Financial hardship help, advice and support

Last Updated: 1 June 2021

If you want to pay your bills, but don't have the money to do so, you could be in financial hardship.

We are committed to supporting our customers who experience money worries.

Whilst we are doing all we can to help our customers, we recognise there may be other debts that you need help and advice with.

If you are worried about debts or have missed payments, there is also free and independent debt advice available.

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

We are also working together with local organisations to promote ways to help you make your money go further and reduce financial hardship for people in South Lakeland.

On this page you will find information about local organisations who can give advice and support on a whole range of issues. Also the services we offer, and other financial hardship related schemes and initiatives.


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

Eden & South Lakeland Credit Union is an alternative to mainstream banks and payday loans. It is a locally run financial co-operative aimed at helping its members manage money well, by providing fair loans and a simple way of saving.

Cold to Cosy Homes service offers free advice, energy-saving equipment and other practical help to householders.

The Piggy Bank, advice on managing and saving your money, budgeting, debt and borrowing


Healthy Start Scheme offers free vouchers every week to spend on milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, and infant formula milk. You can also get free vitamins. You could qualify if you're on benefits, or if you're pregnant and under 18.

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 provide discounts and offers on everyday activities to help residents do more for less. You can see the full range of offers and order your card on their website.

BETTER leisure and fitness facilities in South Lakeland offer a range of discounts up to 50% for those who qualify. Please contact your local Better facility for more information.

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.

General information, advice and support

Help is available in dealing with financial hardship, and a range of related issues, through some of our Partner organisations:

Citizens Advice South Lakes provide free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone about any aspect of life including debt, housing, employment and legal issues.

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