Your beneficiaries: Financial help
Edition 7 – Wednesday 6 May
Community workers being trained to help people access financial support
The Covid Cash Course has been set up by the Just Finance Foundation to help the most marginalised people in the country negotiate the maze of new rules, regulations and benefits as a result of the pandemic.
The JFF is training local community workers to deliver information and signposting both online and over the phone to people who don’t have internet access. More than 50 grass-roots community groups have already signed up for training to deliver the course, and the JFF is rolling out further training in response to high demand. Both the course and the training to deliver it are offered free of charge. For more information, click here
HMRC has announced that people who are unable to work their normal hours because of the pandemic will still receive their usual tax credits payments.
Debt charity points people to its advice on dealing with bailiffs
StepChange says the government has ordered that no further bailiff visits should take place in England or Wales while coronavirus lockdown restrictions are in place, but bailiffs can still contact you by phone. To access the charity’s advice, click here
Edition 6 – Wednesday 29 April
Free school meals
The government’s ‘free school meal voucher’ scheme has now been launched and parents are being contacted through schools. These are supermarket vouchers provided where schools are not able to make food available directly to families.
Energy saving tips
Some energy saving tips for when people are staying at home.
Water companies in England and Wales have stepped up efforts to help customers who have lost their jobs or had incomes cut during the coronavirus crisis. They are asking households experiencing problems at this difficult time to get in contact
Portsmouth Water (covering Portsmouth, Havant, Gosport, Fareham, Chichester areas) have contacted us to tell us about support they can offer to customers who may be affected financially or physically during this pandemic. They have a social tariff for households on an income of less than £16,105 per year, and a Priority Services Register for customers who may need extra support in the event of water interruption (particularly those who are self isolating). They are also urging customers to contact them if they are in financial distress, as they can apply a three month payment holiday to an account, stopping all their normal recovery processes. You can get in contact either by email or calling 02392 24933.
Edition 5 – Wednesday 22 April
Coping with financial problems
Step Change debt charity has produced a step-by-step guide to dealing with a reduced income as a result of coronavirus. The 11 steps it suggests include checking you’re being paid correctly, contacting your creditors, getting emergency help and taking control of your financial future.
Citizens Advice Winchester District
The impact of Covid-19 on everyone’s lives means many more people are facing issues around employment, debt, benefits and housing. If you have an issue you’d like to discuss, Citizens Advice Winchester District is here to support you through this challenging time.
How to contact Citizens Advice Winchester District
• Local Call Back Service: 01489 890940 or 01962 848003 (Mon-Fri)
• Email (Mon-Friday)
• Regional Adviceline: 03444 111306 (Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm, and Sat 10am-12pm
Other Citizens Advice Bureaux
You can find contact details for your local Citizens Advice here. Many are running call-back services or providing e-mail advice. Or contact the Regional Adviceline: 03444 111306 (Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm, and Sat 10am-12pm
Edition 4 – Wednesday 15 April
The Young Women’s Trust
Fund for young women who are economically vulnerable and their work and earnings are impacted by the coronavirus. The Young Women’s Trust is currently asking for donations in order to support this.
Hospitality Action and We are Tip Jar
An emergency fund for hospitality workers affected by coronavirus. A fundraising appeal has been launched to help build a pot of money to give one off payments to those impacted.
A general fund for those involved in the travel industry, including agents and operators, which is now accepting applications from those facing hardship due to coronavirus.
Royal Theatrical Fund
Fund for those who have worked in the entertainment industry that have contracted Covid-19 or need to self-isolate.
‘CaRe 20 – Care for Retail during Covid-19’ is a fund to support those working in retail and their families who are facing financial distress as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly those who may be ineligible for government support.
The Care Workers charity
Emergency funding for care workers who are taking time off for illness or self-isolation or for funeral costs.
Licensed Trade Charity
Hardship grants for licensed trade people who work in pubs, bars and breweries.
Rainy Day Trust
General hardship grants for those who work in the home improvement or enhancement industry. This includes but is not limited to builders merchants, DIY shops, and garden centres.
Hardship grants with no particular restriction on the type of beneficiary that is supported by the grant. The organisation are currently accepting request for one item, such as white goods, beds, baby and children needs, and tv licenses.
BBC Children in Need
Fund for emergency essentials for children and young people in exceptionally difficult circumstances. The fund can help purchase kitchen appliances, children’s beds and bedding, and clothing and equipment.
Friends of the Elderly
A general grant for people of state retirement age living in England and Wales on a low income to cover home essentials, digital connection or financial support.
Percy Bilton charity
Grants to individuals in need on low income, who have a serious long-term illness or who are over the age of 65.
The Junius S Morgan Benevolent Fund
Fund for nurses and health care assistants for essential decorating, furniture and furnishings, and possibly also amenity bills.
Fund to alleviate some of the immediate financial measures for professional musicians due to coronavirus. Help is also offered for health interventions.
Society of Authors
Fund for authors, including writers, illustrators, scriptwriters and journalists, whose income has been affected by coronavirus.
The National Benevolent Charity
Fund for people dependent on zero hours contracts and who have lost their jobs or have had a substantial reduction in income as a direct result of Coronavirus. The aim of the fund is to help people buy food.
Arts Council England
Fund for individuals working in the cultural sector who have had work affected by Covid-19, including artists, creative practitioners and freelancers.
To support those economically vulnerable due to coronavirus.
Edition 2 – Wednesday 1 April
Energy suppliers and self isolation
The government has agreed measures with energy suppliers to support customers self-isolating at this time. Customers with pre-payment meters can speak to their supplier about options to keep them supplied – including nominating a third party for credit top ups, having a discretionary fund added to their credit or receiving a pre-loaded top up card so their supply is not interrupted. More generally any customer in financial distress will also be supported by their supplier. The agreement between BEIS and the domestic energy supply companies can be found here
National Energy Action (NEA)
NEA are running a telephone advice line for people who are worried about paying their energy bills. The Warm and Safe Homes Advice Service is open Monday – Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm and can be contacted (free) on 0800 304 7159 or download a referral form here
The UK’s major telecommunications providers have agreed a set of commitments to support and protect vulnerable consumers including: working with customers who may struggle to pay their bills; removing data allowance caps on all fixed broadband services; offering new and generous mobile and landline packages and; priority repairs for vulnerable and self-isolating customers.
Edition 1 – Thursday 26 March
Benefits and Coronavirus
The national charity Turn2us has created a complete guide to financial support during coronavirus. It includes guidance on the various benefits available in the event of self-isolation and a useful benefits calculator based on the latest government policy.
A £500m ‘hardship fund’ has been set up for councils to support economically vulnerable people and households. Precise details of how the fund will operate are not known, but the government expects most of it to be used to provide more council tax relief.