Norfolk County Council has produced a help/support leaflet with living costs
Help with living costs
You may be struggling with living costs for a range of reasons. This leaflet tells you what support is available and how to get advice. You can also find this information on our website www.norfolk.gov.uk/costofliving
If you don’t have access to the internet at home, you can go online at any of our Norfolk libraries.
Help and support with living costs
Norfolk Assistance Scheme can help you get support and financial assistance for food, energy, water, and other household essentials including white goods. You can apply yourself or a support organisation, such as Age UK Norfolk or Citizens Advice can apply on your behalf. The fastest way is to apply online www.norfolk.gov.uk/nas. If you do not have internet access call 0344 800 8020.
Citizens Advice provide information about benefits, how to deal with debt, what you are entitled to and who to speak to if you are at risk of losing your home. Visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk or call 0800 144 8848 and select option 1.
Fuel - do you use oil to heat your home? Community Action Norfolk’s community oil buying scheme can help get the best price and offer payment options to spread the cost. Visit www.communityactionnorfolk.org.uk, call 01362 698216 or email email@example.com
Ofcom provides advice on what to do if you are struggling to pay bills or need debt advice. There is also information on their website under Phones and Internet detailing social tariffs for cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. For more information Call 0300 123 3333 or visit www.ofcom.org.uk
Age UK offers free, confidential advice if you are over state pension age. Call 0800 678 1602 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk
Ask Bill offers free and impartial advice about money and bills. Visit www.askbill.org.uk
Your local council will be able to check that you are claiming all of the benefits that you are entitled to. They can also help with emergency funding if you are in crisis and general signposting to other services that you may be able to benefit from. Contact your local council or visit their web site for more information:
Breckland District Council – Call 01362 656870 or visit www.breckland.gov.uk/community/cost-of-living
Broadland and South Norfolk District Council – Call 01603 430431 for Broadland or 01508 533933 for South Norfolk or visit www.southnorfolkandbroadland.gov.uk/help-hub-1
Great Yarmouth Borough Council – Call 0808 196 2236 or visit www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk and select ‘Support for residents’
King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council
– Call 01553 616200 or visit www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/costofliving
North Norfolk District Council – Call 01263 516221 or visit www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/cost-of-living
Norwich City Council – Call 0344 980 3333 or visit www.norwich.gov.uk/costofliving
Struggling to afford food
Norfolk Community Foundation’s Nourishing Norfolk food hubs provide a range of food support.
- Community fridges and larders - these are usually open to anyone in the community and food can be taken for free.
- Food pantries- these tend to be members only and often charge small amounts for their food. They offer a greater choice of products than a community fridge.
- Community supermarkets- these have a membership system that allows customers to buy food at heavily discounted prices
For more details on the food hubs visit
Foodbanks can provide short-term help if you are struggling to afford and buy food. To find a foodbank near to you search for food banks or supermarkets at https://communitydirectory.norfolk.gov.uk or call Trussell Trust Tel: 01722 580180
Food apps – there are low-cost food packages available in your local area through an app – Too Good To Go or Olio. These apps enable you to reserve bags of food at much reduced prices at local stores close to you. These will typically be a mix of products that are close to sell by dates.
