There is a vast amount of support available to people but it is often hard to know what there is and how to access it. The below information aims to direct you on where you can go if you need a helping hand.

General help

  • LOCAL COUNCIL: Your local council should have a comprehensive list of financial support available from council tax reductions, emergency payments or vouchers to meet unexpected costs, grants, support for those on low incomes, support for disabled residents, support for pensioners and more. Find your local council website.
  • UNIVERSAL CREDIT: If your income is temporarily lower than usual, you might be eligible for Universal Credit. Use a benefit calculator like the ones provided by Turn2UsEntitledTo or Policy in Practice to check what you could claim. 
  • CHARITIES: Some charities offer one-off grants, which you don’t need to pay back. You don’t always need to be claiming benefits to receive the grants. Visit Turn2Us’ grant search to search and find out if you are eligible for any charitable support.  Alternatively, you can call Turn2Us’ helpline and speak to an advisor who can search for grants on your behalf. Call 0808 802 2000 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. 

    Some charities provide “in-kind” support such as food, fuel vouchers, hygiene products or clothes - referred to as ‘banks’. For example, a food bank will provide food parcels, a baby bank will provide hygiene and clothing items for small children. In-kind support is usually only available via a referral from an advice service or other support organisation.  If you are already receiving guidance, contact them to ask about a referral; otherwise, reach out to your local Citizens Advice or council to ask for referral guidance.

  • MONEY SAVING EXPERTS: MoneySavingExperts have created a guide with more than 90 ways to save on energy, broadband, TV streaming, furniture, water, council tax, food, fuel and more.
  • GOVERNMENT: Government information about support available can be found here.
  • HELP FOR MIGRANTS: If you have the condition on your visa “No Recourse to Public Funds” or “NRPF”, this limits the benefits you can claim. Some charities and local councils can help you if you can’t afford basic essentials like food or heating. If you are based in London visit Help for migrant Londoners
  • PAYING DEBTS: If you are battling to pay debts, see this helpful guidance on paying debts. The information is on the website but useful no matter where you reside.


Support with Energy costs

  • PRIORITY SERVICE REGISTERS: Vulnerable residents can sign up to this service with their energy company to ensure they get priority help and support if there is an issue if with their supply. You can apply to sign up to this register by contacting your supplier or network operator.  Information is available in a range of formats including braille, large print or different languages and more information can be found on the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets. (OFGEM) website
  • GETTING THE BEST ENERGY DEAL: If you pay your energy supplier directly - including through a prepayment meter - for your gas or electricity you have the right to switch suppliers. This could help you get on the most cost-effective energy tariff. You may not even have to switch suppliers to get a better deal - you can call your current supplier and ask what other deals they can offer.
  • WARM HOME INITIATIVES: Warm Welcome supports organisations to open their doors and provide a warm welcome for those struggling to heat their homes this winter.
    • British Gas - offer support through their Energy Trust and have grants for customers of both British Gas and other suppliers.
    • E-On Next Energy Fund - There are two ways this fund can help and support people. It can either help customers with help paying their bills or to replace broken electrical appliances.
    • OVO Energy - offer a range of support.
  • WINTER FUEL PAYMENT: If you currently receive winter fuel payments, you may be entitled to £100 - £300 extra payment. Find out more here.

HELPFUL TIP: Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs (one bulb can save up to £100 over its lifetime) or unplugging devices when not in use (except the fridge) can help reduce your bills.


Help with food and groceries

  • Healthy Start Scheme: This is a NHS scheme supporting people who are more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four, to help to buy healthy food and milk. If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops, with credits added to the card every four weeks.
  • Local support: Visit your local council website to find out what local food banks, community food projects and free meals, community cooking projects or community lunch clubs are available in your area.
  • Supermarket schemes:
    • Morrisons - Kids eat free with one adult meal - when you purchase one adult meal costing over £4.99, you can get a child’s meal free. No end date has been announced for this deal. And if you are struggling with the cost of sanitary products you can go to any Morrisons customer service desk and ask for a package for ‘Sandy’ or a ‘period product pack’ to be given a free discreet envelope with sanitary products.
    • Asda - Kids eat for £1 in the café - You can get a kids hot or cold meal for just £1 in Asda cafes. The Kids Eat for £1 deal is available all day long until 31st December 2022
  • Sharing surplus food: OLIO Phone App is a free mobile phone app connecting neighbours with each other and volunteers with businesses so that surplus food can be given away for free rather than being left to go off or be thrown away.


Warm Spaces

  • Warm Spaces are building an online directory of ‘warm banks’ - spaces to find warmth, welcome & help. If you need a warm space to go to, you can search for one on their website. If you wish to offer a warm space you can register with them. Approach your local council to ask If there are any grants available to help you set one up.