Wiltshire Publications

Could Crosspoint help you?

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 4th, 2017 at 8:30 am.

WHETHER you need a listening ear, help writing your CV or advice on how to manage your money, localcharity Crosspoint have a number of services that may be able to help.

Founded on Christian values, Crosspoint has a vision to promote the wellbeing of the community and to help relieve poverty, sickness, distress, including loneliness and social isolation amongst the inhabitants of Westbury and the surrounding area.

The charity is supported by the churches, by individual donations and by an annual grant from the Westbury Town Council.

The charity runs a number of services to help support the community, including the Welcome Centre that opened in September 2011.

About the role of the welcome centre in the community, cllr Gordon King said, “We are addressing the issue of increasing social isolation and access to services in a context of financial and social deprivation.

“There is currently no comparable project or service in Westbury providing a neutral space for information and support. Westbury is sandwiched between the two larger towns of Warminster and Trowbridge, therefore many sources of information and support have no base in the town.

Our initiative is responding to this situation, the social and economic deprivation of Westbury and surrounding areas, and the current economic climate, seeking to provide a new resource for the town.

“The welcome centre is run by volunteers offering a safe, comfortable environment to all who seek support including the provision of information and signposting to other specialist organisations, as appropriate.

“The welcome centre is located in a former shop on the corner of Westbury Market Place to encourage all who need its services to have easy access in a neutral, non-threatening environment.

“In 2016 there were 1,657 visits or contacts to Crosspoint with 1,180 of those being people of working age.”

The wellbeing and mental health of the community is something that Crosspoint is trying hard to support. “Crosspoint recognises that there are many people in the community who have mental health issues, often resulting in loneliness, homelessness or unemployment,” said cllr King.

“Crosspoint offers a discreet counselling service to tackle issues of anxiety and depression for those whose needs are greater than the standard six-week counselling course offered by their doctor.

“In late 2015 this was extended to include services to young people including those that are still in education, in response to the pressures young people experience,

“Crosspoint does not keep records of those in receipt of these services, However a weekly counselling support group meets in the welcome centre every Monday afternoon with, on average, half a dozen meeting for a coffee and chat with trained volunteers in attendance.”

Crosspoint also offers help to people looking for a job or struggling with debt.  “A weekly CV writing service, by appointment, is offered to those who are looking to get back into work; change career or find their first job and who do not have a CV,” explains cllr King.

“In response to those issues of debt and deprivation and Bank of England warnings of the excessively high levels of household debt in England and Wales, Crosspoint teamed up with the Hope Debt Advice Service to provide discreet and confidential debt management and relief service.

“We understand that debt is not just a poverty issue, it does not discriminate, many are just one event away from being consumed by their debt.

“The Hope Debt Advice Service at Crosspoint is staffed by four specially trained volunteers who are affiliated to Community Money Advice and Advice UK. We are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and trained to the standards and practices of the Money Advice Service (MAS).

“Currently our four debt advisors are helping 27 clients with debts totalling over £370,000.

“If you have some spare time and would like to get involved in providing debt advice (after training) please contact the Hope Debt Advice Service on 07554826117.”

For more information about Crosspoint please visit www.crosspoint-     west bury.co.uk/ or call 01373 824330.

Pictured top: Crosspoint celebrates its fifth anniversary in November last year. Above Hope Debt Advice advisors Julie Vince, Barbara Mantle and Carole and Gordon King.