Brighton & Hove City Council – Help with food, fuel and other essential costs
Household Support Fund
Extra help is available this winter for households struggling to pay for food, fuel and other essential costs. The funding is part of the government’s Household Support Fund and is available until 31 March 2022. The council can offer vouchers or find another way to help access many essential goods and services.
Help is available for people who are not on benefits, as well as those who are.
To find out more and apply, go to www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/household-support-fund or call the Community Hub on 01273 293117 (option 2).
Disabled Facilities Grant
A wide range of help for older and disabled people, including a Warm Safe Homes Grant, as well as grants to help prevent falls and injury in the home and assist hospital discharge. These are all non-repayable grants with a simple application process.
To apply, contact the Disabled Facilities Grant Team at email@example.com or call 01273 294366. For more information about the range of assistance on offer go to www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/adult-social-care/care-and-support-adults/changes-your-home.
For the hospital discharge grant, contact Possability People on 01273 069851 or HDS@possabilitypeople.org.uk
Mental health and money self-help and toolkits
Mental health and money
Website offering practical advice, tips and a toolkit.
Mental health and debt guide
Online money advice resources
Money Advice Service
Local Debt and Money Advice
Money Advice Plus
Specialist debt and benefit advice, casework and support.
01273 664 000
St Lukes Advice Service
Provides free advice, information and help with form filling in relation to debt, benefits and pension credit.
The Financial Support Line for Victims of Domestic Abuse
Financial support for victims of domestic abuse.
01323 635 987
Disability advice centre can help with disability advice, welfare benefits and a range of other issues. Can help with enquiries about;
Disability benefits (ESA, UC, PIP, AA, Carers Allowance, WTC).
- Disability benefits appeals
- Some pension credit enquiries
- Some Council Tax enquiries
- Fuel debt or changing fuel providers
- Utilities debt
- Information on equipment or assistive technology
- Accessible holidays
- Food bank referrals
Advisors are available by telephone, from 10am – 4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday (closed Wednesdays). 01273 894050.
If you are deaf or had of hearing text us on 07718 42 42 14
Here to help Brighton & Hove residents save money, make money and manage their money better. The services are for anyone who is struggling to make ends meet. Drop-ins and helpline support.
Helpline: 0800 988 7037
Citizens Advice Brighton and Hove
Provide free confidential and impartial advice
08082 78 78 15
Youth Advice Centre in Brighton
Offers housing advice, family mediation, floating support, advice and support around emotional health and wellbeing and debts and benefits. Budgeting and money management advice and support with benefit claims. Access to specialist benefit advice.
National Debt and Money Advice
Debt Advice Foundation
Debt advice, tools and resources
0800 043 40 50
Online and telephone free, confidential debt advice
0800 138 1111
Free independent debt advice on the telephone or webchat and offer online tools
0808 808 4000
Money Advice Service
Offers free and impartial money advice, set up by the government.
Telephone: 0800 138 7777
Type Talk: 18001 0800 915 4622
Whatsapp: 07701 342744
Financial Hardship- support and advice
If you need emergency help with food, energy bills and other essentials, please phone 01273 293 117 and select option 1. You will be directed to the Local Discretionary Social Fund.
For queries relating to Covid-19, please phone 01273 293 117 and select option 2. You will be directed to the Community Hub.
If you are over 18, require food or shopping related support and can afford to pay for this, please phone 01273 293 117 and select option 3. You will be directed to Food Support at Impact Initiatives
If you need help to stay safe and well, or if you need care and support, please call Access Point on 01273 295 555.
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership
A not for profit organisation including community organisations, statutory agencies, local business and individual residents. Offering various community food projects, including community gardens, food sharing, food banks and free or low cost meals.
Community Roots is a group of sixteen community groups working together to provide prevention, wellbeing and recovery support for people with a range of mental health issues. Support for carers and families is also available.
A Freephone Central Access Point phone number is operated by a team of Community Navigators who can guide people through the support available and provide professional advice.
Self-refer online Tel: 0808 196 1768.
Open Monday to Friday 9-5pm.
City Centre space for drop-in support, affordable meals, activities, counselling, peer support
BHESCo - Advice, home visits and energy saving kit
Brighton & Hove Energy Services Cooperative (BHESCo) can offer free advice on switching and energy consumption to residents who are struggling to pay their energy bills. They can also carry out free home visits to qualifying households to install energy-saving measures, help in dealings with energy suppliers and give guidance on efficient energy usage in the home.
Contact BHESCo by calling 0800 999 6671 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading: Energy Advice.
For more information, go to https://bhesco.co.uk/fuel-poverty-energy-bills-brighton-hove.
