Coronavirus (COVID-19): how to stay safe and help prevent the spread

Keep acting responsibly to protect yourself and others. Continue to follow the guidance on GOV.UK.

For information on getting tested, vaccines, coronavirus news and data, and support for businesses and residents, go to the Coronavirus hub .

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:

  • furniture
  • 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 haf@activeessex.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.

Community Hubs

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:

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:

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:

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