Cost of living support
Many residents are currently struggling with rising living costs. That’s why it’s important to know what help and support is available now – that could benefit you, a relative, friend or neighbour.
Below you can find information and sources of support that could help you or someone you know.
You can find out more about what support is being provided by Government to help with the cost of living by visiting https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/.
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
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.
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).
- Childcare calculator (www.gov.uk)
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.
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.
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.
- Carer's Allowance - www.gov.uk
The Household Support Fund is available through Gloucestershire County Council to support households in the most need with food, energy and water bills and other essential items.
- The Household Support Fund - www.gloucestershire.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.
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 - https://warmandwell.co.uk
Warm and Well is managed by Severn Wye Energy Agency Ltd on behalf of the local authorities in Gloucestershire.
Warm and Well offers energy efficiency advice to householders and also administers grant funding on behalf of the local authorities and other funders.
Since the scheme began in 2001 it has offered energy efficiency advice and has supported the installation of over 60,000 measures. These have included loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, boilers, heating systems, solar photovoltaics and solid wall insulation.
- Warm and Well - https://warmandwell.co.uk
If you are struggling to buy food you can approach Citizens Advice Stroud and Cotswolds who will be able to provide advice on where you can get local support.
- Citizens Advice Stroud and Cotswolds - www.citizensadvice-stroudandcotswold.org.uk
If you or your child receive certain benefits, you can apply for free school meals from Year 3 and above.
- Apply for free school meals - www.gloucestershire.gov.uk
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
- Contact Citizens Advice - www.citizensadvice-stroudandcotswold.org.uk
- StepChange - www.stepchange.org
- National Debtline - www.nationaldebtline.org
- Crosslight Advice for Help - www.crosslightadvice.org/help
- P3 - www.p3charity.org
- Clean Slate - www.cleanslateltd.co.uk
GL Communities - www.glcommunities.org.uk
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.
- Every Mind Matters - www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters
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.
- Be Well Gloucestershire - www.bewellglos.org.uk