EXTRA help is being provided to people in South Craven and across North Yorkshire struggling due to the cost-of-living crisis.

The county council is working with community support organisations to direct anyone in need of assistance to schemes such as food banks or food share projects, groups providing help and venues that offer 'warm spaces'.

A council spokesperson says: "The community support organisations have the local knowledge to direct people to the nearest help within their area.

"There are 23 such organisations across the county, co-ordinating support in each community. The network was used effectively during the pandemic to direct resources on the ground to where they were needed most."

A list of North Yorkshire community support schemes can be found at northyorks.gov.uk/info/community-support-organisations.

The county council is also spotlighting the role of libraries in providing "warm and friendly" places where the public can go. And it is urging people to look out for family, friends and neighbours during the colder months.

Councillor David Chance, executive member for corporate services, says: "Libraries remain – and always have been – places where people will receive a warm welcome and can spend a few hours.

"However we understand that not everyone will have the mobility – or money – to travel to projects or community venues over the winter, which is why we are asking people to think about looking out for their neighbours, friends and family as we head into the colder months.

"This could involve getting together for a cup of tea, making sure they have accessed any financial support which may be available to them, or just checking on their wellbeing."

Some community venues in the county are looking to extend their opening hours and range of activities on offer during the winter. Any such venue is encouraged to register at warmwelcome.uk, which provides an interactive map people can search.

Also, the county council will be updating its cost-of-living online resource – at northyorks.gov.uk/cost-living-support – throughout the winter. The page outlines where people can get advice on a range of topics from energy bills to childcare support and assistance with housing costs.

Executive member for children’s services, Councillor Janet Sanderson, says: "We're aware that many families are finding the cost of living particularly challenging at the moment and we're working closely with our public health and children’s services teams to ensure people know where to obtain help if they're struggling."