Open Meeting 10 October 2023


18th October 2023

Dorchester Poverty Action welcomed Caroline Buxton of Citizens Advice Central Dorset to its annual Open Meeting.  The two organisations work very closely together in supporting local people in financial difficulty.  Citizens Advice  regularly refer people to the grants provided by Dorchester Poverty Action such as furniture for a family escaping domestic abuse; for a family struggling to make ends meet and then the washing machine, fridge or cooker breaks; for car repairs to help the main breadwinner to get to work from a rural village.  By providing a grant for a specific need, it can prevent families getting into debt. 

During the meeting Caroline outlined those affected by the Cost of Living Crisis and how last year they helped nearly 9,000 clients in Central Dorset and of those 1392 came from Dorchester.  This is an increase of 51%.  The two main areas were the need for charitable support including Foodbanks and welfare benefits.  This reflects the 47% increase in grants distributed last year by Dorchester Poverty Action.    Citizens Advice can give help with benefits checks and debt management, however she said how difficult it is becoming to help people cover their outgoings, as costs are escalating but not their earnings or the benefits to cover them.  In previous years there was usually some expense that could be reduced, but that is now becoming harder and harder which is leaving people with not enough money to cover their essential bills.  She said “It is now becoming a choice between heat, eat or pay for a prescription.”

For further information about Dorchester Poverty Action or to help financially go to


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