Cost of living support
Local organisations offering support can be found on the Here2Help Community Services Directory and you can find the organisations closest to you by searching on your postcode.
For wider support in the colder months please visit Worcestershire Winters Well.
Website: GOV.UK cost of living
Find out what support is available to help with the cost of living. This includes income and disability benefits, bills, childcare, housing and travel and when the cost of living payment and when it will be paid.
Website: GOV.UK help for households
We know people are worried so the government is offering help for households. See what cost of living support you could be eligible for.
Website: Worcestershire Advice Network
Find out what support is available for the Cost of Living locally, visit the local district area sites for more information:
Worried about money?
Find information about benefits and allowances, direct payments and personal budgets at money matters and benefits.
Visit the Here2Help Community Services Directory for local support.
Worried about food?
To find a local food bank Find a Food Bank - The Trussell Trust
For help and support with free school meals visit apply for Free School Meals.
For help in the school holidays for meals for children Ready Steady Worcestershire.
For more information about the Healthy Start scheme for children under four visit Healthy Start
Search our Here2Help Community Services Directory for support.
Worried about running your home?
If you are concerned about your bills, we recommend you contact your energy supplier in the first instance.
For information about energy services, advice and grants visit Warmer Worcestershire.
For free and impartial advice to householders about energy efficiency in the home, grants for heating & insulation and fuel switching advice Act On Energy - Energy Efficiency, Grants and Advice
For support if you are struggling to meet the cost of water charges in the Severn Trent area visit Severn Trent Trust Fund.
Fire safety: A Home Fire Safety Visit is a FREE home safety visit that is tailored to an individual's needs.
The visit includes a home safety check to help reduce the risk of fire in the home, this can include the checking and fitting of smoke alarms where required. It can also include alarms suitable for those with a hearing impairment and giving advice on a fire escape plan.
Complete your FREE online Home Fire Safety Check
Age UK Free Home Energy Checks
Free Home Energy Checks and installation of energy saving equipment
Access free practical advice and support to make your home more energy efficient through the winter months. This includes the installation of free energy efficient equipment such as:
- insulation foam for doors and windows
- letter box seals
- external door brush seals
- under door internal & round the door draught excluders
- radiator panels
- night lights
- selection of energy efficient light bulbs
- hot water cylinder jackets
- chimney pillows
- remote controls for sockets
- cold alarms.
If you satisfy any of the following eligibility criteria, then please contact your local Age UK to organise a visit:
- over 50
- long term health condition
Age UK Bromsgrove, Redditch and Wyre Forest: Call 01527 570490 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (for Bromsgrove, Redditch and Wyre Forest residents)
Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire: Call 0800 008 6077 or email email@example.com (for Wychavon residents)
Age UK Worcester and Malvern Hills: Call 01684 576655 or 01905 724294 or email HSF@ageukwmh.org (for Worcester and Malvern Hills residents)
Household Support Fund
Support is available for those Households who are struggling with the cost of living, in particular the rise in energy prices. Visit Household Support Fund for more information.
Worcestershire Libraries are part of the Warm Welcome Network which lists venues that can provide a warm welcome for those struggling to heat their homes this winter. Visit Warm spaces in libraries for more information.
Work and learning
Website: Skills4Worcestershire for careers information and support in Worcestershire:
Website: Find your local Job Centre
Whether you’re just starting out, need advice on protecting your assets, or are ready to take the next step in your business journey, Business & IP Centre Worcestershire can help you.
Free and low cost learning courses form our Learning Service.
Support is available in all libraries to help develop skills and find information visit Learn skills in libraries
Frequently asked questions
2023/24 Cost of Living Payment
Millions of UK households will receive £301 directly from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) between 25 April and 17 May. For more information please access Gov.UK
First 2023/24 Cost of Living Payment dates announced - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
What vouchers or support am I entitled to; I’m worried as my neighbour has received something different?
Everyone’s circumstances are different, to explore different support access the links below:
- To explore individual advice around money matters and benefits: Advice Local
- To check what benefits and support you may be to receive: Check benefits and financial support
- To explore the help from Gov.uk with the Cost of Living: Get government cost of living support
- To explore the help available locally visit: Household Support Fund.
