Support available to you from others

There are lots of local and national organisations who can also help you with cost-of-living support.


The government is providing support to people with the cost of living. This includes support with: 

  • income 
  • disability benefits 
  • bills and allowances 
  • childcare 
  • travel 
  • housing 

Find out more about the support available from the Government.  

Winter fuel payments  

If you were born on or before 25 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’. 

Check the eligibility criteria and find out more here. 

Warm Home Discount Scheme

You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2023 to 2024 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

The money is not paid to you - it’s a one-off discount applied to your electricity bill between early October 2023 and 31 March 2024.

If you might be eligible, you’ll get a letter by early January 2024.

Check the eligibility criteria and find out more here. 

Local councils 

Local councils are providing support to people living in their area. This includes support with: 

  • help in a crisis 
  • financial support  
  • council tax discounts 
  • childcare 
  • finding a warm space 

Visit your local council's website to find out more: 

Discretionary Housing Payment 

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) provide financial support to help with rent or housing costs. They are given out by your local council, not us. 

You can apply for a DHP if you currently get either of: 

  • Housing Benefit  
  • the housing element of universal credit and need more financial support with housing costs 

DHP funding can help people with housing costs, including if you are affected by: 

  • the benefit cap 
  • removal of the spare room subsidy (often known as bedroom tax) 
  • Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates 

You may get a DHP to cover housing costs for: 

  • a rent shortfall  
  • rent deposits  
  • rent in advance if you need to move home 

Energy companies 

If you need help with your energy bill, we recommend speaking to your energy company. 

They can help you with: 

  • payment plans 
  • payment reductions 
  • more time to pay      

A number of energy companies also have hardship funds, which can help with paying off energy debts. 

Money advice 

There are lots of organisations that can help you with money advice.  

You can get guidance on benefits, pensions, debt and budgeting.  

Credit unions 

Credit unions are community organisations that help with saving up money and providing loans at low interest rates. 

To benefit from a credit union, you must join as a member.  

Search for your local credit union here. 

Help with food 

The cost of food has also gone up a lot.  

Food banks are community organisations and places that can help you with getting food if you are having difficulty affording to buy food.  

There are foodbanks in the Tees Valley and surrounding areas that you can use. Visit your local foodbank's website to find out more:

Find your nearest food bank here. 

Help with baby items 

Search for your local baby bank here. 

Warm welcome and community spaces 

Councils have opened their buildings to create welcoming community spaces.

They are working with local organisations to do the same too.  

These buildings will give people a place to meet other members of the community, have a hot drink and in some cases get access to support and advice about benefits, housing costs, mental health and energy costs.  

Visit your local council's website to find out more:

Search for other warm spaces here.