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Cost of living support

Many people are struggling with the rise in living costs.

Below you can find information and sources of support that could help you or someone you know.

Apply to the Household Support fund

The Household Support Fund is available through Gloucestershire County Council to support households who are experiencing financial hardship. The fund can help with the costs of food, energy and water bills and other essential items. When you apply you will be asked to provide some kind of evidence to show your loss of income or increased living costs. For full information on how to apply please visit their webpage or call for advice if you cannot apply online. 

 

 

Council Tax Support

You may be eligible for council tax support through Stroud District Council if you receive certain benefits or are on low income. You can find out more on our website.

 

Food Parcels and Fuel Vouchers

Stroud Foodbank can support you with food parcels or fuel vouchers. Please ask us to refer you if you are in food or fuel emergency. 

Call us on 01453 766321 and dial 0 for Customer Services or email customer.services@stroud.gov.uk.

 

Pension Credits

If you’re over State Pension age, check if you’re eligible for Pension Credit.

Pension Credit provides extra money for living costs and access to other help. Around a third of eligible pensioners don’t claim Pension Credit – often because they don't know they can or that they need to. Find out if you’re eligible and how much you could get using the Pension Credit calculator. People of State Pension age may be entitled to Pension Credit even though they may have modest savings, or a retirement income or own their own home. An award of Pension Credit can provide access to a range of other benefits such as help with housing costs, Council Tax, heating bills and, for those aged 75 or over, a free TV licence.

 

Check if you can claim a discretionary housing payment

If Housing Benefit or Universal Credit doesn't cover all your rent, check to see if you can make a claim for a discretionary housing payment. The household support fund is administered by Gloucestershire County Council.

 

Check your eligibility for Carer's Allowance

If you are a carer, you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance and/or an extra amount called the ‘carer element’ within Universal Credit. This could mean £69.70 a week in Carer's Allowance if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and you, the person you care for and the type of care you provide meets the criteria.

 

Seek advice about money worries

If you’re in debt, seek advice early rather than let things spiral out of control. Contact Citizens Advice Stroud and Cotswolds, StepChange, National Debtline or Crosslight Advice for help. There is also the local charity P3 who can provide support and advice around financial skills, dealing with debt, education and employment

Energy bills support scheme

The government's energy bills support scheme will deliver a £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households to help with energy bills from October 2022.

  •  Energy bills support scheme - www.gov.uk

    Contact your energy supplier if you are struggling to pay for energy or think you may get into difficulty. If you already have energy debts, some larger suppliers offer grants to help pay this off. Many of the energy suppliers are providing support for people during this crisis. Check your supplier's website or call them to find out what support they can provide.

Energy Bills Support Scheme – Alternative Funding

On 19 December the Government announced further schemes, to provide certain households with further help towards their energy costs. These schemes are intended to go live towards the end of January 2023.

The help will be targeted at a small number of households in our area.

  • The Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF) scheme will be targeted at households that missed out on the £400 Energy bills discount scheme due to not having a direct contractual relationship with their electricity supplier. Customers who are eligible for support under the main Energy Bills Discount Scheme will not be eligible for EBSS AF.
  • The Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) scheme will be directed to those households that heat their homes using alternative energy sources, such as oil, coal, liquified petroleum gas (LPG) or biomass rather than gas or electricity.

Applications for these schemes will need be made directly through the gov.uk website and not to Stroud District Council.

We are waiting for further information from the Government about exactly how these schemes will operate and what the council’s role will be in relation to administration.

Until the guidance is issued in the new year, we will not be able to answer any questions about either of these schemes. Once further information is available, we will update this page of our website.

Fuel Vouchers

Stroud Foodbank can refer you for fuel vouchers. Please ask us to refer you if you are in fuel emergency. 

Call 01453 766321 and dial 0 for Customer Services or email customer.services@stroud.gov.uk

Severn Wye Age UK Energy Vouchers for over 65s

Severn Wye Energy Agency and Age UK are working together to provide energy vouchers for people in Gloucestershire over the age of 65. This is by referral only so please contact us at 01453 766321 or customer.services@stroud.gov.uk if you would like us to refer you to the scheme. 

