Anchor

How can Anchor support me?

Family-Support

We want to help families before they reach a crisis point in their lives.

We support families on a voluntary basis, working alongside them to achieve their goals and help implement an action plan to help guide them through any problems which they are encountering in their day-to-day lives; this could be anything from looking at benefits, helping communicate better with schools, liaising with housing or other services, discussing relationship issues and how to improve them, or simply being a sounding board for the chaos that is family life. One of our team will work with anyone in the family: parents, children, or even extended family. There is no "criteria" to accessing help; support is available to anyone who feels that they need it.

Role of our team

questions answersThe level and duration of support from our team is guided by a family. Some families may only require a one-off session for advice whilst other families may want more contact and someone to speak to more regularly over a period of weeks or months.

The person will be available to speak through the present issues for a family and help to signpost families to more specialist supports and services if required. All our team are approachable, understanding, and good listeners; willing to help problem solve alongside the family.

How do I get in touch with Anchor?

If you have any concerns, big or small, and are unsure of how to access support please complete a Request for Support and either Sandra or Lynsey will be in touch for a chat.

This is voluntary; you can opt out at any time if you don't feel it's for you. Our staff work in strict confidence with families providing sensitive and non-judgemental support.

What practical support is available?

Food Parcels 

We have access to food parcels for any family experiencing financial hardship. These parcels contain dry and tinned food as well as a selection of fruit and veg and can be delivered to your local school fortnightly for collection (or we can support with delivery to your home if required). Requests can be made directly to your school or if you would prefer you can email our service directly; anchor@shetland.gov.uk or call 01595 745242/745246

Clothing 

A collection of second-hand clothing is available, mostly sportswear but also some outdoor items (jackets, boots, gloves, etc.) If you are in need of a particular item for your child or yourself then get in touch and we will see if we can source it for you.

Free School Meals/Benefits 

We are aware many families who would qualify for Free School Meals (FSM) do not apply. What many families do not realise is that eligibility for FSM also means that you can apply for other financial supports such as Warm Home Discount and Best Start Grants. So, even if your child prefers a packed lunch, a FSM application is worthwhile. Free school meals can be applied for at any point in the school year.

Our collaboration with Sound Primary for Free School Meal uptake has been used as a case study by the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit through Glasgow Caledonian University (pdf) see page 17.

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) 

The Early Help Team can also assist you to get your benefits checked through the Citizens Advice Bureau or find out if you are entitled to claim financial support if you have never previously claimed. CAB also has dedicated advisers to help with specific issues such as; debt, energy, housing, pensions, etc.