A Winter Crisis Appeal from our Glasgow Access Hub

15 December 2022
One day, at the start of October, 160 people walked through our Glasgow Access Hub door to look for our support. We usually ‘average’ 80-100 supports a day.

One day, at the start of October, 160 people walked through the door of our Glasgow Access Hub to look for our support. 

We knew some of them. Our regulars. People that trust us, people we’ve got to know over time, people we’ve walked alongside through significant challenges, people we stick with.

People also visited for the first time, anxious, scared and wondering how it came to this.

What surprised us was the sheer number of people looking for information, advice, care and support. We usually ‘average’ 80-100 supports a day. Around 500 per week.

Our Access Hub is open 7-days a week and we offer all kinds of support to people experiencing, or at risk of homelessness. Benefits & financial advice, health clinics, legal advice, a place to talk and a place to breathe, for many this is a safe place, a place where they dare to smile.

Lately, we’ve seen more and more people coming through the door because of the Cost of Living crisis.

Believe me, it is a crisis. 

People are choosing between eating and heating. Some are going days without either and in these sub zero temperatures it’s very concerning.

People are really, really scared.

We spoke with one gentleman recently who is working and has recently separated from his partner, but he is really worried that he can no longer cover all his bills so is afraid of losing his tenancy and wanted to know what we could do to help.

We also spoke to an older gentleman that the Hub staff had supported into his own tenancy. We were all over the moon with this outcome, only to find out later that he comes to the Access Hub for a heat, company and walks the streets rather than going to his tenancy to sit alone in the dark, cold and isolated. On occasions I have seen him sit in the Access Hub until everyone waiting to be seen is seen on that day.

Our Tuesday Welfare Rights session has been extended from 2 to 6 hours to cope due to people starting to question the benefits that they receive, doing anything they can to maximise them and exploring any funds available to them to help with this crisis.

The anxieties of the team are very real, it comes natural to all of us to make something happen for the people we support, however, this is getting extremely difficult, we are really concerned people may feel their only option is to sleep rough, thinking this will be the easier option than facing the rising cost of living, peoples mental health will deteriorate, addiction increase which will no doubt increase the death rates.

Our team meets regularly to discuss what’s going on, what else can we tap into, what we can do to make a difference and more importantly, what we can do to support each other as we’re living this crisis and walk alongside the people we support.

We hold a Winter Appeal every year. In 2022 it seems like it is more than an appeal. It is an emergency, a crisis and your support will offer hope, change a life and in some cases save lives.

To support our Winter Crisis Appeal 2022, and help us help more people, please visit justgiving.com/campaign/wintercrisisappeal2022 and donate today.

Thank you, Siobhan Page – Access Hub Service Lead.