Agenda item

Winter planning - presentation, Scott Mcmillan from Volunteer Network


Winter planning


Scott McMillan from volunteer network gave his winter planning presentation. Highlighting that they:


·         Provide support and opportunities to people who were ‘struggling with life’ to help them better themselves. For example, by assisting to create allotments for people where they can grow their own food, teaching them how to cook or helping people without mobile phones or internet access to apply for benefits or advice from Citizens Advice etc.

·         They also provided food for people who needed it without referrals. There had been an increase in the amount of people needing this.

·         During the winter they were going to provide a warm space and open their building twice a week where people could go for some company.

·         They were going to start cookery classes with a group and after the class they would share what they cooked and eat the meal and then take some food home.

·         Scott offered his services to the Parish Councils if they wished for him to sit down with them and discuss ways of helping them decide what they could do to survive the winter months and the cuts Somerset Council were going to make.

·         He also offered his help to any of the LCNs.

·         The volunteers mainly came from Glastonbury, this side of Bridgwater and Taunton, Frome, Cheddar and Wells.

·         Scott mentioned that funding had recently become harder and was an issue for the organisation.

·         He also mentioned that people were going into debt to pay core bills.

He said that they were going to run a program on how to bleed your radiators and show people how to live within their means.


Councillor Martin Cooke mentioned that he knew of two individuals who had made use of the Volunteer Network’s program and they gained confidence to work with a community radio station and said that it was a credit to the organisation


If anyone needed to contact the volunteer network they were able to do so at or email Scott McMillan on


Councillor Tessa Munt mentioned that she was working with a  team of people at Somerset Council from Children and Family Services who were going to identify each person who should be claiming a benefit and registering them automatically to receive free school meals. Then if the family did not want to receive the school meal they should merely deregister.


It was also stated that the YMCA, likewise noticed an increase in need in the young people as well and they could be contacted on


It was further pointed out that Connect Somerset Champions could also help.


A Parish Community Fridge/Larder was suggested as the one in Shepton Mallet was working well.


Jessical Lewin confirmed that in her Area Champion role they were beginning to explore ways that they could assist with supporting local communities, such as linking services. She offered that if any parishes would like to explore using local venues, such as village halls, as venues for support services to acces, herself and Siobhan would be happy to help. They can be contacted on They would like to help in delivering services to the rural community.


The Chair requested that Scott McMillan update them on what they have achieved over the winter and come back to the LCN.