Caithness Poverty Action Group

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Caithness Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is an affiliation of organisations (statutory, voluntary and 3rd-sector) and individuals working to identify and deal with all aspects of poverty, including its root causes and consequences, in Caithness. Here you will find updates from CPAG and interviews with key community groups throughout Caithness offering advice and support on the cost of living.

Caithness Community Support Leaflet

This guide is a resource for various support systems in Caithness.
Discover assistance with food, energy, community hubs, employment support and benefit advice.

Feel free to get in touch with the specific groups for a friendly chat about the support they have to offer. They’d be happy to provide you with more information!

Caithness Community Support Leaflet - List of Services.

Download a copy: Community Support Leaflet

If you represent a community group interested in joining the Caithness Poverty Action Group or having your services promoted,
please reach out to Bryan at


Caithness Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is an affiliation of organisations (statutory, voluntary and 3rd-sector) and individuals working to identify and deal with all aspects of poverty, including its root causes and consequences, in Caithness.

Objective: Working in partnership through a programme of short and long-term activities we will strive to reduce poverty in our community.


Our work is split into 4 main areas:

This work stream addresses the need for mutual awareness between members and promoting CPAG and its members to the wider community.

This stream focusses on ensuring all members of our community have access to nourishing food when they need it.

This stream strives to ensure everyone in Caithness can afford a properly-heated home.

Through short and long-term measures and campaigning, work stream strives to address the health & wellbeing of everyone in our community.

Community Support.


NHS Highland services, Caithness Single Point of Access

0345 850 9413 

All community Adult Health and Social Care referrals and enquiries

Social Work Out of Hours Team

0808 175 3646

Social Work Children’s Services Family Teams

01955 608123 / 01955 608124


Caithness Foodbank

The Caithness Foodbank can provide three days of nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to in crisis. They have centres in Wick and Thurso.

To access Caithness Foodbank, you need to be referred by an organisation you may already be in touch with, such as:

Caithness Community Connections, Caithness Drug and Alcohol Team, Caithness Mental Health Team, Caithness Voluntary Group, Citizens Advice Bureau, HC Housing, Home Energy Scotland, Home-Start, KLICS Young Carers, New Start, Ormlie Community Association, The Pulteney Centre, Reay Young Stars, Thurso Community Development Trust, Thurso Youth Club, Tesco Wick (ask for the Community Champion in store), Wick Youth Club.

Caithness Citizens Advice Bureau

CAB is a local, independent charity which provides free, impartial and confidential advice and information. Energy advice, Fuel vouchers, budgeting support, Debt advice and more 5 days a week.

Tel (Thurso) 01847 894243 (Wick) 01955 605989

Home Energy Scotland

The cost of living crisis and the increase in energy prices are worrying for us all. HES can help with free, impartial advice on saving energy, keeping warm at home, renewable energy, cutting water waste and more.

Tel: 0808 808 2282.

Highland Council Employability Service

Offers a tailored package to support people of a working age to work towards and into employment.

They also provide low-income parents with support to progress within their employment with funded accredited training, SVQ’s and industry recognised qualifications that will enable you to increase your earning potential and improve your household income.

To see how they can support you to find your ideal job, access funded training opportunities and more


Web: Employability | Employability | The Highland Council

Social Security Scotland

Social Security Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government delivering social security payments via face-to-face, Video or Telephone Appointments. They can help the people of Scotland by helping with and delivering social security payments. Their main areas of support are Adult & Child Disability Payments & Best Start Grants.

Please reach out for a friendly chat about the support they have to offer. They’d be happy to provide you with more information!

Tel: 0800 182 2222

Home Start Caithness

Home-Start is a local community network of trained volunteers and expert support helping families with young children through their challenging times.

Volunteers visit families at home each week, supporting parents in situations as diverse as isolation, bereavement, multiple births, illness, disability or who are just finding parenting a struggle. They provide non-judgemental practical and emotional support and help build the family’s confidence and ability to cope.

Home-Start runs great activities such as Bumps and Babies, Sunflower Project, Mummy Happy – Home visiting support , Dad’s group and Family Groups which are run in Wick and Thurso.

Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates or contact them for a friendly chat about the support they have to offer.

Tel: 01955 609163 

Caithness KLICS Young Carers

KLICS is the only dedicated young carers project in Caithness and their aims are to support young people aged 5 to 18 years old who have a caring role at home. KLICS are a referral service only.

After School Groups:
Groups that run after school to support Young Carers.

Monday: Teens 3.30-5.15
Tuesday: Boys Primary 3–5
Wednesday: Teens 3.30-5.15
Thursday: Girls Primary 3-5pm
Friday: Wick non school attenders

Wednesday: Teen Lunch-time drop in Thurso High School
Wednesday: P6-7 Group, at Ormlie 3-4.30
Thursday: P1-5 Group, at Ormlie 3-4.30
Friday: Teens/College Group, Thurso High School 12.30-3

In School Support
They have availability to offer drop in support to rural schools and Wick and Thurso High School. (covering all rural schools in Caithness weekly/term time).

You must be referred to attend groups.
Please contact a member of the team for more information

Tel: 01955604500
Website: Caithness Klics | Kids Living In Caring Situations

Caithness and Sutherland Women’s Aid

Specialised in supporting women, children and young people in Caithness and Sutherland to stay safe from domestic abuse.

Tel: 0345 408 0151


N.B. our team do not work in the evenings or weekends, the Scottish Domestic Abuse & Forced Marriage

Helpline is available 24/7 on: 0800 027 1234

Highland Council Welfare Support

Assistance with all financial benefits, income maximisation, Benefit checks, free school meals & DHP.

Tel: 0800 090 1004


Stepping Stones, The Haven & Listening Ear

Provide a friendly & welcoming warm space with low-cost refreshments & hot meals, 365 days a year at both their centres in Thurso & Wick. Open to all 16yrs+ for those that are experiencing difficulties with their mental wellbeing, whatever those difficulties maybe.

Thurso: 01847 892177

Wick: 01955 605264

The Fishermens Mission – RNMDSF

They can support fishermen either actively fishing or retired, their widows, or children, with grants. They support anyone who uses a boat, or has used a boat, for work on a fish farm. They can provide support with debt advice, counselling, benefit checks, emergency help for food or fuel, white goods and regular grants when the criteria is met. Phone 07774116386 or email:


Dunbeath & District Community Centre

They offer a Social Hub, Linger Longer, food Sharing Shack, Food Boxes, Supporting Local Schools, Free Soup and fruit, and Solid Fuel Support.

Tel: 01593 731335


The Pulteney Centre

Hosts free hot meals for any member of the community on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 4 pm to 5.30 pm. A food-sharing facility including fridge and freezer storage is located at the front door every weekday for people to take what they need. The cafe space is their hub for anyone to use throughout the week there are pastries, cakes, and soup on offer Mon, Tues, Thur & Friday. There’s always someone on hand to give a friendly welcome and support anyone struggling.

Tel: 01955 608530


Wick Youth Club

Provides services to all young people including an after school & holiday club. They provide support to families who use the facility and mental health support to young people of all ages. A warm hub called the Monday Club runs on a Monday from 11am to 1pm and includes a free light lunch with refreshments as well as activities and support to adults of all ages. A bus pick-up service is available if required

Tel: 01955 603174

Sinclair’s Bay Trust.

The ambition of the Trust is that it aims to improve the lives of those living, working and visiting the Sinclair’s Bay area. They run regular projects to support the local community and cover the villages of Reiss, Keiss, Ackergill, Staxigoe and Papigoe as well as the surrounding areas.

Please contact them for more information about the support they have to offer:


Caithness Community Connections

As well as running weekly youth sessions CCC distribute foodstuff in Lybster village, and occasionally in Thrumster. CCC provide support to families and people in the communities they work in.

If you’d like to be added to their food share group, please get in touch by sending a text to:

Text: 07885295264

Wick Baptist Church

Offer regular social spaces and free food, please contact 01955 606186 for more information check the Calendar on the church website:

Find them at 5 Dempster St, Wick KW1 5QB


Thurso Community Café

The café offers food & emotional support to those struggling and disadvantaged within the community. The café operates on a ‘pay what you can’ basis, and has a Community food Larder.

