LINKS Eyemouth: the cost of living and climate crisis response
Although LINKS originally began as a small NHS-led pilot project for local mums, it was soon evident that there was a demand for it to continue. Local parents wanted to learn about ways of catering for their families, even when on a low budget. They appreciated learning tips for dealing with fussy eaters, different ages and stages, or special dietary requirements. They also enjoyed the social connections they made. Their children had a chance to play with other children while the parents had informal peer support.
Last winter we were hearing from people who were concerned about the cost-of-living crisis and worried about climate change. Eyemouth was hard-hit by storms the previous year and was cut off for days with lack of food and supplies. Families wanted to do something about the environment and not feel helpless.
LINKS has been supporting people to feel they are playing their small part in reducing carbon emissions: using local food, surplus food and now having an e-cargo bike for local deliveries.
We were even able to coordinate a series of sessions to support people to look at ways of cutting their carbon emissions, saving energy and cooking on a budget. We also ran upcycling sessions and slow cooking sessions. Local people told us what they wanted to do, and we delivered sessions to suit.
Cost of living crisis
The cost-of-living crisis affected many Eyemouth families, and last winter saw many more families joining the LINKS project. Several were working families, who were still struggling to pay basic household bills. For the Christmas recipe bag, a record 100 bags were delivered. These also went to the wider community, via partners including Community Larders in outlying areas. As Eyemouth is a remote coastal town on the edge of Berwickshire, it faces the challenges of being a rural town and faces specific challenges from being situated on the coast, where the town often bears the brunt of storms.
The LINKS community has a closed Facebook page where people share tips, news and recipes. During Lockdown the recipe bags delivered to doors, together with the Facebook group, were a lifeline for people who otherwise felt isolated and disconnected.
Now there are 438 families who are involved in the project. The regular LINKS recipe bags usually have an average of 50-60 families taking part in any one week.
If you would like to hear more about the LINKS Project or if you would like to get involved, contact email@example.com.