Axminster Carpets: Co-ordinated aid plan agreed

PUBLISHED: 09:18 28 March 2013 | UPDATED: 09:18 28 March 2013

Axminster Carpets workers and their families during their rally outside the Guildhall before the redundancies were announced.  Photo by Chris Carson

Axminster Carpets workers and their families during their rally outside the Guildhall before the redundancies were announced. Photo by Chris Carson

Archant

Local organisations pledge wide-ranging support for the redundant workers and their families

A co-ordinated package of help for Axminster’s 200 redundant carpet factory workers swung into action this week.

It follows an emergency meeting of local charity groups and aid agencies at the town’s Guildhall on Friday.

The gathering was called by Mayor Andrew Moulding to set up a cross-community support network for the workers, who lost their jobs, and their families.

Some 16 local and regional support organisations, including healthcare groups, were represented at the meeting which was described as “useful and productive.”

Cllr Moulding said the response from so many people was another example of the “great community support” available in Axminster.

He told The Herald: “Obviously we were delighted that so many organisations were keen to support the plight of the carpet factory employees and their families.

“The meeting was really an opportunity to make sure activities were well co-ordinated because we obviously wanted to avoid duplication of the various services and also make sure we signpost people to whichever organisation can be of most assistance.”

The meeting agreed that:

* All food or monetary contributions to buy food should be directed to Canned Sunshine or Axminster Christian Fellowship. Axminster Co-op, Tesco and No HALFF Measures, in South Street, will act as collection points for donations. Non perishable food, bought from any outlet, is acceptable as long as it is in date. Pet foods are also needed.

* Money given for other purposes will be directed via a special carpet workers’ support fund being set up by Axminster Care Service.

This will be a dedicated fund and decisions on its disbursements will be considered and approved by two representatives of the former employees of Axminster Carpets, the vice-chairman, treasurer and secretary of Axminster Care Service and deputy town mayor, Cllr Jeremy Walden

* Any other offers of goods in kind should be made through Axminster Care Service or Axminster Centre for Health and Wellbeing. Further agencies may be specified at a later date.

In the meantime families affected by the job losses are also being advised where to get moral support and employment advice.

Agencies ready to help include Axminster Job Club, and the Citizens Advice Bureau (currently meeting in the Methodist Church Hall, Wednesdays and Thursdays), the Young People’s Job Club at Long Ragg Court, on Wednesdays 12.30 to 3pm, ARC, the counselling service, at the United Reformed Church Hall, Chard Street, (Thursday mornings, 9am to noon) and Axminster Centre of Health and Wellbeing, in Chard Street, which is open most working days.

All of these venues have extensive details of useful contact numbers relating to skills training, job hunting, help with budgeting etc.


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