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Cost of living support

The information below outlines the support and information available for you if you are struggling with your rent or worried about your finances.

Financial support

If you’ve experienced financial difficulty that means you and your household are struggling please speak with your Neighbourhood Manager,  Income/Housing Officer, or Scheme Manager about our cost of living fund. The fund was set up so we're able to help our residents most in need by providing a one-off payment made in supermarket vouchers.

The fund will provide a single person with £40 in vouchers, a couple with £70, and an additional £15 for each child per application. An additional £15 per person can also be added for other permanent household members, for example adult children, parents/grandparents depending on individual circumstances.

Each application is assessed to ensure we can support those most in need.

Friends of Origin grants

Friends of Origin Housing is a charity set up to help our residents with the essential items they may need when moving into a new home. The scheme works by offering grants for things like white goods, beds, sofas and other essentials. We have recently expanded the Friends of Origin grants to enable us to support more people with the cost of keeping people warm at a low cost such as electric blankets, sleeping bags, and microwaveable wheat bags. Electric footwarmers.

Grants are also available for essential items needed for work or college e.g. interview clothes, books. The maximum amount awarded is £600 within a two-year period. 
Grant-giving funds (also known as charitable funds) are a type of financial help given to people in need, that don’t have to be paid back. These vary by the area you live in and your circumstances, to find out more use Turn2us’s online tool to search for grants available in your area.

Government help for people

  • The Government has various support packages for people including:
    help with energy bills
  • cost of living payments
  • help with childcare costs
  • offers with various retailers

More information is available here: Help for Households - Get government cost of living support

Additional help and support

Our Support Hub:
This new service is designed to enable our colleagues like Neighbourhood Managers, Caretakers and Cleaners to refer people they are concerned about to The Support Hub. The Hub is focused on providing additional support to people who are struggling with their mental health and/or having issues with hoarding in their homes.  

The Hub offers a wide range of support, from emergency support where an individual may be in crisis, to low-level support which may include a series of regular check-in calls or access to our Support Library where housing officers can tap into the wide range of external support resources available. 

Warm spaces:
We are ensuring that we keep our communal lounges warm for our residents and they are able to  use the kitchen facilities.

You can also search on the Warm Spaces website to find other warm spaces locally: Warm Spaces and Local councils often have lists of warm spaces on their websites.

Mental health support

If you are struggling with your mental health, you're worried about yourself or someone else there are lots of organisations who can help.

Samaritans can offer advice and support if you're struggling to cope, or if you're worried about someone else. You can call them 24/7, 365 days a year.
116 123

Campaign Against Living Miserably Help and support for young men aged 15-35 on issues which include depression and suicide.
0800 585858

Support Line
Provides emotional support and details of support groups, helplines, agencies and counsellors throughout the UK
01708 765200

You can also text 'SHOUT' to 85258 to start a conversation with a trained Shout 85258 volunteer. Texts are free, anonymous and confidential from anywhere in the UK.

Energy bill help: Hardship grants offered by energy suppliers – and how to apply

Supplier scheme Key eligibility criteria How much you could get How to apply
Open to customers of ALL suppliers

British Gas Energy Trust
Individuals and Families Fund
- In or facing fuel poverty
- Can't have had British Gas grant in past two years
- See full info on the British Gas website
Up to £1,500 Via the British Gas website
Open to customers of the named suppliers ONLY

EDF Energy
Customer Support Fund
- Experiencing hardship, or struggling to manage energy debt
- See full info on the EDF website
No set limit – depends on your circumstances Via the 'Let's Talk' web form or by calling 0800 269 450 

E.on Next
Energy Fund

Also open to customers of:
Sainsbury's Energy
- No set criteria, but based on needs and ability to pay energy bills
- See full info on the E.on Next website
No set limit – depends on your circumstances Via the 'Let's Talk' web form 

Octopus Energy
Octo Assist Fund

Also open to customers of: Affect Energy, Co-operative Energy, Ebico Living, London Power, M&S Energy
- No specific eligibility criteria
- See full info on the Octopus website
No set limit – depends on your circumstances Via the Octopus web form (you must be logged into your account)

Ovo Energy
Hardship Scheme 

Also open to customers of: Boost, SSE
- Full criteria not yet published, but likely to include those in energy debt with little/no disposable income, those using medical equipment and those eligible for the Warm Home Discount
- See more info on the Ovo website
Supplier wouldn't confirm Call Ovo on 0330 303 5063 or use its live chat (online form coming soon)

Scottish Power
Hardship Fund
- In receipt of: income support, jobseeker's allowance, pension credit, or employment and support allowance
- See full info on the Scottish Power website
Varies depending on need and funds available Via Scottish Power's web form

Shell Energy
Support Fund
- No specific eligibility criteria
- See full info on the Shell Energy website
No set limit – depends on your circumstances Call Shell on 0330 094 5800

Utility Warehouse
Customer Support Scheme (in partnership with charity Citizens Advice)
- In fuel poverty, or about to go into energy debt or run out of prepay credit
- See full info on the Citizens Advice website
Supplier wouldn't confirm Call Utility Warehouse on 0333 777 0777

Guides and help for people: Budgeting & Debt Help - MoneySavingExpert

Digital help and support

Broadband social tariffs
Broadband social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. Some providers call them ‘essential’ or ‘basic’ broadband, but the product is usually the same as a standard tariff, just at a better price.

They’re just the same as normal broadband packages just at a lower price. Here is a list of available tariffs.
Our digital inclusion scheme
The Digital inclusion scheme is there to help provide access to training, Chromebooks, and/or Data SIMs with 20GB of internet per month for up to six months for our residents who are:

  • aged 18+
  • receiving Universal Credit, Employment Support Allowance or
  • have a household income of £25,000 or less
  • enrolled on or have been accepted on an educational or
  • employment training course
  • unemployed and actively seeking work
  • or unable to access essential online services due to a lack of local access and appropriate IT skills.