Help and advice for people struggling to afford water bills, including discounts and support from Southern Water and free, water-saving home visits:
Help with paying your water bill: https://www.southernwater.co.uk/account/help-paying-your-bill
Free, water-saving home visits: https://www.southernwater.co.uk/help-advice/how-to-save-water/water-saving-home-visits
LEAP – Advice, home visits and energy saving kit
The Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP) is a free advice service helping people keep warm and reduce their energy bills. LEAP works in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council and has helped lots of people in the city reduce their energy bills. Advisors can:
- fit free energy saving kit in your home (such as lightbulbs and draught-proofing)
- check if you are eligible for insulation or a new boiler
- give practical advice on heating systems and saving energy
- help with switching
- arrange a free money advice consultation to help with benefits, debt and other money problems
To book a free energy advice phone call or home visit for yourself or someone else:
NEA - Warm and Safe Homes Advice Service (WASH)
Free impartial support and advice for vulnerable and low-income customers on energy bills and keeping warm and safe in your home. The service can help with:
- Support with gas and electricity accounts including fuel debt
- Warm Home Discount and Priority Service Register
- Switching suppliers & tariffs
- Energy efficiency and water rates
- Trust fund applications
- Benefits advice and income maximisation
Contact the WASH Advice Service by calling 0800 304 7159, referring online at https://www.nea.org.uk/wash-advice/ or using the chat function on the Facebook page to speak directly to an adviser who can give tailored advice.
NEA can also offer online workshops for at risk groups, providing free, impartial advice on switching, bills, supplier issues, energy debt, grant applications and more. Please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
ESFRS – Home safety visits
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) offer free home safety visits, with specially trained advisors who can offer a range of advice:
- Falls and accident prevention advice
- Health and wellbeing discussion and referral
- Escape routes and bedtime routines
- Electrical safety and specialist equipment
- Warm homes advice
- Scams and security information
- Fit smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and other specialist equipment
Where needed, referrals will be made to Adult Social Care, fuel poverty advisors, occupational therapy etc.
For further details, call 0800 177 7069 or go to https://www.esfrs.org/your-safety/home-safety-visits/
Free Fire Safety Training Sessions (online or in person) can also be delivered to front line staff/volunteers offering advice, guidance and best practice for fire safety in the home. To book a training session, go to https://www.esfrs.org/your-safety/safer-homes/care-providers-fire-safety-scheme/ (please note although it says care providers it is open to everyone).
Level 3 cold weather alert
This means severe cold weather and icy conditions are expected in parts of England. Daytime temperatures are expected to be near or just above freezing, with even colder nights and a risk of ice. This could increase the health risks to vulnerable people and disrupt the delivery of services.
Advice: Keep your home warm, look after yourself and check on people who may be vulnerable
- Get your COVID-19 vaccinations and flu jab if you are eligible to make sure you are protected against serious illness this winter.
- Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°C, particularly if you are not mobile, have a long-term illness or are 65 or over.
- Keep your home warm, efficiently and safely – be careful using electric blankets, and do not use a gas cooker or oven to heat your home – it’s inefficient and there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Keep in the warmth by drawing curtains at dusk, sealing gaps around windows and doors, and make sure radiators are not obstructed.
- Avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold-related illness or falls. Make sure you have the food, fuel and medicine you need at home so you don’t need to go out.
- Maintain your body heat - make sure you move around and stay active, and wear many thin layers.
- Check on older neighbours, friends or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses to make sure they are well, they have access to warm food and drinks and are managing to heat their homes adequately.
If you are concerned about your health or somebody you care for, go to www.nhs.uk/winterhealth, call NHS 111 or talk to your local pharmacist.
Brighton & Hove Cost of Living Support – www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/cost-living-support
Find information on money advice, benefits, emergency help, free and low cost food options, wellbeing support, energy advice and the cost of living crisis appeal.
Warm Welcome Directory – lists indoor activities and warm places to go this winter: www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/warm-welcome
Attached: Key Winter Support & Advice – resource for workers, volunteers and professionals which summarises key local and national support available this winter for energy, food, water and other essential costs. It also includes support for home safety and guidance on keeping warm and well at home.
Attached: The Briefing sheet - fuel, food and the cold – includes more advice on looking after yourself and others, keeping your home warm, and gives a summary of the key cold weather and fuel poverty initiatives in Brighton & Hove with contact details.
More information and advice – including advice you can share with your networks and actions you can take to look after those you work with.
- How to stay well in winter - NHS – advice on who’s most at risk, what to do to keep well and suggestion to keep your home warm.
- ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ leaflet - GOV.UK – printable leaflet with advice on staying well in cold weather, covering issues such as financial help, healthy lifestyle, flu jabs and heating.
- 5 ways to protect your under 5s this winter – GOV.UK – public advice on looking after young children in cold weather.
- Age UK – advice and support for older people.
- Cold weather plan for England - GOV.UK – plan to help prevent the major avoidable effects of cold weather on health which includes details on how different organisations need to respond.
- Energy Saving Trust – advice on how to save money on your energy bills
- Get help if you're at risk of becoming homeless - Advice if you are at risk of Homelessnes?
Information on staying well this winter in alternative formats:
- NHS web page which can be translated into other languages by the user: How to stay well in winter - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- Large print information from NHS England: We're here to help you stay well this winter (assets.nhs.uk)
- Easy Read information from NHS England: We are here to help you stay well this winter (assets.nhs.uk) (PDF 1.2MB)
- British Sign Language (BSL) video from NHS England: Stay Well This Winter: British Sign Language leaflet 2020 - YouTube
- Audio from NHS England: Stay well this winter: audio file on Soundcloud