Hampshire County Council is encouraging residents who are struggling with the cost of living to take advantage of expert advice at drop-in sessions being held in local Hampshire libraries over the next few weeks.

Well-known organisations, like Citizens Advice and mental health charity MIND will be offering valuable support and guidance to anyone that needs it. No appointment is necessary.

Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education, Councillor Steve Forster, said: “Libraries serve as vital hubs within our communities, making them the perfect venues for these assistance sessions. For those grappling with financial challenges, our libraries can offer a welcoming place for anyone seeking advice and support.”

Drop-ins are being held at the following libraries at these dates and times:

  • Farnborough Library: Thursday 26 October, 10am – 12pm
  • Fareham Library: Monday 30 October, 10am – 12pm
  • Gosport Discovery Centre: Friday 3 November, 11am – 2pm
  • Alton Library: Tuesday 7 November, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Winchester Library: Wednesday 8 November, 10am – 1pm
  • Basingstoke Discovery Centre: Thursday 9 November, 10am – 12pm
  • New Milton Library: Thursday 16 November, 9.30am – 12.30pm
  • Totton Library: Monday 4 December, 9.30am – 12.30pm

The sessions have been made possible with a grant from the connect4communities programme, which is run by the County Council – working with partners, including voluntary and charity groups – to coordinate a range of measures that support families facing hardship. Funding is provided to local authorities by the Department for Work and Pensions from its Household Support Fund.

Warm spaces

The County Council is also making the most of its library network to once again offer warm and welcoming spaces to residents during the autumn and winter months. Anyone needing a place to spend some time, connect with others, or to work or study can do so at one of the 40 branches across the county.

Hampshire Libraries offer a range of free or low-cost resources, events, activities and learning opportunities for both adults and children, and provide a safe and inclusive community space for everyone, with public access computers and free WiFi.

Cost of living – further help and advice

Residents facing financial challenges can also visit the County Council’s cost of living web page to find more sources of support. There is additional information about warm spaces, as well as details about accessing school meals, meals on wheels, expert advice on reducing heating bills and more.