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Help available this Christmas

It's the most wonderful time of the year – but for many people, this Christmas will be really tough.

It is a sad reality that for many families, Christmas is rapidly becoming a luxury they simply cannot afford. Every child deserves the joy of opening a present on Christmas morning, but sadly there will be many who will wake up this year to a cold house and an empty stocking.

However, there is help available and there is no shame in reaching out. Whilst I sincerely hope that you will not need this, I have tried to gather information about some of the resources available, should you need them.

Help with food

Community Pantries

Community pantries stock a wide range of top-quality food including fresh fruit and veg, frozen and chilled food, meat and dairy products, and long-life tinned and packaged food. Residents pay a small subscription of a few pounds a week, and in return can choose groceries worth many times more, often saving up to £1,000 a year on shopping bills. Pantries are just like a shop; in that you choose the food you want from the shelves.

St Swithun’s

St Swithun’s Community Centre, Arncliffe Road, Eastmoor, Wakefield, WF1 4RR

01924 361 212

St Catherine’s

St Catherine’s Church Doncaster Road, Belle Vue Wakefield WF1 5HL

01924 211 130

St George’s

St George’s Community Centre Broadway, Lupset Wakefield WF2 8AA

01924 369 631


Lightwaves Leisure Centre Lower York Street Wakefield WF1 3LJ

01924 360 158

Food Banks

Help is also available if you’re finding it difficult to pay for food. If you feel that you may need support, there are several organisations that can refer you to a foodbank, including:

· Citizens Advice

· Cash wise

· Help at the Hubs

· Wakefield Council (call Wakefield Council’s customer service team on 0345 850 6506)

· Local schools may also be able to make a referral for families

· Wakefield Families Together

If you’re on means-tested benefits and on a low income, your child/ren may qualify for free school meals or you may be eligible for the Healthy Start Scheme.

Help with heat

Warm Spaces are places in our local community where people can gather for free in a warm, safe, welcoming place. Everyone has the right to stay warm, and there is a large network of community organisations, churches, libraries, and businesses across Wakefield that have opened their doors to residents to help ensure no one stays cold. A full list of Warm Spaces in the Wakefield District is available here.

You may also be entitled to help with your energy bills.

Information on cold weather payments is available here.

Information on the warm homes discount is available here.

Community spirit often shines the brightest during difficult times, and I am overwhelmed by the resolve and determination of our communities here in Wakefield.

Our little part of Yorkshire is home to countless volunteers and activists who do amazing work, all year round, to ensure that those who need help, get it. They make a real difference to people’s lives, and I am endlessly grateful for their sacrifice and selflessness. To all you unsung heroes, thank you.

I would also like to say thank you to my constituents who will not be with their family members on Christmas day, especially to those who work in the NHS, the police service, the fire service, and all other front-line roles. Thank you for putting your own Christmas aside to make sure that we can stay safe during ours.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy 2023.


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