How can I reduce my energy use?
Explore the advice and guidance to help reduce energy use by visiting the links below:
- For help to install a smart meter visit: Smart Energy.
- Discover Energy saving tips from the Energy Saving Trust.
- Reduce Heat loss in the home, visit: home heat loss.
- Act on Energy will provide useful advice and guidance to help you reduce energy usage and save you money.
Does the £2500 energy cap mean I won’t pay more than £2500 per year?
No, the £2500 is a guide figure based on average energy usage. The price cap refers to the unit price and standing charge paid for your energy. If you use more, you will pay more.
How do I receive the £400 government energy rebate?
- For more information about the £400 Government Energy rebate visit: Getting the Energy Bills Support Scheme discount
- Businesses and other non-domestic customers can explore the help available from the Government, visit: Energy Bill Relief Scheme
Which kitchen appliance will be the cheapest to cook food?
The Electric Cost Calculator allows you to calculate the running cost of any electrical items using a range of electricity tariffs, visit the website: Try this energy calculator from sust-it.
I have no credit left on my prepayment meter and no money to top it up, what can I do?
Discover what help and support is available in this difficult time by contacting Act on Energy
Are there any grants for insulating my property?
For more information on the grants and funding available to help insulate your property contact: Act on Energy
My heating is broken, and I can’t afford to get it repaired, is there any scheme to help me?
Discover what help and support is available to help you fix your heating by contacting Act on Energy
I can’t afford my fuel bills or I am in debt with my bills, what can do?
Firstly, contact your energy supplier if you have not already. Suppliers must work with you to agree on a payment plan you can afford under Ofgem rules.
- for more information on financial support available from Citizens Advice visit: Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills from Citizens Advice
- for more information on the financial support available contact: Act on Energy
- to explore individual advice around money matters and benefits: Advice Local
- understanding an energy bill can sometimes be confusing, for help view the video from U Switch: how to read your energy bill from U Switch.
- you can also view organisations in Worcestershire that can help with money matters, benefits, and finances on the Community Services Directory.
- find out more information about other Energy Grants, if you qualify, and how to apply in this supplier-by-supplier analysis (provided by Money Saving Expert)
- if you can’t get a grant from your supplier, you might be able to get a grant from the British Gas Energy Trust Individuals and Families Fund (0121 348 7797) which offers grants of up to £1,500. These grants are available to anyone - you don’t have to be a British Gas customer.
Is there support available if I use Alternative Fuels?
Alternative Fuels Payment
£200 Government Alternative Fuel Payment for households without a direct connection to a mains gas grid supply for central heating.
For more information visit: Alternative Fuels Payment
Energy Bill Support Scheme Alternative Fund
Households without a direct relationship with an energy supplier can now apply for the Energy Bill Support Scheme Alternative Fund.
For more information visit: Energy Bill Support Scheme Alternative Fund
My energy company is saying I need to have a prepayment meter, which I don’t want, what can I do?
For further advice on the circumstances under which you could decline a pre payment meter see guidance from Citizens advice.
My cooker, fridge or washing machine is broken and I can’t afford to replace it, is there any support for these items?
There may be schemes available through your local Citizens Advice supported by the Household Support Fund. Citizen's Advice may also be able to signpost you to any local charities.
- No Interest Loans Scheme Tenbury area
- Malvern Hills No Interest Loans Scheme
- Household Support Fund.
Find a credit union
A credit union may be able to help with flexible payments. 6 Towns Credit Union Provide ethical quality financial services for everyone.
I’m concerned about my housing situation or rental property?
Each Local council in Worcestershire offers a housing options service which provides specialist housing advice. The service is accessible to anyone requiring housing advice, experiencing homelessness or threatened with homelessness. See housing and homelessness for more information.
I’m concerned about the damp and mould in my property?
For further advice and support with home conditions:
- NHS advice: Can damp and mould affect my health?
- Citizens advice guidance: Repairs
- Act on Energy advice on condensation, damp and mould
I’m worried about Money, debts, budgeting, or need some welfare support?
For more information about managing finances, budgeting and Welfare support and schemes to help with debt and finances see money, debts, budgeting and welfare support.
I’m worried about paying for my prescription and dental treatment 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.