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Cost of living crisis - support resources

The latest resources from the government

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The rising cost of living is causing significant financial pressures – leaving many people with little or no disposable income.

These pressures can lead to a range of separate issues, including poor physical and emotional health.

The resources on this page have been compiled to help people access the support they need.

Benefit support

We issue Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support to those in need in Copeland.

These benefits may be provided to those who are on low income or are unemployed, carers, sick or disabled.

Information on financial support including housing benefits, council tax discount and exemptions and discretionary housing payments can be found here.

Those who receive benefits may be entitled to receive an extra £650 from the government.

Information on who is eligible, and how to claim, can be found here.

Help with finances

Citizens Advice Copeland can help with debt issues, benefit claims, legal issues, and energy advice. Call 01946 693321 or email advice.copeland@gmail.com.

Phoenix Enterprise Centre can help with employment issues, skills and claiming Universal Credit.

Call 07388 996202 or email joanne@phoenixenterprisecentre.co.uk.

Whitehaven, Egremont and District Credit Union can provide low-cost loans, budgeting advice and small hardship grants. Call 01946 66755 or email info@wedcu.co.uk.

Help with food

North Lakes Foodbank vouchers are provided through Copeland Citizens Advice on 01946 693321.

Millom Food Pantry can provide food parcels for a small donation. Call 01229 774917 or 07514 098920. For Barrow Foodbank in Millom call 01229 774601.

If you think your child may be eligible to receive free school meals and school clothing vouchers, please contact the Cumbria County Council Service Centre on 01228 606060.

Help with heating and housing

Citizens Advice Copeland can help with advice on available grants if you are struggling to pay utility bills.

Cold to Cosy Homes offer help to people who are struggling with high heating bills or a cold home.

Call 01946 693321 or email advice.copeland@gmail.com

Copeland Borough Council’s Housing Options team can help if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

Call 01946 598300 and ask for housing options or email Housing.Options@copeland.gov.uk.

You can also get help and advice from Shelter on 0802 800 4444 (in an emergency call 0808 1644 6600).

Help for families

HMRC can help with the cost of childcare for children aged 11 or under, or up to 17 if the child has a disability. 

Cumbria County Council run a Healthy Start voucher scheme, to help eligible families to receive free vitamins, food and milk.

Help for the over 55s

Copeland Age and Advice Service (CAAS) can provide help with grants for fuel bills, financial advice and guidance on matters such as Power of Attorney, claiming benefits, living independently and housing.

Call 01946 552166 or email referrals@caasteam.com.

Age UK West Cumbria can be contacted on 01900 844670 or by email at info@ageukwestcumbria.org.uk.

Pensioners may be eligible to receive the Winter Fuel Payment, to help pay heating bills.

This winter, those who are eligible will receive an additional payment of £300.

Eligibility for this scheme can be checked online.

Further resources

Our full help and support leaflet can be accessed here.

Cumbria County Council has a webpage of advice on the cost of living crisis.

The government also have resources compiled on their webpage.

Energy Bills Support Scheme

In October 2022, the government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme will supply households with a £400 grant towards energy payments.

All households with a domestic electricity connection will be automatically eligible for the scheme - it does not need to be repaid.

DWP support

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) offers further benefit support.

Residents can use benefits calculators to find out what benefits they are entitled to and how to claim them.

Social Inclusion

Social inclusion is the process of ensuring everyone can access the services they need to participate fully in society.

Our Social Inclusion team has put together a directory of community groups and services for residents to refer to.

It includes financial resources and assistance for the elderly – residents can use the directory to access these services.

Financial abuse

Financial abuse involves someone else controlling your spending or your access to  money and assets. This can leave you feeling isolated, lacking in confidence, and trapped.

Financial abuse can take different forms and can happen to anyone of any age. Abusers can be partners, family members or others, such as carers.

Forms of financial abuse can include:

• Stopping you from going to work, college or university,

• Causing you to lose out on benefits by not letting you go to appointments at the Jobcentre or apply for jobs, and

• Controlling your access to essential things, such as food, clothing or transport.

If you know someone who needs help to leave an abusive partner, parent, child or someone else they live with, encourage them to contact our Prevention and Crisis Support Officer by email at housing.options@copeland.gov.uk or by calling 01946 598300.