Our website is not monitored every day. Please check the websites for full information about all announcements, and any new help, or changes to existing help.
There have been a series of announcements from the Government regarding support with energy bills, extra support for people with disabilities, Cost of Living payments, help with transport costs, childcare payments, finding work, energy-saving tips, and more.
The government will make further Cost of Living Payments between Spring 2023 and Spring 2024. You may be entitled to up to 3 Cost of Living Payments of £301, £300 and £299 if you receive benefits or tax credits.
The next Cost of Living Payment of £299 will be automatically issued to eligible people between 06-22 Feb! For those in receipt of Tax Credits only, it will be between 16-22 Feb. To be entitled, you must have been entitled to eligible benefits between 13 Nov-12 Dec 2023. If you don’t receive a payment, you can report it missing after 23 Feb. Our Inclusion Advisors can advise you if you need it – call them on 0300 1234 161. You can also find out more on the gov.uk website.
If you’re entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2022 to 2023, you will get an extra £300 for your household paid with your normal payment from November 2022. This is in addition to any Cost of Living Payment you get with your benefit or tax credits. The full amount of Winter Fuel Payment you will get for Winter 2022 to 2023 depends on your circumstances.
Formerly the Money Advice Service, has some helpful advice and calculators or tools, particularly around debt, budgeting and pensions guidance.
Get food vouchers for families with children under 4 years, or more than 10 weeks pregnant.
Cornwall Council provides lots of financial help for those struggling, free school meals, help with food, tips for saving money, and more.
This provides one-off payments of £80 for pensioners on pensions credit and £80 for families receiving free school meals in June and November. Other payments can be made through a variety of other support organisations.
Cornwall Council and a selection of major charities and organisations in Cornwall have produced a leaflet for those who are struggling to make ends meet.
This includes tips for keeping warm across the colder months, money-saving tips for energy bills, and contact details for a variety of organisations that can help.
The list includes opening times and contact details of all the food banks around Cornwall. There are also other charities offering help with food such as Bodmin Community Larder.
Download a poster explaining why turning off the fridge to save electricity is hazardous.
All energy and water providers are obliged to keep a ‘priority services register’ of vulnerable customers. This could include people who are elderly, disabled, or require electricity for medical equipment. They are required to give special service to those people and will prioritise reconnecting them in the event of a power cut or outage. Contact your provider for information. Many local banks are also offering support for people experiencing financial difficulties. See your bank’s website or visit your local branch for advice.
You can register if you:
A social enterprise that provides energy solutions to help householders in Cornwall to enjoy warmer, more energy efficient homes. They have extensive factsheets around a variety of energy-related subjects, including “Saving energy and Money” and “Support with rising living costs”, as well as other useful advice specific to Cornwall.
This trust offers grants to clear debt on outstanding energy bills, for people who meet certain criteria, and who can show evidence of being able to make energy payments in future (once the debt is cleared). They have full details of how to prove this on their website. Not just for their own customers, and other energy providers have their own similar funds.
Citizens Advice have a page of useful links and information, around things like benefits, debt, help with essential costs, and mental health helplines. Cornwall Citizens Advice also has offices across the county, and a phone helpline:
Textline: Text ADVICE to 78866 or for debt issues text DEBT to 78866 and they will call you back within 48 hours (excluding weekends).
Phone: 0800 144 8848 Mon-Fri 10am to 4pm. FREE
The RBL launched a grant scheme in November 2022 for armed services personnel, veterans and their families who are struggling to pay their energy bills. The initiative will provide non-repayable emergency grants of up to £2,400 a year (£200 a month) and is available across the UK. Check if you’re eligible on their website or call the helpline: 0808 802 8080.
The Money Saving Expert offers all sorts of financial advice, including special deals, and news. See particularly the sections on ‘Household bills’, ‘Deals and Shopping’ (with a Free and cheap food page) and ‘Income and budgeting’, as well as the sections for Energy Help and Students. There is also a news page about energy grants that people can claim (dated Dec 2022).
Go Compare has developed an interactive energy cost calculator tool to find out how much something costs to run. Use the calculator to pick the appliances you want to compare and select how long they’ll be in use for.
The Inclusion Cornwall Resource library has a host of Resource Sheets, including – Debt and crisis funding, Families, Transport, Health, wellbeing and disabilities, household goods, food, clothing and wood banks, and more.
Families caring for a seriously ill child dependent on vital equipment to stay alive may now be able to receive much-needed support from this Cost of Living Support Fund.
A Google Map listing all the community hubs in Cornwall, including opening times and contact details.
Local churches, faith groups, community centres, businesses and more are taking part in the ‘Warm Welcome’ scheme, opening their doors to allow people to come and use their spaces, to be warm and have some food, rather than heating their own homes.
This webpage hosts community listings across a wide variety of subjects, from many different organisations. At present they have a topic area devoted to cost of living support, including events, give-aways, advice and practical support.
The BBC food pages have a whole section of recipes for £1 per portion or less, as well as information on how to make the most of your food budget, and using slow cookers, pressure cookers, or microwaves as a cheaper alternative to putting the oven on. There are recipes to use up leftovers and avoiding the supermarkets tricks to get you to spend more.
We are proud to be in partnership with Westcountry Savings & Loans (WS&L), the South West’s credit union, and seven housing associations across the Southwest. This is part of our ongoing commitment to our residents' financial wellbeing. Find out how you could save with them today.
For older people, claiming Pensions Credit, if you are entitled to it, is important. It opens the door to a lot of other help. For others, especially if you’re on Universal Credit, there is further support available. Various organisations offer ‘entitlement checkers’ to help people find out what they can be claiming:
Age UK or call for free advice and support 0800 678 1602
Our Inclusion Advisor team can support tenants with benefit claims. Call 0300 1234 161 to speak to your inclusion advisor.