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Colchester Communities Can helps neighbours in need this winter

People who live and work in Colchester are coming together this winter to help those most at risk from the cold.

Between 19 January and 31 March, organisations, charities and businesses are teaming up with an army of volunteers to offer extra support to anyone who is in need or isolated during the icy months.

Together, we are building a long-term community network that makes sure our neighbours are safe and supported all year round.

The One Colchester pop up shop, home to the Colchester Communities Can project is open 10am-3pm Monday-Friday and is located at Unit 81, Culver Street East, Colchester CO1 1LF.

Why was Colchester Communities Can started?

Winter weather is uncomfortable for most people, but for some, cold temperatures and darker days can cause a real risk to health.

This is especially true for people who are socially isolated or who are struggling financially.

Colchester Communities Can was started to help thousands of people through the coldest months of the year. The project provides practical help, but also encourages neighbours to look out for each other. Just an occasional five-minute chat where you also check on someone's heating, food and security can make a huge difference to their winter wellbeing.

I need help - how can I access it?

Visit the Colchester Communities Can pop-up shop at Unit 81, Culver Street East, Colchester CO1 1LF between now and 31 March to access: 

  • Support, advice and information
  • Winter packs
  • Warm clothing 
  • Information about winter fuel payments 
  • Heaters which you can borrow to keep your home warm in an emergency situation. Find out more here.
  • Activities where you can learn skills, meet people and discover support in your community

You can also call the Colchester Communities Can hotline on 0800 7311 655 (9am-5pm weekdays) visit the Community 360 and NHS Stay Well web pages for information.

In some areas, teams will be out and about to visit individuals and communities, deliver packs and provide information and support.

How can I help?

The help of volunteers is hugely appreciated and will help us to build a lasting network of support in Colchester after the project ends.

You can:

  • Donate warm clothing, especially hats, coats, scarves, gloves and blankets, at the pop-up shop in Unit 81, Culver Street East, Colchester CO1 1LF or at a number of other locations across the borough which can be found here: pdf icon CCC Donation Container Locations [107kb]
  • Volunteer to help at the shop, drive community transport, deliver packs, befriend someone in your community and more at or by calling our dedicated hotline on 0800 7311 655 (9am-5pm weekdays)
  • Visit a friend, relative or neighbour who might be more at risk during the winter. Regular contact with others can be a lifeline

Who's organising this?

Led by Colchester Borough Council and independent charity Community360, the project is delivered by the One Colchester Partnership and supported by £30,000 of NHS funding.

This is part of a wider package of emergency funding which the North Essex Clinical Commissioning Group has received to help reduce the high demand on Colchester General Hospital this winter.

The One Colchester partners involved include Barnardos, Colchester Borough Council, Colchester Borough Homes, Colchester Citizens Advice, Community360, Goodgym, Helpline, Metro Bank, North East Essex CCG and Virgin Care. Lion Walk Shopping Centre are supporting the project by providing the Hub's premises.