Information and advice
If you, or someone you know, is facing financial hardship and/or has reached crisis then contact the Hampshire Local Welfare Assistance Information and Advice line on freephone 0300 330 1150 to discuss your options in more detail.
The line is open to anyone and operates Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Advisers provide a non-judgmental and impartial service designed to support callers with their individual circumstances.
If the number is not answered immediately, please leave a message and you will be called back.
For help and advice, you can visit also visit Citizensadvice.org.uk or telephone the Citizens Advice National phone service on 03444 111 306.
If you can't afford to buy enough food, you may be able to get some short term help from your local food bank.
You will need a voucher to use a food bank. To find out where you can get a voucher, contact your local food bank or phone Hampshire Local Welfare Assistance on 0300 330 1150.
Local food banks:
- Alton Food Bank
- Andover Food Bank
- Basingstoke Food Bank
- Eastleigh Basics Bank
- Fareham and Gosport Basics Bank
- Farnborough Food Bank
- Hart Food Bank
- New Forest Basics Bank
- Romsey food bank
Waterside Food Bank
- Winchester Basics Bank
The Smart Living website has tips and ideas for making the most of the food you have and avoiding waste.
Get Help with tax from GOV.UK
Tax Help for Older People is a service from the charity Tax Volunteers providing free, independent and expert help and advice for older people on lower incomes who cannot afford to pay for professional tax advice.
Debt and money
The organisations below offer free, impartial advice on debt and budgeting:
- Citizens Advice - debt and money advice - budgeting, debt and general financial advice
- Money Advice Service - advice and tools to help improve your finances
- Income Max - help to maximise income and improve finances
- Step Change - advice on problem debt
- Pay Plan - advice, guidance and support for anyone struggling with debt
- National Debtline - confidential debt advice
- Business Debtline - debt help for self-employed and small businesses
- Christians Against Poverty - debt counselling for anyone, regardless of faith
Short term grants and advances
The Department for Work and Pensions provides grants and short term advances for people who already claim benefits, such as
You can check you are receiving the right benefits:
Free school meals
Eligibility for free school meals depends on the circumstances of the parents or carers. Find out more from Hampshire County Council.
Your local district or borough council will be able to give you general advice about housing, housing benefits and homelessness.
If you are having problems paying your rent, talk to your landlord as soon as possible.
Citizens Advice guidance on housing
Housing advice from Shelter
Keeping your home warm
If you claim benefits, you may be able to claim discounts or grants to help heat your home.
More about keeping warm in winter.
Use the internet to search for reuse organisations who may sell second-hand furniture and appliances.
Here are some websites or organisations you could try:
Gumtree - for second hand furniture and appliances for sale.
Emmaus Hampshire is a social enterprise which helps people out of homelessness.
The Community Furniture Project in Basingstoke sells a wide range of used furniture.
The Furniture Helpline in Alton provides affordable household goods, household furniture and white-goods at very low prices to those with a need.
Jacob's Well Care Centre aims to provide furniture to those in need in the Gosport area.
Charity shops, such as the British Heart Foundation,are also a good place to start if you want to buy second-hand goods for the home at affordable prices.
Some household waste recycling centres have sections where you can buy second-hand furniture.
Financial help from charities
Some charities provide financial help such as subsidised care in a care home, or help with care fees as well as crisis grants. Often these charities are concerned with particular groups such as nurses or ex-service people.