As the cost of living increases it is important to be aware of the benefits, payments and support options available to you. There are local and national schemes that can help you with rent, food, energy and more. The government has a national cost of living hub which can be found here Cost of living support – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) . In addition there is a range of local support which is available which is detailed below.
Household Support Fund 3
This funding is to support residents in BCP with the cost of living situations around keeping warm, reducing energy bills and accessing food across the winter.
In addition to the funding provided to schools for flexible food vouchers, residents can also apply for short term financial help through food and/or energy vouchers through Citizen’s Advice BCP
here Household Support Fund – Citizens Advice Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole (citizensadvicebcp.org.uk) If you don’t have access to the internet to complete the form you can go to the nearest drop-in or outreach session which can be found here: Get Advice – Citizens Advice Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole (citizensadvicebcp.org.uk)
These are the current drop-in sessions:
Bournemouth Outreach Hub
Civic Centre, Town Hall, (BH2 6DX) Monday – Thursday 10am – 2.30pm (Drop-ins only)
Christchurch Outreach Hub
Christchurch Central Library (BH23 1AW) Fridays 9:30am – 12:30pm (Drop-ins only)
Citizen’s Advice BCP also has other support and advice available. Their Community Advice Vehicle will be visiting various locations in the BCP area in the coming months.
Eligible households can also benefit from a visit from an energy advisor who will support them with ways to reduce their bills, access energy saving advice and in some instances provide a new boiler depending on circumstances. Full details can be found here: LEAP Home Visit | Ridgewater Energy
Access to Food
There are a number of options for accessing community food support and these are detailed on the webpages here: Community support if you are struggling to pay for food (bcpcouncil.gov.uk)
Frontline staff may want to download the Access to Food map which details all the offers of community food support across BCP along with the locations and opening times so that you can
find support quickly: Food Map (v88.co.uk)
Safe and Well visits
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service offer free Safe & Well advice, which can include a home visit and the provision of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. To request this for yourself, a family member or a vulnerable person, please call them FREE on 0800 038 2323 (leave a message and someone will call you back) or visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safe-and-well-visits
A Warm Welcome network
We are supporting the development of a network of warm welcome spaces across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, where residents who struggle to keep their homes warm can go and keep warm in a welcoming space. Details of current Warm Welcome spaces can be found in the webpage here, along with information on how to set up a warm welcome space. Warm welcome spaces (bcpcouncil.gov.uk)
BCP Cost of Living support one-stop shop
For more information please see the dedicated Cost of Living support hub on the Council’s webpage which details the support available Cost of living help (bcpcouncil.gov.uk)