Website offers comprehensive guide to support available for struggling residents

With annual inflation now close to 10 per cent and rising, Croydon Council has just published a comprehensive list of initiatives aimed at helping local residents cope with the cost of living crisis.

The list includes details of help with council tax and benefits that people might be entitled to, as well as help and advice with money and debt, jobs and training. Information about Government schemes is also provided, including a number of measures intended to help with energy bills.

For people facing severe hardship or emergency, including struggling to pay bills or afford food, the Household Support Fund provides one-off support in the form of vouchers, wherever possible, rather than cash grants. It can also help meet basic living costs including utility bills, essential white goods such as cookers and microwaves, and bedding. In extreme cases a discretionary support fund is available.

However, for discretionary support you first have to apply for an interest free Budgeting Loan. To qualify for this you must have been receiving at least one of the following benefits continuously for six months or more: Income Support; Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance; Income-based Employment and Support Allowance; Pension Credit.

Details of local voluntary and community organisations that can offer support are included in the list. Full details of all options are on the Council website here.

* Additional information can be found in the recent Worrying about money leaflet, produced by the Food Hub in association with the Independent Food Aid Network and Croydon Voluntary Action. Click on the image to view or download a copy.