Advice support and local welfare assistance
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CORONAVIRUS Please note that some organisations listed in this page may be operating changed services due to the current situation. Please contact the organisation directly or check their website for latest updates.

Advice, support and local welfare assistance

Information and advice

    Emergency food

    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 the Citizens Advice national phone service on 03444 111 444.

    Local food banks:

    The Smart Living website has tips and ideas for making the most of the food you have and avoiding waste.

    The BBC has a range of healthy recipes to help you Eat Well for Less

    Tax

    • 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:

    Always make sure you are claiming any benefits you may be entitled to.

    Mental health and debt

    • Money Savings Expert, supported by Mind, Rethink, CAPUK and others, have developed a guide - Mental Health and Debt - for people with mental health problems and those caring for them.

    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:

    Fuel hardship

      • If you are struggling to keep your home warm,  and live in the Hampshire County Council area, visit the Hitting the Cold Spots web page or call the advice line on 0800 804 8601. The friendly Hampshire-based team will be able to provide a range of advice and assistance including one-off emergency fuel vouchers for pre-payment meters for people who meet certain eligibility criteria.
      • Information for Portsmouth residents.
      • Information for Southampton residents.

        Keeping your home warm in winter.
        If you claim benefits, you may be able to claim discounts or grants to help heat your home. More about keeping warm in winter.

      Free school meals

      Eligibility for free school meals depends on the circumstances of the parents or carers.

      Find out more from:

      Hampshire County Council
      Portsmouth City Council
      Southampton City Council

      Housing advice

      If you are having problems paying your rent or are worried about mortgage or council tax payments:

      Keeping your home warm in winter.
      If you claim benefits, you may be able to claim discounts or grants to help heat your home. More about keeping warm in winter.

      Furniture

      Use the internet to search for reuse organisations that may sell secondhand furniture and appliances.
      Here are some websites or organisations you could try:

      Gumtree - for secondhand 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 secondhand goods for the home at affordable prices.
      Some household waste recycling centres have sections where you can buy secondhand furniture.

      Financial help from charities

      • Some charities provide financial help such as grants or subsidised care in a care home. Often these charities are concerned with particular groups or occupations.

        Use the Search for Grants tool on Turn2Us to find out what charitable funds you may be eligible for.

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