Thurso Community Café Clothing: This is mainly run on a donation basis like the community café, some items may have individual prices.

Thurso Youth Club

Thurso Youth Club offers sessions for children & young people from P1 upwards. Free hot snacks are available on Monday and Thursday evenings and on Friday afternoons they have a drop in youth café where hot food is available at very reasonable prices. During holidays They offer activity sessions for children with a hot meal option.

Tel : 07833750530

Castletown – Sharing is Caring

Castletown offer a food sharing facility distributing surplus food from local supermarkets, FareShare and Cfine. It can help to stretch your budgets and help to reduce food waste.

Located at the back of Castletown Youth Club.

Tel: 07745 707506

Thurso Community Development Trust

TCDT run a food Sharing Shed located beside Thurso Youth Club open daily. They run monthly senior lunches (sit in at Thurso youth club or delivery to Thurso area). Highland Community Waste run regular Workshops to reduce waste. This helps cut costs, grow local, and reduce our environmental impact. Tel: 01847 867310

Ormlie Community Association

Ormlie runs activities for primary school age children, teens, baby & toddler and crafting sessions. Their GETIT project provides support to people who need help to build a CV, access online benefits, job searching. Regular social hubs including free food and distribute excess food from supermarkets.

Tel: 01847 891789


Reay Young-Stars

Offer support and advice to those in and around the Reay area with different services for all ages, depending on need and want. These services include groups for kids of different ages, food distribution and support for all circumstances.

Sharing shed is located in The Terrace, Reay.


Halkirk and Westerdale Church of Scotland

Offer regular social hubs and food to its community.

Find them at Bridge Street, Halkirk , KW12 6YG


Scotscalder Hall

Offer regular social spaces and free food.

For more information contact

Find them at Scotscalder Hall


Poster Community Support with QR code

Download a copy of the Community Support Poster
















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An interview with Sadie Kevill. Manager of Caithness Citizens Advice from 2022.

In this interview, Sadie gives an update on how to seek advice on energy costs, cost of living concerns and what other support is available.


You can skip to the part of the video which may interest you more.

0.00 – Introduction.

0.35 – Opening times & contact numbers.

0.45 – Key areas of advice: benefits advice, debt advice, energy advice.

1.42 – The support that is available around the cost of living.

3.00 – Referal services available for food security and energy vouchers/fuel costs.

4.05 – Services resuming after the pandemic.

An interview with Jule Calder. Project Development Manager of Ormlie Community Association from 2022.

In this interview, Julie talks about the support available and all the activities the centre holds weekly.

You can skip to the part of the video which may interest you more.

0.00 – Introduction

0.33 –  Employability service – Get It!

01.26 – Mums Group (informal or formal chat and children’s creche facility)

02.10 – Youth Group (Primary age children) Fun, Young & Involved.

02.33 – Youth Group (Teens).

02.50 –  Toddlers Group – Bibs & Burps

03.38 – Walking Group

04.05 – Art for Heart – Mindfulness art group

04.40 – Private Groups; Karati and Caithness Family Support Group.

05.08 – Mums group in Wick & walking group in Wick

05.36 – Silver Crafters – craft group for older adults

06.00 – Silver Social – Films/Burns supper/quiz nights

06.23 – Toddlers Group in Halkirk

06.39 – Baby Massage

06.55 – Digital access (laptops/printers/scanners)

09.29 – Telephone numbers for accessing support

Interview with Ormlie on the cost of living crisis and support available  – 2022

This interview has been separated from the original interview, it highlights the support Ormlie can offer around issues such as fuel poverty and food insecurity.



An interview with Stephanie Remers. Chair of Caithness Poverty Action Group from 2022.

In this interview, Julie Marker Project Coordinator of HERE for Caithness talks to the CPAG Chair Stephanie Remers, she gives an update on the work CPGA is doing and the different support available in Caithness.


You can skip to the part of the video which may interest you more.

00.00 – Introduction and overview of CPAG

01.00 – Home Energy Efficiency survey

001.53 – Issues concerning CPAG

03.40 – What support is available?

06.00 – Discussion

07.24 – How to get in touch