We know times are hard right now. On this page you will find a range of information to help you access support and advice to support you with the rising cost of living.

You can also get more help from the Government's Help for Households website.

Use the links below to find the information you need:

Claiming benefits

If you are struggling financially then make sure you are claiming all the money you are allowed to.

Use the Government's benefits calculator to see what you could claim. This should only be used as a guide and the results may differ from what you are actually offered.

Cost of Living Payments from the Government

Millions of people on means-tested benefits received the first of two cost of living instalments totalling £650 on 14 July 2022, as part of a £37 billion government package to help families with cost of living pressures.

The first £326 instalment for qualifying low-income households was paid using their usual payment method. For those eligible, the rest will follow in a second instalment in the autumn.

People receiving tax credits and no other eligible benefits received their first £326 payment from HMRC between 2 and 7 September and the second £324 payment will be issued in the winter.

About six million disabled people across the UK will get a one-off £150 disability cost of living payment from 20 September.

In total, millions of vulnerable households will receive at least £1,200 from the Government this year to help cover rising costs. There are specific payments for those on means tested benefits, for pensioners, those on disability benefits and to help people with energy bills.

Find out more about Cost of Living Payments from the Government.

Please note this scheme is being administered directly by the Government. Please do not contact us for information as we are not involved with this scheme.

Pension credit

About a third of eligible pensioners are missing out not only a top up to their monthly income but also help with other costs such as heating bills, housing costs, council tax, NHS dental care and if you are over 75 you can get a free TV licence.

If you, or someone you know, are of pensionable age please check to make sure you are claiming the money you are entitled to.

Check if you qualify for pension credit.

­Help with housing costs

Housing Benefit financially covers both housing association rents and privately rented accommodation. You may be able to claim for help to pay the rent for your home if you or someone who lives with you are on a low income.

Find out more about applying for Housing Benefit.

Housing Benefit will not cover heating, hot water, energy or food. If you need help, use a benefits calculator to check what else you might be entitled to.

If your Housing Benefit does not cover all your rent, you might be able to get extra money from our Discretionary Housing Payment scheme. Read the Government’s factsheet on Discretionary Housing Payments.

Our housing team can also offer advice and support. You can contact them by calling 01386 565000 (option 5 for general housing needs) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Help with Council Tax bills

We froze our share of the Council Tax bill this year for the fifth year in a row. By April 2023 this will have kept £1.9 million in the pockets of our residents.

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax then please get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can discuss your options.

If you are on a low income or claiming benefits then you may qualify for Council Tax Support which can reduce your bill. This applies whether you own or rent your home and whether you are unemployed or working.

There are other discounts you may qualify for and you can also ask to spread your payments over 12 months instead of 10 to lower the monthly cost, although the total bill remains the same.

Find out more about applying for Council Tax Support.

Help with energy bills

Energy Bills Rebate

Everyone who pays their Council Tax by Direct Debit and lives in a property in Band A to D should have been paid their £150 Energy Bills Rebate at the end of May. Vouchers were sent by post at the end of June and during July for households in Band A to D who do not pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit. This will allow you to claim the money through the Post Office. If you haven’t received your payment or voucher please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with Energy Bills Rebate in the subject line or if you do not have access to email call 03004 560560.

Households in Bands E and above and on low incomes can also claim help through our discretionary scheme.

Energy Bills Discretionary scheme

We have been given just over £270,000 from the Government to run a discretionary fund for households in need who would not otherwise be eligible for a Council Tax Rebate or may need extra support. Details of the households this will support are available on our Energy Bills Rebate Discretionary Scheme page. We do not yet have a timeline for payments to be made. We will release more information as soon as possible.

Help with energy bills

Act on Energy has money available to support people in certain circumstances with their energy costs. To find out more follow the link or call the Act on Energy free advice line on 0800 988 2881.

Talk to your energy supplier if you are struggling to pay. Certain energy suppliers offer grants to customers to help with their bills.

You can also read our energy saving tips to help cut back on your energy use and save money.

Free home energy efficiency improvements

We are offering to fund energy efficiency improvement work costing up to £25,000 for households with a combined income of £30,000 or less and living in a property with an Energy Efficiency Rating of D or below.

Find out more about free energy efficiency improvements from Wychavon.

Making your home more energy efficient

If you can afford to do so, another way of potentially cutting your energy bills is to improve the insulation of your home or install renewable technology like solar panels. If you do not qualify for help under Wychavon's scheme, then you may still be able to get help from other sources. The Government is providing funding up until 2025 to replace your boiler with a greener alternative that, depending on your circumstances, could also save you money long-term. The scheme offers £5,000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump or a biomass boiler or £6,000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump.

Act on Energy can offer you advice on what energy efficiency grants you qualify for. You can also find out more about the Government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme on their website.

