We recognise that people might be worried about money at this time due to the cost of living and/or a number of other issues. The Council of the Isles of Scilly can offer support or signpost to organisations that can support you, please see the information below:
- Our new Isles of Scilly Winter Wellbeing booklet has also been produced and has a wealth of useful information and contact details for supportive organisations, hard copies will be circulated and a link to the booklet can be found here: Winter wellbeing_2022-23 A5 (cornwall.gov.uk)
There are a number of other departments and organisations that can help you to make your money stretch further:
- Citizens Advice: They offer a wide range of support including debt and benefit advice. To speak to an advisor contact the Customer hub team for help booking a digital appointment, more information here. National Citizens Advice also has a page of useful links and information, around things like benefits, debt, help with essential costs, and some mental health helplines as well. There is also a leaflet about grants and benefits that are available to help people pay energy bills. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/get-help-with-the-cost-of-living/ andhttps://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-help-paying-your-bills/grants-and-benefits-to-help-you-pay-your-energy-bills/
- Council Tax: Any resident who has difficulty in paying their Council Tax, should contact the Council tax collection team on: 0300 1234 105 email@example.com
- Housing: You can contact our housing team by email or phone at the following details: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01720 424440
- Inclusion Cornwall - the Inclusion Cornwall Resource library has a host of specific Resource Sheets, including – Debt and crisis funding, Families, Transport, Health, wellbeing and disabilities, Household goods, Food, clothing and wood banks, and more. Detailed support in those specific areas can be found. See https://inclusioncornwall.co.uk/library. Inclusion Cornwall01872 326440, email@example.com, www.inclusioncornwall.co.uk
- Community Energy Plus - A social enterprise that provides energy solutions to help householders in Cornwall to enjoy warmer, more energy efficient homes. They have extensive factsheets around a variety of energy-related subjects, including “Saving energy and Money” and “Support with rising living costs”, as well as other useful advice: https://www.cep.org.uk/resources/factsheets-and-leaflets/ Freephone 0800 954 1956 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- CRCC - Help with switching provider, fuel debt, payment options accessing grants - 01872 273952 www.cornwallrcc.org.uk
Cornwall Council and a selection of major charities and organisations in Cornwall have produced a leaflet for those who are struggling to make ends meet. You can download ‘Worrying about money? From the Cornwall Council’s website: worried-about-money-cornwall-leaflet.pdf
Please also contact Children’s Services if you have concerns or questions that relate to children or young people's well being. More information can be found here:
Children's Services | Council of the ISLES OF SCILLY
- There have been a series of announcements from the government regarding support with energy bills, extra support for people with disabilities, Cost of Living payments and more. The information about all these, and any new help that is announced, or changes to existing help, is on the government’s Help for Households hub. There is also information about help with transport costs, childcare payments, finding work, energy-saving tips, etc: https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/
Money Helper, formerly the Money Advice Service, also has some helpful advice and calculators or tools, particularly around debt, budgeting and pensions guidance. https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en
For information about the Cost of Living payment, and how people receive it, see the Department of Work and Pensions. There is full information there. Scammers have been attempting to take advantage of the confusion around this payment, and there is advice on this page about how to avoid scams. The real payment will not ask you to DO anything, whether call, click a link, email, or fill in a form in order to receive cost of living payments. They are made automatically.
You can read the details of how payments will be made here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-payment
Ensuring you claim all the benefits you’re entitled to:
- For older people, claiming Pensions Credit (if you are entitled to it) is important. It opens the door to a lot of other help. For others, especially if you’re on Universal Credit, there is further support available. Various organisations offer ‘entitlement checkers’ to help people find out what they can be claiming: 'Entitled To': https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/cost-of-living; 'Turn to us' - benefits calculator: https://benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk/; 'Age UK': https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/benefits-entitlements/pension-credit/ 'Good Law Project'; https://goodlawproject.org/news/empowered-bill-support-discounts/; https://goodlawproject.org/news/empowered-claiming-welfare-benefits/
Energy & financial support resources:
All energy and water providers are obliged to keep a ‘priority services register’ of vulnerable customers. This could include people who are elderly, disabled, or require electricity for medical equipment. They are required to give special service to those people, and will prioritise reconnecting them in the event of a power cut or outage. Contact your provider for information. Many local banks are also offering support for people experiencing financial difficulties. See your bank’s website for advice. Support in this area also available from Community Energy Plus – CEP (see above for contact details), Citizens Advice (see above) and Age UK as well as:
- The Royal British Legion; Launched a grant scheme in November 2022 for armed services personnel, veterans and their families who are struggling to pay their energy bills. The initiative will provide non-repayable emergency grants of up to £2,400 a year (£200 a month), and is available across the UK. Eligibility criteria apply, but TRBL are generous with their definitions: current serving members of the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force, as well as their families, dependants and carers – which can include children, current and former spouses and partners, widows and widowers. Check if you’re eligible on their website, or by calling the helpline. https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/ or call: 0808 802 8080
- Money Saving Expert; Offers all sorts of financial advice. Including special deals, and news. See particularly the sections on ‘Household bills’, ‘Deals and Shopping’ (with a Free and cheap food page) and ‘Income and budgeting’, as well as the sections for Energy Help and Students. There is also a news page about energy grants that people can claim (dated Dec 2022). https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/ https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2022/08/grants-to-help-pay-energy-bills-check-what-your-supplier-offers/
- Which Consumer Guide: Which has compiled a selection of articles around energy, financial advice, saving money on essentials, and money saving tips. Also, a list of shops and businesses which are offering various types of support, including free meals, discounts and more; https://www.which.co.uk/topic/cost-of-living#energy-saving-and-bills https://www.which.co.uk/news/article/what-supermarkets-and-shops-are-doing-to-help-with-the-cost-of-living-aNpUU5E5AbYr
- British Gas Energy Trust: This trust offers grants to clear debt on outstanding energy bills, for people who meet certain criteria, and who can show evidence of being able to make energy payments in future (once the debt is cleared). They have full details of how to prove this on their website. Not just for their own customers, and other energy providers have their own similar funds.https://britishgasenergytrust.org.uk/who-can-apply/
- GoCompare: GoCompare has developed an interactive energy cost calculator tool to find out how much something costs to run. Use the calculator to pick the appliances you want to compare and select how long they’ll be in use for: https://www.gocompare.com/gas-and-electricity/guide/energy-calculator/
- Unbiased – a financial adviser: A selection of mostly financial advice, including consolidating debt, budgeting, and how to save.https://www.unbiased.co.uk/pages/hub/cost-of-living-hub
Other Practical Support:
The BBC food pages have a whole section of recipes for £1 per portion or less, as well as information on how to make the most of your food budget, and using slow cookers, pressure cookers, or microwaves as a cheaper alternative to putting the oven on. There are also recipes to use up leftovers, and avoiding the supermarkets tricks to get you to spend more.
They also have extensive money-saving tips, around energy, and other topics, and the latest news on the Government’s support packages.
- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/cljev4jz3pjt (The ‘cost of living’ section)
People are also reminded that there is a wealth of support available for anyone struggling with their mental health.
If you are worried about your own or someone else’s mental health call the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly 24/7 NHS mental health response line on 0800 038 5300. It's free to access by anyone, any age, any time, day or night.