLANDER: ‘Meet the People’ exercise in Wisbech about Community House services

A BIG “meet the people” exercise is under way in parts of Wisbech to find out what sort of extra help residents would welcome.

Staff from Fenland District Council and other organisations have begun knocking on doors all over the Waterlees, Clarkson and Staithe wards, with the aim of visiting every household there.

They want to hear what services people would most like to see provided at Community House, a multi-agency outreach centre in the area managed by FDC. The visits will continue over the next few months.

Face-to-face meetings with residents are seen as the best way of pinpointing the issues that matter most to local people and ensuring that the most needed services are provided.

Staff are also handing out leaflets containing a “menu of opportunity” listing a wide range of the activities and services offered at the house. It asks residents to say what kind of support they would most value and whether there are ways they could benefit the community.

Some of the activities people might be interested in are listed under four separate headings:

• Learning new skills, such as how to use a computer or getting help with reading, writing or numbers,

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• Looking after yourself and your family, including health checks, tips on healthy living and advice on how to make your money go further,

• Getting work, including help with CV writing and job applications and advice on interviews or setting up a new business, and

• Getting involved: have you got time or skills to offer the neighbourhood – for example, in helping with the Community Garden or Waterlees in Bloom, or contributing to the Shape Your Place website?

Activities at Community House are supported by funding from Roddons Housing Association.

Councillor Chris Seaton, portfolio holder responsible for community support, said: “Community House is at the heart of this part of Wisbech. We already provide a range of services there but we want to ensure that everything we do is tailored to the real needs of the people who live there.

“The best way to do that is to take the time to talk to people directly to see if there are any new or different things we should be doing. This is a great opportunity for them to spell out to us what they need so that we can respond in the most effective way.”

• Community House is at 10, Southwell Road, Wisbech PE13 3LQ (telephone: 01945 580309).