Household Support Fund Awareness Week in Essex

A close up of a woman's hands on top of an elderly man's hand.

The Household Support Fund from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) supports households with the rising cost of living.   

To mark Household Support Fund Awareness Week (16 – 22 October) we wanted to share how the Fund has been supporting struggling households in Essex and how residents can access help.

Money from the Household Support Fund has enabled us to increase the Essential Living Fund which helps vulnerable people to pay for essential items. The Essential Living Fund can support with:

  • furniture
  • household furnishings
  • white goods
  • general living expenses such as groceries, nappies, toiletries and fuel

The fund has been making a huge difference to residents across the county with applicants expressing their gratitude.

Essential Living Fund Applicant:

Today I received an All Pay Card and I cannot thank you enough for your help. My young son lives with me now and this payment has taken so much pressure off. I was worrying how I would get to the end of the month with bills and food.

If you are struggling financially then see if you are eligible for the Essential Living Fund.

As a direct result of the Household Support Fund, we were also able to provide five Essex voluntary and community organisations with funding to help residents.

Homestart Colchester, Jaywick and Clacton is an independent charity supporting the families in crisis including:

  • getting heating back on or preventing it running out
  • providing shopping vouchers to bridge a crisis
  • supplying essential items that mean a family is able to function
  • funding essential repairs to get families back up and running
  • keeping children fed when crisis happens

The charity said:

As a local charity with a mission to support families in need the Household Support Fund has enabled Home-Start to really help when help is needed. The act of kindness and the financial assistance has been a sheer relief for families to know food can be put on the table.

We have also partnered with Peabody to help distribute Household Support Fund grants to families in need through their Outreach Scheme. Peabody has been able to help with food for families that would otherwise go hungry and to buy small appliances such air fryers and microwaves for hot meals and reduced cooking costs. The fund has also helped residents with the purchase of white goods. By buying white goods rather than renting them, monthly rental costs can be put back into household budgets.

One resident who was supported to purchase a cooker for the family after theirs had broken said:

I didn’t think there was any help out there for people who are not on benefits but struggling, and without the help of Peabody would have been in a very difficult position. It has enabled me to provide a normal way of life in the difficult situation we have found ourselves in.

Another resident who arrived in Essex after fleeing domestic abuse was able to access the funds to buy beds and bedding for the new home.

The Household Support Fund has also been used for:

  • food vouchers for eligible children during the school holidays
  • support for care leavers
  • support local food support groups
  • support for food education programmes
  • supporting Essex’s Community Supermarkets

Find out more about the cost of living support on offer to residents in Essex.