Financial hardship help, advice and support

Last Updated: 4 January 2022

If you are finding it difficult to pay your bills there are a number of ways we might be able to help.

The government sponsored Money Advice Service can help you find support.

We also work with a range of local organisations to help your money go further and reduce financial hardship in the district.


South Lakes Citizens Advice provide debt management plans and advice on how to avoid losing your home and how to get your finances back into shape.

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.

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.

The Piggy Bank, brings together some helpful advice and useful tips about moving home and managing money.

Age UK South Lakeland offers lots of services for people of any age including help with debt, housing and health support.


Healthy Start offers free vouchers every week to spend on milk, fresh, frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables, fresh dried and tinned pulses, and infant formula milk. You can also get free vitamins. You qualify if you’re pregnant or have children under the age of four.

Citizens Advice can help with referrals for your closest food bank in South Lakeland.


Council Tax reduction and Housing Benefit Schemes help customers on a low income.

Handy Person Scheme helps elderly or vulnerable people carry out very simple but essential work at their homes. It is free except for the cost of materials.

Disabled Facilities Grants are available to help pay for changes so people can stay living in their own homes.

Our Housing Options team helps residents who are facing homelessness and offers other housing support and advice.

Our Benefits team can help residents ensure they are getting everything they are entitled to including council tax reduction.

Manna House provides advice, advocacy and a drop-in support centre for those who are homeless, vulnerably housed, lonely or needing help.


MyCumbria Card cost £20 and provides a wide range of discounts and offers on everyday activities to help residents do more for less.

BETTER leisure and fitness facilities in South Lakeland offer a range of discounts up to 50% for those who qualify.

Cumbria County Council Ways to Welfare offers advice and useful links for further places for support and how to access referral for a social worker.

Skills and Education

Community learning and skills offer free courses in English, maths, IT and a wealth of other courses including arts and crafts, wellbeing and languages.

Invest in South Lakeland offers free support to businesses, including new start-ups and those exploring a business idea. We have teamed up with the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce to provide a programme of courses, workshops and one-to-one advice, with access to resources and potential financial support.

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce provide a programme of courses, workshops and one-to-one advice with access to resources and potential financial support.