Five ways to get support with the rising costs of living
Cost of living is increasing which has affected many families around the world, including the UK.
Treloar’s Head of Safeguarding, Ben Baxter, has compiled a list of five ways of getting support for those who are seeking help or advice dealing with the rising costs of living.
Please don’t go hungry – foodbanks are there to help with the basics
If you are struggling to afford food, there are places that can help. You can and SHOULD use them – don’t let pride get in the way. Foodbanks give out free parcels that should provide at least three days’ worth of in-date, non-perishable food.
To help those in need, Treloar’s is now able to make direct referrals for support directly to the Trussell Trust via a partnership with the Alton Foodbank, and to issue vouchers directly. Contact Ben Baxter (Head of Safeguarding) if you, or someone you know, needs this support. We are able to refer to a foodbank local to you.
You may be entitled to support, MoneySavingExpert have a quick tool to use to check whether you might be eligible for more support.
Citizens Advice are also available to offer support.
Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme
Local authorities are funding places for those eligible for free school meals through the Holiday Activities and Food Programme. The HAF Programme looks to provide young people in need with holiday activities and access to a warm, healthy meal over the holidays.
Councils also have discretion to offer 15% of places to other children, such as those with EHCPs.
A list of Hampshire providers is here:
For more information contact your local authority.
Support with gas, electric and water bills
Start by asking your energy or water supplier for assistance. If you are in debt you may be able to get a grant to help pay this off, and support to manage both payments and debt.
Ask your local council if they run a welfare assistance or Household Support Fund scheme.
Hampshire County Council offer direct financial support to pay gas, water and/or electricity bills, potentially including arrears through the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Support is available for any household, with or without children for whom fuel bills account for a significant proportion of income.
WaterSure scheme – this is available to support water costs for people who receive benefits (potentially including DLA) and have a high essential use of water – normally those with a specific medical condition (e.g. incontinence, stoma) or families with three or more children. Your water company may also have a hardship scheme.
Family Fund – grants for children with disabilities
Grants are available for families raising a disabled child on a low income from Family Fund
They can help with:
- White goods
- Family breaks (including Inspire, Butlins, Haven and Center Parcs)
- Mobility needs for under-3’s
- Computers & tablets
- Specialist trikes & bikes
- Games consoles and adaptive tech
Follow this link for help, info, guidance and support for individuals and carers: The MoneySavingExpert.com guide to mental health and debt
The following organisations may be able to provide more support, advice and information:
- Turn2Us: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/ have information on grants, funding and benefits. They also have a benefits and grants calculator which can be found here: https://benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk/AboutYou.
- Contact a Family: http://www.cafamily.org.uk/ offer advice and information on benefits and financial support. They have a section on their website on Benefits and Tax Credits: https://contact.org.uk/advice-and-support/benefits-financial-help/ Their Money Matters Guide is also available: http://www.cafamily.org.uk/media/770810/money_matters.pdf
- Carer’s Together: http://www.carerstogether.org.uk/ advise on available benefits and financial support. They can be contacted on 01794 519495 (Monday – Friday 9.30am – 4.00pm) or firstname.lastname@example.org.