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Below is a list of webpages and websites from other organisations, containing support and advice to help with the rising cost of living.

Universal Credit

Visit the Government's website to check if you are eligible and go through a step-by-step guide to claiming Universal Credit.

Help for Households

The Cabinet Office has recently launched the ‘Help for Households’ campaign which explains the 41 different government schemes available to help with the cost of living, including new one-off payments as well as existing benefits and schemes.

These schemes have now been brought onto one Help for Households website.

Help for families

What is Healthy Start?

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get 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. Your benefit will be added onto this card every four weeks

Energy saving guidance and support

A free, local advice service that helps with your home bills and energy efficiency. You can call the team on 01271 599361 or visit their website for more information.

The rising energy cost is causing us all to worry about our household budgets. We are proud to be able to offer 0% bulk buy fuel loans in partnership with Lendology to help you spread the cost of heating your home. Apply for a decision in principle today, and don’t worry, it won’t impact your credit score.

The government are providing non-repayment discount schemes to help with energy payments over winter 2022 to 2023. The vast majority of households are eligible for the Energy Support Scheme and are already automatically receiving the £400 discount.

Two new schemes will be available in 2023 for those households who are not entitled to the Energy Support Scheme:

Energy Bill Support Scheme Alternative Funding

This scheme is intended to provide the £400 of support for households across the UK that would otherwise miss out on the Energy Bills Support Scheme as they do not have a domestic electricity contract.

Alternative Fuel Payments

This scheme is intended to deliver a one-off payment of £200 to UK households who are not on the mains gas grid and therefore use alternative fuels, such as heating oil, to heat their homes.
The government will set out the timings of these payments soon and all applications will need to be made directly via gov.uk. If you are eligible for the current scheme, you will not be entitled to these two new alternative payments.

The Warm home scheme will re-open in November 2022. If you qualify, you will receive £140 off your electricity bill. You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. 

If you were born on or before 25 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills.

You may get a cold weather payment if you’re getting certain benefits or support for mortgage interest.

You’ll get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over 7 consecutive days, between 1 November and 31 March.

Visit the government website for home improvement ideas that could make your property cheaper to heat and keep it warm.

Staying warm

We have set up a dedicated webpage which includes information on where you can find 'warm spaces' in North Devon.

If you, your child, or someone you know, needs a warm coat, please help yourself from the coat rail at Barnstaple’s or Ilfracombe’s Library.

Help with water bills

Community Matters Fund - Fuel Poverty Plus

National Grid Electricity Distribution has teamed up with Localgiving to deliver funding to charitable organisations tackling fuel poverty in their communities. It is calling on charities and community groups of all sizes to apply for grants of up to £10,000 to support people who need extra help this winter. 

The fund is open to all non-profit and statutory organisations who are supporting households experiencing fuel poverty. The programme is now live and accepting applications until midnight on Monday, 31 October 2022. For more information and to apply, visit the National Grid website.

Growing Communities fund

Projects that support Devon communities can apply for funding through the Growing Communities Fund.

Grants are available ranging from £500 to £3,000.

Devon County Council have established the new fund to assist projects which directly benefit communities, either by helping to build self-reliance and resilience, tackle hardship such as food and fuel inequality, improve mental health and wellbeing, address loneliness and isolation, or respond to the climate emergency.

Community activities

This platform has been co-ordinated by Northern Devon Voluntary Service and is now being used as a central resource for community activities and events taking place. It also includes volunteering opportunities.

Help with food

Everyone is welcome to use this free service. You can also find them on Facebook: South Molton Community Fridge and Kitchen | Facebook

Too Good To Go is a mobile app that connects customers to restaurants and stores locally, that have unsold food surplus which customers can buy at discounted prices.

Help with NHS charges

If you have a low income, the NHS Low Income Scheme could help you pay for:

  • NHS prescription charges
  • NHS dental treatment charges
  • the cost of sight tests, glasses and contact lenses
  • the cost of travelling to receive NHS treatment
  • NHS wigs and fabric supports (check with your hospital for their arrangements for supplying NHS wigs

How much help you get depends on your weekly income and necessary outgoings, plus any savings or investments you have at the time you apply. If the amount you have left is low, you may be able to get help through the NHS Low Income Scheme. Any help you’re entitled to is also available to your partner, if you have one.

Help with broadband and phone packages

Social tariffs can provide a safety net for customers who might be struggling to afford their broadband or phone services. Ofgem have produced a list of broadband and mobile services which you may be eligible for.

Transport

Help to get to the shops, services, medical appointments or leisure activities.

Bus passes for free travel are available to older people or those with certain disabilities. A pass entitles the holder to free off-peak travel on registered local buses anywhere in England.

Whether you are heading to work or into town, until 31 March a single bus journey will cost no more than £2 on most routes across Devon.

Financial support and advice

Wisermoney is a partnership between Encompass Southwest and Navigate, two well established charities. Their services provide free, impartial, confidential and effective money and debt management advice, delivered predominately through home visits.

You can contact them directly by telephone on 01823 299050, or by email to wisermoney@navigatecharity.org.uk

Mental health and emotional wellbeing

Every Mind Matters give expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health