Support with money management and budgeting
Money Advice Service offers free and impartial advice. The website has various tools and calculators you can use to keep track of your finances. Visit www.moneyhelper.org.uk Money Saving Expert (MSE) offers help and advice on a whole range of subjects, including signposts to advice agencies. Visit www.moneysavingexpert.com
Stepchange provides free debt advice online and support for as long as you need it. Call 0800 1381111 or visit www.stepchange.org
Breathing Space is a government scheme to give someone in problem debt the right to legal protection from their creditors. Call 0330 0163 563 or visit www.breathing-space.uk
Money Advice Trust is a national charity, helping people across the UK to tackle their debts and manage their money with confidence. Call 020 74897796 or visit www.moneyadvicetrust.org
Turn2Us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially, by helping people access benefits, charitable grants, and other support. Visit www.turn2us.org.uk
Support for families
Cost of living vouchers – if you are eligible for free school meals you will now receive a monthly ‘cost of living’ voucher. The vouchers will be £15 per month per child with an additional payment of £30 per child in December. This scheme is currently running until April 2023. The vouchers are provided by Edenred and can be used in all supermarkets for essentials including clothing. If you are not receiving these vouchers and believe that you should be, please contact your child’s school or visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/foodsupport
Anglian Water provides an Extra Care Support Service for people who need help paying their water bills including advice, payment breaks, flexible payment plans and discounts. Call 0800 169 3630 or visit www.anglianwater.co.uk
Your Norfolk Advice Network is a free, independent information and advice service, providing easy and quick access to the services you need. The service is open to all adults in Norfolk, including family members, carers, and professionals seeking information and advice. Call 0333 996 8333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Keeping warm and well
All of our warm and well information can also be found online by visiting www.winterwellnorfolkwaveney.co.uk
Libraries - There are lots of warm and welcoming places for you to go this winter. Hot drinks will be available during staffed hours and there will be some fun activities and creative things to do and learn or you can just sit back and relax and enjoy some company.
Our libraries are offering warm spaces along with free warm and well bags containing a scarf, hat, gloves, blanket, socks, and a hot water bottle and also toiletries and sanitary products to go – just pick them up from the library. To find your nearest library visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/libraries
Community hot spots – Local community groups are busy setting up community hot spots across Norfolk. Hot spots are available to give a warm welcome to the whole community and will be a place for you to connect with others in your local community. Similar to support in libraries, there will be lots of things going on for you to participate in or just a warm place for you to spend some time. To find a warm space in your community head to www.warmwelcome.uk
To find out how to keep your home warm and save energy visit www.norfolkwarmhomes.org.uk or call 01603 430103 for help and advice. For information on finding ways to save energy in your home visit www.gov.uk/improve-energy-efficiency
Better Together Norfolk offers advice on reducing energy bills. Call 0300 303 3920 or visit www.bettertogethernorfolk.org.uk
Scams - scammers find ways to trick people out of their money when they are most vulnerable. The cost-of-living situation has seen more scams emerging, so it is important we are vigilant for ourselves and those close to us www.norfolk.gov.uk/scams
Improve Skills – Multiply is a new programme to help adults improve their skills with free courses. You will be able to take part if:
- You are over 19
- You do not have a maths GCSE at grade C (or equivalent) You live in Norfolk
Good maths skills can help you find more job opportunities and lead to higher wages, or they can help you in everyday life, such as following recipes and everyday budgeting. This programme will not be in a formal classroom as sessions can be run as 1-2-1 or in small community groups such as in the community hot spots. To find out more visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/multiply or send an email to email@example.com
Skills for employment – if you are looking for work, returning to work or thinking of a career change, our job and business skills courses are a great place to start. Learn how to recognise your strengths, skills, and qualities. To find out more call 0344 800 8020 (option 5), or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Credit Unions offer ethical loans and saving schemes that are at affordable rates. In Norfolk there are two credit unions:
Eastern Savings and Loans is open to any individual who lives, works, studies or volunteers in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire www.eslcu.co.uk
Norfolk First Credit Union is available to anyone who lives or works in the Norfolk postcode areas. Visit www.norfolkfirstcu.com
Looking after yourself and others - when facing financial hardship, it can impact on our mental health, so it is important to reach out for support. We have lots of information on services and organisations that can help at www.norfolk.gov.uk/wintersupport and click on Support for mental health. There is also further information at www.winterwellnorfolkwaveney.co.uk
If you need this document in large print, in audio, Braille, in an alternative format or in another language, please contact customer services on 0344 800 8020 or, for Text Relay, call 18001 0344 800 8020 (text phone) and we will do our best to help you.