The National Age UK website has specific advice for older people, including around energy:
Age UK - Cornwall Link
This hosts community listings across a wide variety of subjects, from many different organisations. At present they have a topic area devoted to cost of living support, including events, give-aways, advice and practical support:
If you think you may be eligible for help with the cost of living, you can find out what you can claim at:
Turn2us also offer a helpline for those without internet access. You can call them on: 0808 802 2000, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm Mondays-Fridays. All calls are free from a UK landline and from most mobiles. If you are calling from a mobile, please check with your network provider.
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).
You can find full details of how to apply for this on their website and it is not just for British Gas customers: their own customers:
NB – other energy providers also have their own similar funds
National Citizens Advice 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 a further leaflet about grants and benefits that are available to help people pay energy bills:
Cornwall Citizens Advice has offices across the county, and a phone helpline:
- Textline: Text ADVICE to 78866 or for debt issues text DEBT to 78866 and they will call you back within 48 hours (excluding weekends).
- Phone: 0800 144 8848 Mon-Fri 10am to 4pm. FREE
Community Energy Plus
Community Energy Plus is a social enterprise that provides energy solutions to help householders in Cornwall to enjoy warmer, more energy efficient homes.
They provide factsheets about lots of energy-related subjects, including “Saving energy and Money” and “Support with rising living costs”. These are specific to Cornwall, and were updated in the summer of 2022:
Cost of Living Payment
The Cost of Living payment is made by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), find out more at the link below:
BEWARE OF SCAMS
Scammers have been attempting to take advantage of the confusion around this payment, and there is advice on that 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. Cost of Living payments are made automatically to those eligible.
Cost of Living Support
Cornwall Council’s Cost of Living Support page has lists of financial help for those struggling, information about free school meals, help with food, tips for saving money, and more:
Energy Cost Calculator
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.
Unbiased offiers a range of mostly financial advice, including consolidating debt, budgeting, and how to save:
Cornwall Council keep an up to date list of local food banks, including those who accept people without ‘food vouchers. This list has opening times, contact details and more information:
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 how to avoid supermarkets’ tricks to get you to spend more:
Fraud and Scams
Scammers often try to target those seeking help online so it is important to be fraud-aware. You can find advice about how to avoid scams at:
- Citizens Advice – https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/get-help-with-online-scams/
- Action Fraud – https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
- Stop Scams – https://stopscamsuk.org.uk/
Household Support Fund
The Household Support Fund provides one-off payments for those on pension credit or families wtih children who recieve free school meals. The Fund for this area is managed by Cornwall Council and more details can be found at:
Help for Households
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.
Information about these payments, help with transport costs, childcare payments, finding work and saving energy can be found at:
Healthy Start Vouchers
NHS Healthy Start vouchers are given to families with children under 4 years old, or expectant mums who are more than 10 weeks pregnant. Find out about these at:
Inclusion Cornwall has a resource library with a host of Resource Sheets, including:
- Debt and crisis funding;
- Household goods;
- Clothing and wood banks; and more.
Detailed support about those specific areas can be found on those sheets via https://inclusioncornwall.co.uk/library.
Formerly the Money Advice Service, this website has some useful advice, calculators and tools which are particularly helpful for debt, budgeting and pensions guidance:
Money Saving Expert
All sorts of financial advice, including special deals, and news – you can sign up for a regular newsletter from the site.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):
For older people, claiming Pensions Credit, if you are entitled to it, is important. It opens the door to a lot of other help.
Find out about the help available for older people at:
Royal British Legion grants
RBL 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 can include 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 number below:
- Eligibility criteria: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-support/who-we-help
- 0808 802 8080
Local churches, faith groups, community centres, businesses and more are taking part in the ‘Warm Welcome’ scheme, opening their doors to allow people to come and use their spaces, to be warm, and have some food, rather than heating their own homes. There is an extensive, and growing, list on the website, as more organisations register.
WHICH Consumer Guide
Which has published a selection of articles about energy, financial advice, saving money on essentials, and money saving tips:
They also have a list of shops and businesses which are offering various types of support, including free meals, discounts and more:
The annual Winter Wellbing campaign run by Cornwall Council has tips for keeping warm and well; ideas for saving money on energy bills; and contact details for other organisations who can provide help. Find out more at:
Worried About Money?
A group of charities in Cornwall have produced a leaflet for anyone who is struggling to make ends meet. You can find this at:
Foster Service for Pets
Do you need short term foster care for your pet whilst in a domestic abuse situation? or do you have space in your home and heart to foster a dog or cat?
Refuge 4 Pets is a not for profit organisation that offer the facility of a foster service for your pets for anyone experiencing domestic abuse. Refuge 4 pets offer to provide everything that the animals may need and cover the cost of any treatment.
If there is someone who needs their service, or can offer a good home as a foster carer to these pets then please call them on 0300 4000 121.
or email at : email@example.com
Information about our non-profit organisation can be found on Instagram their website:
Refuge4Pets | Helping people and animals escape domestic abuse
www.refuge4pets.org.uk or on their Facebook page.