Cost of living help, advice and support
Last Updated: 4 November 2022
Many of us are experiencing financial pressures as the cost of living is on the rise.
You may be feeling worried about your situation or find yourself in a position you have never experienced before. However please do not wait for the issue to get worse as there are various local organisations that can help support you.
It can be overwhelming to search through what help is available to find what you need. There is information below for South Lakeland residents on a range of helpful topics.
Help with finances
Our benefits advice team can help you check if you are able to claim benefits or increase your current rates depending on your situation.
Our Council Tax team can help those on low incomes or single occupiers apply for a council tax reduction. If you are struggling to meet your payments, please contact us as soon as possible so we can make an arrangement with you, taking into account your personal circumstances.
South Lakes Citizens Advice can offer support such as debt management plans and how to avoid losing your home.
Pennine Community Credit Union Ltd (PCCU) is an alternative to mainstream banks and payday loans aimed at helping its members manage money well, by providing fair loans and a simple way of saving. It is a not-for-profit organisation.
Age UK South Lakeland offers lots of services with a focus on older people including help with debt, housing and health support.
Energy bills and energy efficiency
Cold to Cosy Homes service offers free energy-saving advice and equipment, along with referrals for a range of other support, to help you make your home warmer and more comfortable.
If you're struggling to pay your bill, always try to contact your supplier. It's much better to get ahead of the game than to risk not paying and it becoming a bigger problem. Many suppliers have support funds in place for people who can't afford to pay, and they're obliged to help you find a solution.
Some broadband providers offer low-cost broadband deals for customers on benefits. Contact your provider to see if you are eligible.
This is a bag of food available for a small fee where households can register to collect food weekly from a community building. Food often comes from Fare Share or local supermarkets. Other groups may offer a hot meal and donate any leftovers, or offer food parcels to families in need.
Below are a list of local groups where you can either register to receive support or offer to volunteer.
- Manna House: Homeless prevention charity providing food three times a week from FareShare donations. Tel: 01539 725 534. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kendal Food Share: 17 Drovers Drive, Kendal. Tel: 07488 376 910. facebook.com/sandylandsresidentsassociation
- Waste into Wellbeing: Running ‘pay as you can’ food shares and community café for the latest information including opening times and venues: www.slacc.org.uk/wiw/. Follow us on facebook.com/kendalpeoplescafe or twitter/kendalpeoplescafe
- Kirkbarrow Food Share: Two food sheds unlocked throughout the day at 41 Greengate Lane, Kendal and 2 Echo Barn Hill, Kendal. Email email@example.com with your name and address or ask at one of the food shed addresses
- Ambleside Community Food Club & Café: Ambleside Parish Centre, Vicarage Road, Ambleside. Tel: 015394 34172. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sedbergh Community Cupboard: Thursday 2pm to 4pm. Cornerstone Community Church, New Street, Sedbergh, LA10 5AF. Tel: 0783 353 4710. www.ZeroWasteSedbergh.com
- Kirkby Lonsdale Food Club: www.klcommunity.co.uk. Email: email@example.com
- Ulverston Food Share: Parish Centre, Church Walk, Fridays 4pm to 5.30pm. £3 per bag. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Grange Community Food Share: Offer food parcels and dry store restocks as well as 2 weekly food clubs. Tel: 07985 505 415. https://www.facebook.com/therewillbesoup/
- Burneside Community Fridge: St Oswalds Church is a 'take what you need, give what you can'. Email: email@example.com
- Staveley with Ings Together: Staveley Pavilion Village Hall Mondays from 1pm, warm hub in the Institute Tuesdays and Thursdays 11am to 3pm. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: 07396 696726
These are free emergency food provisions for targeted households through direct referrals or through referral agencies such as Citizens Advice, social workers, and schools as appropriate.
- Ulverston: Bethany Christian Church, Lightburn Road. Collections on Monday and Thursday 11am to 1pm. Tel: 01229 343 410
- Millom: Millom Baptist Church, Crown Street. Tuesday and Friday 11am to 1pm. Tel: 01229 774 601
- Barrow: Baptist Church, Corner of Abbey Road/Park Road. Collections Tuesday and Thursday 11am to 1pm and Friday 1pm to 3pm. Tel: 01229 343 436
- Kendal: Shakespeare Centre: Yard 76, Highgate. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 12pm to 3pm. Tel: 07534 609 179. Email: email@example.com
- Windermere & District: Methodist Church Basement, Main Road. Tel: 07789 728 811. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Milnthorpe Area: Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm. Tel: 07582 166 564
Free school meals
Your child may be eligible for free school meals and school clothing vouchers. Cumbria County Council: Apply for free school meals and clothing vouchers.
- Warm Spots are heated spaces such as libraries and village halls where you will get a warm welcome and a hot drink. Cumbria County Council will soon release a list of where you can view all available spaces. We will update this page when this information is available
- Sustainable Warmth Cumbria offers grants up to £25,000 to homeowners and landlords to retrofit your home with energy efficiency measures. Carlisle City Council: Sustainable Warmth Cumbria Grants provides further information on eligibility criteria and how to apply. Although Carlisle City Council are leading the scheme, South Lakeland residents can still apply directly to Carlisle
- The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme helps improve the least energy efficient homes helping to meet the Government’s fuel poverty and net zero commitments. Email: email@example.com
- Cumbria Action for Sustainability: Cold to Cosy service offer free energy saving advice to homes in Cumbria for those that are eligible
- Our Housing Options team can offer advice to prevent homelessness as well as support to those sleeping rough
- You may be eligible for a Travel Discount Card if you’re on Universal Credit. National Rail: Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card provides further information
- In England you can get a bus pass for free travel when you reach the State Pension age or have a registered disability. Apply for a concessionary travel bus pass
- Voluntary Social Car Scheme is intended for those people who have no other means of transport. We have volunteers who provide a door to door service across the county to collect you from your home and take you to your chosen destination for a reasonable cost
- Rural Wheels is a transport scheme for people in rural areas
- BETTER leisure and fitness facilities in South Lakeland offer a range of discounts up to 50% for those who qualify