Help if you’re struggling with living costs

Help if you’re struggling with living costs

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Cost of Living Leaflet-WODC UPDATE

Many residents are currently struggling with rising living costs. That’s why it’s important to know what help and support is available that could benefit you, a relative, friend or neighbour. Our Resident Support Worker is available to help people facing Cost of Living and other challenges, to listen to situations, refer to services and signpost to support. Contact [email protected] or call 01993 861 077.


1. Check you’re not one of up to 7 million people in the UK missing out on income-related state benefits

Call 0800 328 5644 for Government advice or 08082787908 for Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire or visit: or

People of State Pension age may be entitled to Pension Credit even though they may have modest savings, or a retirement income or own their own home. 0800 99 1234 or


2. Get help if you’re struggling to afford enough food

If you are struggling to buy food, please contact our Resident Support Worker or you can access low-cost Larder membership schemes and free food at local Community Fridges, e.g.-

  • Witney Food Revolution (Fridge – Tue, Thur, Sat 10am-12pm and Larder – Wed 3-7pm) Methodist Church, High St, Witney, OX28 6HG
  • Carterton Community Fridge – Monday 10:30 – 11:30am at The Sanctuary (Methodist Church), Burford Road, Carterton.
  • Chippy Larder – Thursday between 1 – 6pm at the Guildhall, Goddards Lane, Chipping Norton, OX7 5NJ.
  • You can also find more options via the Good Food Oxfordshire Map.


3. Get help if you are in a financial crisis

If you are in crisis and have no other source of financial support, you can apply to the Resident Support Scheme for help with living costs such as food and credit for gas/electric prepayment meters. or call 01865 804171, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Check if you can claim a Discretionary Housing Payment. If Housing Benefit or Universal Credit doesn’t cover all your rent, you may be eligible to claim for a discretionary housing payment to help with rent payments. Call: 01993 861000 or visit:


4. Help if you’re struggling to pay your bills

You may be eligible for Council Tax Support or assistance from the Council’s Hardship Fund if you receive certain benefits or are on low income. or 01993 861030

Contact your Water or Energy supplier if you are struggling to pay for energy or think you may get into difficulty – if you already have energy debts, some larger suppliers offer grants to help pay this off. Please look for their contact details on your bill.


5. Seek advice about debt

If you’re in debt, seek advice early rather than let things spiral out of control. Here are some organisations you can contact:


5. Help if you or someone you care for is experiencing illness or disability

Check if you or your family are entitled to Attendance Allowance (for those ill or disabled over state retirement age). call 0800 731 0122 or

Dementia Oxfordshire is a free service provided by Age UK Oxfordshire, in partnership with Dementia UK. They provide information, advice and support to people living with dementia and their carers. For more info go to: or call 01865 410 210.

If you are a carer, you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance and/or an extra amount called the ‘carer element’ within Universal Credit. Visit:

You could also contact Carers Oxfordshire for Advice and Support and 01235 424715


6. Help if you, or someone you know is suffering domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour. It is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional). If you or someone you know is being abused contact Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse service on 0800 731 0055. If there’s a risk to life, please call 999 or text 999

More information on support can be found at


7. Looking after your mental health

Looking after our mental health and wellbeing is important. There are a variety of organisations that may be able to offer you the support, advice and help you need – whether in person, over the phone, or in group settings: Oxfordshire Mind offer a Wellbeing Service to anyone over 18. An Options session which is a conversation (face to face or by telephone) with a Wellbeing Worker is used to explore a person’s mental health, wellbeing and what might be helpful. Visit

  • The Silver Line Helpline run by Age UK is a free, confidential telephone service for older people. They provide friendship, conversation and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 0800 4 70 80 90 or
  • Samaritans – if you’re having a hard time, they will provide emotional support and will listen so that you don’t have to face it alone. Call them anytime on 116 123 or


8. Would you like to improve your mobility and general wellbeing?

We understand the difficulties that affect many of us being active and the uncertainty about how to get started especially if you have a long-term health condition. The Move Together team are here to help and support you to move more. To find out about our Move Together programme and the activities you can try, please contact Angie on 01993 861581 or Jenny on 01993 861564. If you’d like info on our short Wellbeing Walks call 01993 861 077


9. Need practical support?

Need help setting up your phone or laptop? Contact the Age UK Tech Buddies on 01235 849 434 [email protected]

Need someone to collect your Prescription or some shopping? Or would you like a volunteer to call you for a chat? Contact the NHS Volunteer Responders on 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week.

Need a lift to a Hospital Appointment? Contact Volunteer Link Up on 01993 776277

Need help with your bins and recycling?

If you are disabled or have a long-term medical condition that makes it difficult for you to put your bins by the roadside, then you can request an assisted collection. Fill in the form online via the link below or call 01993 861000 Option 1 You can also report a missed bin, request a new bin or check your collection day by going to


10. You may be able to get funding to improve the energy efficiency of your home

Better Housing Better Health has funding available to help residents who are in receipt of certain benefits (e.g. Pension Credit) to save energy and feel warmer in their home. Measures include draught excluders, thermal lined curtains and secondary glazing film. They could also include funding towards boiler servicing / replacement for owner occupiers. Call 0800 107 0044 or visit


11. Age UK Oxfordshire

Age UK run various activities including Film & book clubs, Chatterbox coffee mornings and Art groups. To find out more contact Community Links who will listen and talk through what services or activities are right for you. Call 01235 849 434 or [email protected]


12. Scam Awareness

The National Cyber Security Centre offers advice on how to stay secure online and how to recognise and report emails, texts, websites, adverts or phone calls that you think are trying to scam you. Visit:,

Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime where you should report if you have been scammed or experienced cyber crime. It is run by the Police working alongside the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. Call 0300 1232040