Community champion Connie helps families in need during cost of living crisisDate: 29/11/2022
A 34-year-old woman from Meir is selflessly supporting her neighbours by providing meals, heating top ups and presents during the cost of living crisis.
Staffs Housing resident, Connie Nixon, has been helping her community since she moved in over six years ago.
Kind-hearted Connie began supporting her neighbours after experiencing mental and physical health issues. After feeling low, she decided to bring joy by supporting others in her local community.
“It all started with a simple painting class for kids which made me realise I wanted to help more people,” explains Connie.
“Around Easter I collect eggs to donate to kids and I also host a community egg hunt too. On Mother’s and Father’s Day I provide hampers for single parents who don’t have partners, to make sure they too feel appreciated.”
“I helped set up Meir Watch and Meir Matters Facebook groups that help to bring the community together and stay safe.
“Then around this time of year I also help the community to switch the town Christmas lights on, giving people something to look forward to and celebrate.
According to the House of Commons inflation reached over 11% last month, a 41-year high, which is driving the rising cost of food. Connie says this year she’s seen a rise in the number of people getting in touch asking for help.
“Every year I make extra Christmas dinners for families who would otherwise go without.
“They can choose from a mix of gammon and turkey served with pigs and blankets and all the trimmings. They get a dessert as well as £5 to top up their gas or electric, so they can cook the meal.
“This year I received a record number of enquiries with over 100 people asking to be considered.
“The toughest part about supporting the community is turning people down. I would love to provide all 100 with Christmas dinners but on my own it’s just not feasible.
“It’s sad because rising costs will see more people go hungry. Leaving them no option but to call on community support for help.”
To recognise all of Connie’s hard work, her neighbours and friends nominated her for BBC’s Make a Difference Award.
“I was so chuffed when I found out I'd been nominated. I didn’t win, but it's nice to know that my community appreciate all the work I do.
“I don’t do it for the thanks but if I can help make a difference to just one person’s life, then it’s all worth it.”
Connie’s Meir home was recently transferred over to Staffs Housing who are on a mission to provide homes and communities that people feel proud to live in, just like Connie.