Help for Families
Court Action / Eviction / Bailiffs
Anyone who has received court papers, are facing eviction, or are expecting bailiffs, should immediately contact your nearest Citizens Advice
Mental Health Crisis
If mental health is being impacted by money worries and crisis support is needed, please consider the services below:
If someone is in immediate danger, phone 999 immediately or ensure they go directly to your nearest NHS Accident & Emergency (A&E) department,
Call 0800 107 0160 to speak to someone in the highly trained and experienced Mental Health Matters team.
Samaritans Helpline: Call 116 123 Monday to Sunday at any time. Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.
Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space - A mental health crisis breathing space provides protection from creditors for people who are struggling with debts and who are also receiving mental health crisis treatment. See more information here: What is a mental health breathing space? : Mental Health & Money Advice (mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org)
Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health - Universal Support
Worrying about money and being cold and hungry can all impact upon our emotional wellbeing and mental health. There's lots of support for those who feel their mental health is being impacted by money worries:
Samaritans Helpline: 116 123 Monday to Sunday at any time. Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.
Help with Food
The nearest foodbank may be able to provide a food parcel in emergency situations. Find the nearest food bank here (address postcode needed): Find a food bank - Kent County Council
'One You Kent' supports Kent residents with a whole host of health and lifestyle issues, including eating on a budget:
Support from One You Kent Lifestyle Advisers can be accessed here: One You Kent - Kent County Council
Saving money on the food bill:
Simple changes can help save money:
- Plan meals and write a shopping list before going shopping
- Check what's already in the cupboard/fridge and what needs to be used up first
- Buy in bulk and share with a friend or separate a larger pack and freeze portions of meat, cheese or fish
- Cook in larger batches, so portions can be frozen and used at another time
Cheap doesn’t have to mean less tasty. There are plenty of websites offering recipes for budget-friendly meals and using leftover ingredients. Check out One You Easy Meals app for inspiration and easy meal ideas and find ways to cut food waste at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com.
It's really important for families to maximise their income by making sure they are claiming all the benefits they are entitled to. This can be done by using this quick and easy online benefit entitlement checker, which can be completed by the person themselves, or by someone who is supporting them: Benefits Calculator - entitledto - independent | accurate | reliable
Help with Rent
Help with Rent - this calculator can be used to find out whether there is any entitlement to benefits to help pay rent: Benefits calculators - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Help with Energy
The Uswitch website has information about the Priority Services Register and an eligibility check for energy schemes:
Green Doctor - Kent and Medway Energy Advice Service offers free, impartial advice and support to help save energy, reduce bills, and live in a warmer, more comfortable home, including
- Identifying causes of heat loss in the home
- Helping identify and tackle damp or mould problems
- Offering useful tips for saving energy and water whilst ensuring the home stays safe and comfortable
- Installing small energy and water efficiency measures, such as draft excluders
- Supporting households to switch energy providers to save money
- Supporting households to access other support, such as emergency heating, government subsidies or grants, advice on energy or water debt.
This is the link to find out more and Get Help Now from Green Doctor: Green Doctor, helping UK residents stay warm, stay well, and save energy. - Groundwork
'Share the Warmth' - Energy Saving Tips
The Share the Warmth online platform takes people through 5 simple but effective energy- saving tips that can save households up to £512 per year.
Energy Saving Network:
Money Saving Expert advice on keeping warm this winter: Heat the human not the home (moneysavingexpert.com)
Energy Saving Trust's quick tips to save energy - take a look to see how much could be saved: Quick tips to save energy at home - Energy Saving Trust
Kent’s libraries provide open and warm spaces that offer a range of free services including books, activities, ICT, WiFi, e-books/e-magazines/enewspapers.
Government Cost of Living Support Information
- Energy Price Guarantee from 1 October 2022
- Energy Bills Support Scheme doubled to a one-off £400
- £650 one-off Cost of Living Payment for those on means tested benefits (made in 2 payments - Summer and Nov 2022)
- One-off £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, on top of The Winter Fuel Payment
- One-off £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment
- Low-income Energy Bill Support
- Support for all homes: A £400 energy grant
- Personal Independence Payment- extra £150
- Budgeting Loans for those on Income Support: Budgeting Loans: How they work - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Budgeting Advance for those on Universal Credit: Universal Credit: Other financial support - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Help with Paying Water Bills: Help with my bills | CCW (ccwater.org.uk)
- Further information is available here: Help for Households - Get government cost of living support
Canterbury District Help with Hardship
- Canterbury City Council - have lots of useful advice, information and sources of help on their cost-of-living on their website: Canterbury City Council - Cost of Living plus a page on: Benefits and support | Canterbury City Council
- Canterbury Food Bank - During the Coronavirus emergency, food parcels will be distributed directly to clients via the agencies that usually issue the vouchers. Clients need to contact the agency that issued their voucher to obtain the food. 01227 936450
- Canterbury Baptist Church – Hub Café / Community Fridge - The Hub Cafe is closed but the Community Fridge is OPEN with food parcels available by delivery on a pay as you can afford basis. Community fridge are providing fresh food supplies to families who are vulnerable or just self-isolating and can’t get out or get deliveries. firstname.lastname@example.org or 01227 456204 .
- Canterbury Salvation Army are distributing food in Canterbury and fresh produce if and when available. They have a limited stock of nappies and wipes – Please ring/email ahead as early as you can to give notice. They are able to offer a food delivery on a Tuesday and a Friday.
- The Toddler Bank (Canterbury Salvation Army) is a chance to pick up new and used good quality baby equipment, children’s clothing (0-8 years) and toys and games, for free . They are open term time on Fridays between 10am and 12pm, in their building on Whitehorse Lane. Occasionally this will change, so please check their Facebook page for updates. Please continue to submit requests either through Facebook or by calling 01227 472781 and they will arrange collection points on an individual basis as required.
- Money Management Support - Money Works is a money management programme from Live Well Kent and West Kent Mind for anyone in West Kent, Maidstone & Mid Kent, Ashford and the Canterbury & Coastal area who needs help managing their money better. It’s tailored to the individual persons’ needs and is a weekly telephone service delivered by trained experts. Money Works - West Kent Mind
- Canterbury Debt Advice Centre provides a free, confidential, face-to-face service to those who are having difficulties with money. We are run by volunteers and members of The City Church. All advisers are fully trained to offer advice and provide a debt management plan for you.
- Social Enterprise Kent - Cost of Living support services map and online directory