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Money, debt and benefits
Household Support Fund
As part of the government's Household Support Fund, Essex County Council has received funding to provide extra support with food, fuel and other household costs this winter.
How to get support
The fund has been distributed to local organisations, who know their areas best and can directly help those in need. You should contact the organisations listed on this page to access support.
You do not need to be claiming benefits. Whatever your circumstances, if you are struggling this winter you can get help with your essential costs.
Essex Essential Living Fund
Anyone can apply for this funding. You will need to answer questions about your income, earnings and savings. You also need to give proof of your financial situation.
The Essential Living Fund can help pay for:
- household furnishings
- white goods
- clothing and footwear, including school uniforms in exceptional circumstances
- general living expenses such as groceries, nappies, toiletries and money for pay-as-you-go fuel meters
The Essex Essential Living Fund has replaced Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants.
You must live in Essex and apply through Southend Borough Council.
Active Essex holiday activity and food programme
The Essex ActivAte programme provides free holiday activity clubs to young people who are eligible for benefits-based free school meals and other low-income families and vulnerable young people. Clubs will take place across the county.
Find out more about the Active Essex holiday and food programme.
Slow cooker education programme
Active Essex and the Essex Youth Service are working with community organisations to deliver a slow cooker and food education programme, providing families and young people with the chance to cook healthy meals on a budget. Families will be given equipment and food after attending the programme so they can continue to use a slow cooker to make nutritious meals at home.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information about your nearest provider.
Essex Cultural Diversity Project (ECDP)
ECDP will be managing a food and fuel fund within its network of organisations supporting culturally diverse communities to ensure they have access to support and funding as needed.
You can get apply for support through Essex Cultural Diversity Project.
The Community Hubs were set up as part of the response to the pandemic. Anyone in need this winter can contact a hub through their website to get help with food, fuel and essential items.
If you use oil or Calor Gas, your nearest Community Hub can organise a delivery for you.
You can get help by contacting your local organisation:
- Chelmsford Centre Supporting Voluntary Action
- The Ideas Hub Chelmsford
- Basildon, Billericay and Wickford Community Voluntary Service
- The Happy Hub Basildon
- Community360 (Braintree and Colchester)
- Brentwood Community Voluntary Service
- Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services
- Voluntary Action Epping Forest
- Rainbow Services Harlow
- Maldon and District Community Voluntary Service
- Rochford, Rayleigh and District Association for Voluntary Service
- Community Voluntary Services Tendring
- Council for Voluntary Services Uttlesford
- The Witham Hub
Citizens’ Advice in Essex
Citizens’ Advice can provide advice on winter warmth and issue fuel vouchers to those in need. They can also provide information on other support services.
If you use oil or Calor Gas, your nearest Citizens’ Advice centre can organise a delivery for you.
You can get help by contacting your local centre:
- Braintree, Halstead and Witham Citizens Advice
- Chelmsford Citizens Advice
- Colchester Citizens Advice
- Epping Forest Citizens Advice
- Harlow Citizens Advice
- Maldon and District Citizens Advice
- South Essex Citizens Advice (Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point and Rochford)
- Tendring Citizens Advice
- Uttlesford Citizens Advice
Voluntary and community organisations
These organisations can help you access support with food, fuel and essential items.
You can get help by contacting any of these organisations:
- Age UK
- Action for Family Carers
- Carers First
- Home-Start Essex
- Home-Start Colchester
- Home-Start Harlow
- MIND in West Essex