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Cost of living support

Advice and support is available from St Albans City and District and a range of voluntary and community groups across the District - we're here to lend a hand.

Warm Spaces to save on your energy bill Toggle accordion

Communities 1st

Warm Spaces are community spaces open over winter months, providing people struggling to heat their homes with somewhere to get warm, stay warm and enjoy a little company and some hot refreshments. Some warm spaces offer additional activities, a hot meal and information and signposting.

To provide a coordinated approach and to support local communities, Communities 1st would like to encourage all partners providing warm spaces and activities this winter to register on their website here. This information will appear on Communities 1st website and will be available to the general public. To view the register of warm spaces, please click here.

Hertfordshire County Council

This online directory will let people find libraries, family centres and community spaces near them where they can stay safe and warm. Many will also be running additional activities to provide people with the opportunity to meet others and take part in events such as slipper swaps for older people in libraries and stay and play events in family centres for families with young children.

Support if you are concerned about debt Toggle accordion

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice can work with you to sort out any debt worries and help you claim the benefits you may be entitled to. They can help with housing and employment problems, or deal with queries about consumer or tax issues.  They can advise on family and personal matters too.

 https://citizensadvicestalbans.org.uk/money-and-debt/

Stepchange

Stepchange provides free, confidential and expert debt advice and money guidance. They can recommend the best solution for your circumstances. Their advice is free of charge and they can help to support you get back on track.

https://www.stepchange.org/ 

Support with your energy bills Toggle accordion

St Albans Home Energy Support Scheme 

The St Albans Home Energy Support Scheme can support you to improve the energy efficiency of your home and reduce your energy bills by providing information, advice and possible financial support.

The service is available to all households, regardless of income, by calling 0800 107 0044 on weekdays from 9am to 5pm, by emailing bhbh@nef.org.uk or by going online at www.bhbh.org.uk.

St Albans District Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice have collated some helpful advice to support you with your increased energy bills below:

Cost saving tips: https://citizensadvicestalbans.org.uk/cost-saving-tips/

Cost saving booklet: https://citizensadvicestalbans.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Cost-Save-v11.pdf

https://citizensadvicestalbans.org.uk/energy/

Energy advice appointments are bookable with a member of the Citizens Advice team by contacting them through the usual channels on their website.

Hertshelp 

Hertshelp can support you if you are struggling with your energy bills, please contact them on 0300 123 4044 or www.hertshelp.net/hertshelp.aspx

Social Tariffs

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. They’re delivered in the same way as normal packages, just at a lower price. Further details can be found on the Ofcom website below.

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/costs-and-billing/social-tariffs 

The Energy Bill Support Scheme

The Energy Bill Support Scheme provides a £400 non-repayable discount to eligible households to help with their energy bills over winter 2022 to 2023. All households with a domestic electricity connection in England, Scotland and Wales are eligible for the discount.

Home Energy Efficiency and Funding

In the St Albans District, the energy we use in our home’s accounts for nearly half of our overall greenhouse emissions. By making your home more energy efficient you can help the environment and save money, so it doesn’t literally go through the roof. The page below provides information on what you can do to reduce your energy consumption and lists sources of grants, funding and advice to help you. 

https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/energy-efficiency 

Support with your food bill Toggle accordion

St Albans District Foodbank

For advice and support if you are experiencing difficulty getting enough food please see the link below.

https://stalbansdistrict.foodbank.org.uk/ 

Free School Meals

All pupils in reception and years 1 and 2 are eligible for free school meals. Children in year 3 and above may be eligible for free meals depending on benefits received. Check elgibility and register here: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/schools-and-education/at-school/free-school-meals/free-school-meals.aspx 

NHS Healthy Start

NHS Healthy Start provides families with fruit, vegetables and milk worth £220 a year, plus free vitamins to help pregnant and breastfeeding women and growing children.

If you are more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old, and you receive certain benefits, you could be entitled to a Healthy Start prepaid card worth £4.25 per week, to spend on healthy food and milk.

Previous voucher recipients must re-apply to continue getting help.

Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply at www.healthystart.nhs.uk

Benefit calculators Toggle accordion

Benefit calculators

The St Albans District Council benefits calculator will help you find out what benefits you can claim.

The calculator is free to use, and the details you provide are anonymous.

https://stalbans.entitledto.co.uk/home/start

Pension credit calculator: https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit-calculator 

Understanding Universal Credit: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/

Local support for the cost of living Toggle accordion

St Albans District Healthy Hub

The Healthy Hub provides a central point of access for advice, guidance and support from many community groups and charities. Our partners offer free and confidential support covering a range of issues.

https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/healthy-hub 

Hertfordshire County Council

The County Council have collated a list of helpful resources to assist with the cost of living as well as advice from the money advice unit.

https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/about-the-council/news/news-archive/help-to-manage-the-cost-of-living 

https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/adult-social-services/money-and-benefits-advice/financial-information/money-advice-unit.aspx

Government support for the cost of living Toggle accordion

Support if you are concerned about the impact of cost of living on your business Toggle accordion

Hertfordshire Growth Hub

The Hertfordshire Growth Hub Cost of Living Business Support Hub is designed to support business owners in Hertfordshire who are looking for resources on how to manage the increases to the cost of living and the impact that it may be having on your business and workforce.  

See here for more information: https://www.hertsgrowthhub.com/business-support/cost-of-living/?dm_i=4OQI,1F1GP,2SAYZB,6K36M,1#business-support 

St Albans City and District Council

Information on free business support can also be found on our website here: https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/free-business-support 

Support from the Household Support Fund Toggle accordion

To support with the cost of living, Hertfordshire has been provided with funding from the Government’s Household Support Fund (HSF). This funding will be used to help people in need with things like the cost of energy and food. We are working with a range of partners across the county to make sure we can get the right help to those who need it, at the right time.

Residents are not able to apply directly for the Household Support Fund, however, if you need help or support you can call HertsHelp on 0300 123 4044 who may be able to help. If support is available, it will be based on your current situation and we may ask a few questions about your financial situation.

Help to manage the cost of living

Herts Help support in crisis form: https://www.hertshelp.net/our-services/support-in-a-crisis/support-in-a-crisis-form.aspx 

Support if the cost of living is affecting your mental health Toggle accordion

Mind in Mid Herts 

Mind in Mid Herts works with people to prevent them from developing mental health problems as well as supporting people who recover and prevent relapse.

Mind in Mid Herts can also be contacted at 11 Hatfield Road, St Albans AL1 3RR or admin@mindinmidherts.org.uk

Website:  https://www.mindinmidherts.org.uk/ 

South West Herts Samaritans

Whatever you're going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. They're there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

24 hour helpline: 116 123

Visit the branch website: https://www.samaritans.org/branches/watford/

Email: outreach@swhertssamaritans.org.uk or community@swhertssamaritans.org.uk

New Leaf Recovery and Wellbeing College

They offer opportunities to learn about wellbeing and recovery by providing unique courses designed to increase knowledge, understanding and skills to equip people with the tools to live a meaningful, productive and fulfilling life. 

Call: 01442 864966

Email: info@newleafcollege.co.uk

Visit: www.newleafcollege.co.uk         https://www.facebook.com/newleafcollege                    https://twitter.com/NewLeafCollege                        https://www.instagram.com/newleafcollege