Our services helping you with cost of living support
We have identified areas we can provide additional support to those that need it most as part of a multi-million pound support package, using money that is allocated to us from the government's Household Support Fund. We know that low-income households are affected more by the rising costs of food and energy.
We have been given a further £11.065 million which we will use for:
- food vouchers for families with children who receive free school meals. These will be provided for October half-term, Christmas, the spring half-term and next Easter
- eligible families to get help towards their energy bills
- funding to district and borough councils for local schemes targeting needs in their local area
- supporting initiatives to help households with energy, food and water.
Some of our services are already providing support to help people stay safe, healthy and well.
Our libraries are warm, open spaces that offer a range of free services including books, activities, computers and wifi. Many other services and partners use libraries for drop-in surgeries.
To help you look after your mental health
Worries over money, housing, heating and food can affect our mental wellbeing, causing stress, anxiety and depression. There are lots of places to get help and support. Go to the mental health section of our website to find the different support available.
Release the Pressure offers a text service to people who are struggling to cope and need immediate help.
Text the word “Kent” or “Medway” to 85258, to start a conversation with one of the many trained and experienced volunteers who can give help at any time, wherever you are.
Watch out for scams
There has sadly been a rise in scams about heating cost reduction, council or government financial support grants, fake employment opportunities, and cheap food. These scams are financially devastating to those who are caught out.
To find out about the different types of scams and how to protect yourself and others, visit our consumer protection page.
To receive alerts from Trading Standards about scams, doorstep criminals and doorstep sellers operating in Kent:
- follow Kent Protect on Twitter @kentprotect
- follow the Facebook Public Protection page
- sign up to receive regular consumer alerts.
Community wardens provide an essential lifeline for many of our residents. Our wardens are equipped with the knowledge of benefits available to help residents access support. They can also identify residents in hardship who would be eligible for Council Tax reductions and can make the request for them.
They are also identifying and engaging with homeless individuals, helping them into accommodation, and working with district council community hubs to help link eligible residents into hardship funds or to fuel poverty advisers.
Both our adult and children's social care services are working with vulnerable families as many are likely to be struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. They are aware of the wider support available and can help families contact the relevant agencies and support services.
Gypsy Roma Traveller Residents Service
We are making all residents on our sites aware of what they need to do to prepare for winter, highlighting risks and signposting them to support and advice.
We urge anyone who is worried about paying their bills, heating their homes or feeding their families to ask for help and advice. Our Kent Together helpline and information, which offered so much advice and support to vulnerable residents through the pandemic, is still here and practical help really is at hand.