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Did you see The Venus Charity in Bootle on the BBC News last month?!

The Venus Charity is supported by the FPC Foundation, in partnership with the Community Foundation for Lancashire and Merseyside (CFLM), to create a lasting legacy by funding projects that support financial education/inclusion, intergenerational activities and social mobility.

Over the last few years, this much needed local charity has found itself not just helping the women and families it set out to when it was established 30 years ago, but also those in supported living (including refugees and previously homeless individuals) who need emergency food and care provision).

The core principle of The Venus Charity is that no one should have to suffer in silence – as such, it offers support and unparalleled professional guidance with services ranging from parenting courses, and financial advice, to providing accommodation for the homeless (there are 20 units available). The hub is open every day and provides guidance on diverse topics from debt issues, mental well-being or even information on how to set up a GP appointment.

With just 52 staff members looking after 5,000 people every year, the team at The Venus Charity essentially serve as a community response unit, always busy with no two days the same.

Over five weeks in June and July, as the cost of living crisis continues, the incredible Venus team were providing free financial advice and well-being support to Bootle residents from a unit in the town’s shopping centre.

Aside from one-to-one appointments, sessions were also provided on a range of subjects from cooking on a budget to water saving advice and account support, alongside craft sessions, yoga, and well-being sessions from the LFC Foundation.

This year, the FPC Foundation has lent not just financial support but also PR support to help spread the word about the work they do so we were all thrilled to see them featured on both the BBC News and BBC Politics North West Show on which it’s CEO was able to share more about the crucial lifeline they provide to the local community.

This was the second year the Venus Charity opened the doors of the Moon in Venus Shop, as Susan Potts, CEO, Venus Charity, explains: “The Venus Charity was set up in 1994 to provide support to women and vulnerable families as well as those in supported living (including refugees and previously homeless individuals) who need emergency food and care provision.

“As the cost-of-living crisis continues, our services are in high demand once again. The Venus Moon Shop enabled us to broaden out our help to those who are perhaps struggling to get their finances under control and/or make ends meet as the cost of every day items continues to rise.”

Helen Thomas, FPC, adds: “During the pandemic, our funding contribution (for The Venus Charity) was used to buy fridges and freezers to keep fresh and frozen food in, for the twice weekly food packages. We also supported the Food bank by volunteering to make up food packages and deliver to those in need at the height of lockdown.

“This year the demand has shifted to helping people navigate their finances in a sustainable way that helps them through this challenging time. Hopefully, access to advice and support via the Venus in Moon Shop will we have helped prevent more people getting into financial difficulty, and for those already in that position, helped them find a way back out.”