Are you worried about the rising cost of energy bills, food and transport?
You are not alone; the cost of living crisis is affecting many of us.
You may want help accessing grants and debt advice, support getting all the money you're entitled to, or simply want to know more about the government's recent support measures.
Whatever your money worries may be, we’ve put together some helpful information in the links below to help you. You may also be eligible for direct support from our Household Support Fund.
- Citizens Advice provide a wide variety of help and advice including debt and money. They can give you the information you need to make the right choices, including help to deal with your debt problems, how to avoid losing your home and how to get your finances back into shape. Citizens Advice website
- Making Money Count offers everyday help with money, finding work and renting. Reliable and easy to follow information brought to you by organisations across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Includes tips and advice on money, bills and debt, check entitlements, shopping deals, budgeting, keeping track of money, energy saving tips. Making Money Count website
- Money Help in Cambridgeshire’ checklist for entitlements, everyday savings, budget planner. Money-Help-in-Cambridgeshire-checklist (opens as a .pdf)
- Cambridge Money Advice Centre aim to provide a practical Christian response to the growing problem of debt in Cambridgeshire. They offer sessions at different sites. Cambridge Money Advice Centre website or call 01223 727455.
- Money Advice Service is a free and impartial money advice service, set up by the government. It includes information on debt, budgeting and benefits. Money Advice Service website
- Turn 2 Us is a national charity to help you when times get tough, providing financial support to get back on track. They have lots of useful information and tools on their website such as a benefits calculator, managing low incomes, grant search and looking for work. Turn 2 Us website.
- Money Helper – Free guidance backed by the HM Government – subjects include benefits, family, money troubles, everyday money, homes, work - including a budget planner
- Christians Against Poverty (CAP) – a charity providing free debt help, find a job or gain vital life skills, Every working day to help you find a practical, lasting solution to debt and poverty. Christians Against Poverty (CAP) website or call (free) 0800 328 0006
- National Pension Advisors advise on what pension you will have to live on when you leave employment or retire for any reason. National Pension Advisors.
- A benefits check will tell you if there is more money help with your everyday living and housing costs. Always seek help from a specialist adviser if you are applying for a carer or disability / health related benefit. Entitled To website.
Cheaper broadband and phone packages (Social Tariffs) are available for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. Ofcom website.
- Up to £2,000 in government funding is available to help with childcare costs. Find out more on the GOV.UK website.
- Free childcare for 2 year olds
- Universal entitlement to free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds
- Early Years Pupil Premium
- Tax credits: work out your childcare costs (GOV.UK website).
If you need help to pay your council tax bill, you might be eligible for council tax reduction.
You can apply through your District or City Council. Check which council area you live in at Find your local council - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Healthy Start – if you are 10 weeks or more pregnant, have a child under 4 and receive qualifying benefits, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk Healthy Start website.
- Little Bundles - Helping families across Cambridgeshire. Little Bundles website.
- Foodbanks can help with short term needs. Find your local foodbank.
- Food bank vouchers - Available via Child and Family Centres and Health Visitors.
- Free school meals - Apply for free school meals.
- Glasspool Charity Trust is UK-wide charity providing grants support for people experiencing financial hardship Glasspool Charity Trust website.
- Buttle UK - access to Chances for Children grant online – ButtleUK website.
Health and wellbeing
- Be Well in Cambridgeshire has lots of information and advice on how to stay well this Winter - Be Well in Cambridgeshire website
Help to get online
- Low-cost broadband deals and mobile tariffs - If you’re a low-income family, you could be eligible for a discounted broadband service. Some providers offer reduced social tariffs for households and existing customers claiming government benefits such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support, so they can pay less for internet and telecoms access. The Connecting Cambridgeshire website has links to useful information about how to get reduced broadband and mobile tariffs.
- Free public access Wifi - Connecting Cambridgeshire is expanding CambWifi, its free public access Wifi service, to help people get online, support local businesses and make it easier for everyone to access vital public services. The programme is working with partners to increase free public access Wifi provision in public buildings like libraries, open spaces, market town centres and village halls in rural areas. Find out where you can get online for free by searching on the CambWifi map.
Home items and furniture
- Cambridge Re-Use - Discounted prices to those on low income, benefits and students and pensioners, to help make a comfortable home. Cambridge Re-Use (formerly Cambridge Sofa) website.
- Emmaus Cambridge - Homelessness Charity website.
- Cambridgeshire Charity Shops - Local Life website.
If you rent your home and claim housing benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit, then Discretionary Housing Payments can provide help with rent or housing costs.
You can apply through your District or City Council.
- Cambridge City
- East Cambridgeshire (follow the link and click ‘Apply for a Discretionary Payment’)
- Fenland (follow the link and click ‘Apply for a Discretionary Payment’)
- Huntingdonshire (opens as a .pdf)
- South Cambridgeshire
Check which council area you live in at Find your local council - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Buttle UK is a charity dedicated to helping children and young people in crisis in the UK: those living in financial hardships and dealing with multiple challenging social issues. Buttle UK website.
- Making Money Count - A crisis can occur for lots of different reasons, Check out the information on various help available to you in your area. Making Money Count (Help in a crisis) website.
- Cambridgeshire Local Assistance Scheme provides advice and support to families about making their money go further or help to move on from a difficult situation. Cambridgeshire Local Assistance Scheme.
City and district councils across Cambridgeshire are helping to run and publicise a number of warm hubs and welcoming spaces that local people can visit during the autumn and winter, to take part in community events, enjoy a meal or just to spend time in a warm space.
Please check the relevant website for your area:
Those struggling with the rising costs of living will find a warm and friendly welcome in their local library this winter.
Our 33 libraries are open regularly throughout the winter months and we’re keen to welcome anyone who may be struggling to heat their home or needs information about rising living costs.
We will continue to offer people access to hundreds of thousands of books, as well as a place to work, free internet access and social activities. Although you don’t have to be a member to use the space, joining the library is simple and free and gives you access to all our services. You can apply in person or by completing an online form here.
You can visit libraries for a great choice of books, digital magazines and newspapers, as well as free WiFi and computer access. You can bring snacks and drinks along, meet up with friends (you’re allowed to talk in the library!) or join in with one of our many social activities: from story and rhyme-times for pre-schoolers to Knit and Natter groups, book clubs and Engage talks. Find details of events at Library.Live or ask at your local library.
Find out about the various schemes and grants that may be available to help towards the cost of water on the Turn 2 Us website.
- Anglian Water extra care support
Cost of living scams
We urge you to be wary of scammers taking advantage of the cost of living crisis.
- Which? has produced a list of 5 cost of living scams to watch out for
- Money Saving Expert has compiled a similar list
Find out more about scams and how to report them on our scams page.