Warm and Well 

Warm and Well - https://warmandwell.co.uk

You can also visit Warm and Well for advice and support on managing your home energy. If your household income is under £30,000 and you privately own or rent an inefficient property, you could qualify for free support.

Warm and Well is managed by Severn Wye Energy Agency Ltd on behalf of the local authorities in Gloucestershire.

Apply to the Household Support fund

The Household Support Fund is available through Gloucestershire County Council to support households who are experiencing financial hardship. The fund can help with the costs of food, energy and water bills and other essential items. When you apply you will be asked to provide some kind of evidence to show your loss of income or increased living costs. For full information on how to apply please visit their webpage or call for advice if you cannot apply online. 

Apply for a discount on water bills

Households on low income can apply for financial support through their local water provider. Please visit their website to see what support is available.

Apply to the Household Support fund

The Household Support Fund is available through Gloucestershire County Council to support households who are experiencing financial hardship. The fund can help with the costs of food, energy and water bills and other essential items. When you apply you will be asked to provide some kind of evidence to show your loss of income or increased living costs. For full information on how to apply please visit their webpage or call for advice if you cannot apply online. 

 

Emergency Food

We can make a referral to Stroud District Foodbank for you. The foodbank can deliver 3 days worth of food to you or you can pick it from a local venue. The Foodbank can also provide other support like energy vouchers or advice. Please contact us at 01453 766321 and dial 0 for Customer services or email customer.services@stroud.gov.uk.

 

Citizens Advice

If you are struggling with money you can approach Citizens Advice Stroud and Cotswolds who will be able to provide advice.

 

Apply for free school meals

If you or your child receive certain benefits, you can apply for free school meals from Year 3 and above.

Get help with childcare costs

Over one million families are missing out on up to £2,000 a year towards childcare costs. Use this calculator to find out how much you could get towards approved childcare, including: free childcare for children aged between two and four help with childcare costs if your child is under 16 (or under 17 and disabled).

 

Apply for free school meals

If you or your child receive certain benefits, you can apply for free school meals from Year 3 and above.

Check your eligibility for Carer's Allowance

If you are a carer, you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance and/or an extra amount called the ‘carer element’ within Universal Credit. This could mean £69.70 a week in Carer's Allowance if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and you, the person you care for and the type of care you provide meets the criteria.

 

Food Parcels and Fuel Vouchers

Stroud Foodbank can support you with food parcels or fuel vouchers. Please ask us to refer you if you are in food or fuel emergency. 

Call us on 01453 766321 and dial 0 for Customer Services or email customer.services@stroud.gov.uk.

 

Apply to the Household Support fund

The Household Support Fund is available through Gloucestershire County Council to support households who are experiencing financial hardship. The fund can help with the costs of food, energy and water bills and other essential items. When you apply you will be asked to provide some kind of evidence to show your loss of income or increased living costs. For full information on how to apply please visit their webpage or call for advice if you cannot apply online. 

Looking after our mental health and wellbeing is important.  There are a variety of organisations and websites that may be able to offer you the support, advice and help you need – whether in person, over the phone, via text, self-help or in group community settings: 

Every Mind Matters

The Every Mind Matters website offers advice and practical steps that people can take to support their wellbeing and manage their mental health.

Be Well Gloucestershire

Be Well Gloucestershire is a local campaign to help when stress, anxiety, isolation and other challenges become hard to deal with. The Be Well Gloucestershire website is the start of what will be a central hub for anyone who needs help or support for themselves or a loved one. Working alongside local organisations, charities and communities, we will develop resources to enable more people to access mental health and wellbeing support for those who live in the county.

Other national charities you can contact are:

Warm spaces are places where people can gather free-of-charge in a warm, safe, welcoming place if they are struggling to heat their home.

Each space is independently run by a community organisation. Some offer hot drinks and other services such as free Wi-Fi, activities and pay-as-you-feel cafes.

Opening days and times vary so please check before you visit.

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