Help with water bills

Severn Trent offers a reduction on its bills to customers with a household income below £16,480. Other schemes are also available

Find out more about support paying your water bill from Severn Trent or call them directly on 0345 7500 500.

Help with broadband and mobile phone bills

If you struggling to afford your broadband or mobile phone bill, and are you are receiving certain government benefits, you may be able to get a lower cost broadband or mobile phone package, known as a social tariff.

View social tariff broadband and mobile phone offers on the Ofcom website.

Help accessing food

If you are struggling to afford food then please visit Here2Help which can direct you to support available. Additional support is available during the school summer holidays for children receiving free school meals and vulnerable families. Go to the next section on this page information.

Your local food bank may be able to help provide you with an emergency food parcel but you will need to be referred. If you can’t afford food then please call the Trussell Trust’s free helpline on 0808 208 2138 to talk to a trained Citizens Advice adviser. They will talk you through the issues you are facing, provide support and issue you with a food bank voucher if needed.

Community pantries fridges and larders operate in Droitwich Spa, Evesham and Pershore. They offer free food to people, regardless of their situation, and unlike food banks, you do not need to be referred. The aim of many of these is to stop as much food as possible from going to waste. Find out where they are located and opening times by clicking on the links below.

Droitwich area:

  • Visit Droitwich CVS website - Provides Food Vouchers - The Old Library Centre, 65 Ombersley Street East, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, WR9 8QS, 01905 779115 – No referral required
  • Moving Forwards Community Fridge also provides food vouchers. Visit Moving Forward website. Westlands Community Hall, Meadow Way, Droitwich, WR9 9BF, 07918 026036 - No referral required
  • Droitwich Community Pantry and Fridge - Visit Droitwich Community Pantry and Fridge Facebook page - Droitwich Baptist Church, Ombersley Street East, WR9 8QS - 07546 553835 - No referral required

Evesham area:

Pershore area:

School holiday food and activities

During the school summer holidays, children receiving free school meals and vulnerable families can get support  with food, finance, activities and more from Ready Steady Worcestershire.

We have committed up to £170,000 to ensure up to 2,300 children free school meal eligible children throughout the district can be fed during four weeks of the summer holidays. Qualifying families will be given a £15 voucher per child per week to spend at their preferred local supermarket to ensure that they continue to put food on the table. This scheme is being delivered through schools. For more details or to access the scheme contact your child’s school.

Rooftop Housing Group has put together a list of places that serve food where children can eat for free or less during the summer holidays. See the list of low cost or free food offers.

Help with childcare costs

Over a million families in the UK are entitled to support with the costs of childcare from the government, but many are missing out because the childcare providers in their area haven’t signed up to accept the various offers.

See if you qualify for help with childcare costs on the Childcare Choices website.

Household Support Fund

We are working with 17 local organisations to distribute the Government’s Household Support Fund. This is aimed at providing essential goods and services to support households. The funding is being distributed locally to support charities to provide food and white goods, fuel vouchers and direct support to families to help reduce poverty through advice and information.

A proportion of the funding this time is also aimed at older people over the age of 66 as well as families.

If you need help, contact South Worcestershire Citizens Advice or your local volunteer centre for more information.

Droitwich Spa CVS This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01905 779115.

Evesham Volunteer Centre This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01386 570530.

Pershore Volunteer Centre This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01386 554299.

Low-cost furniture

Roundabout is a furniture reuse charity near Evesham that offers good quality used furniture at affordable prices. If you meet the qualifying criteria you can be referred to Roundabout for free basic furniture to meet your needs by our housing team or another referral agency, such as Worcestershire County Council and South Worcestershire Citizens’ Advice.

Find out more about Roundabout reuse furniture charity.

Advice to help you manage your money

Create a budget

Creating a budget will help you live within your means and avoid getting into debt with loans and credit cards. A budget is a financial plan which lists the money coming into your household (income) against the money going out (expenses). It will also help you work out what you need to spend money on and what you want to spend money on.

To work out a budget for your household follow the steps below:

  1. List your monthly income
  2. List your recurring monthly expenses
  3. Take away your expenses from your income

If your expenses are more than your income, work out how to cut unnecessary spending. You can then develop a savings plan if there is any money left over.

Use the Money Advice Service's online budget planner.

Tips to help you manage your money

  • Keep track of your spending. Only spend money you have and avoid getting into debt.
  • Plan ahead and protect against unexpected costs or events. Save money if you can.
  • Make informed choices. Pay the bills you must pay first (rent/mortgage, Council Tax, living costs).
  • Control your spending. Make sure you only buy the important things and don’t buy anything you don’t need. Keep a spending diary.
  • Use price comparison websites and switching services to get the best deals on things like your gas and electricity supply, your phone contract and your weekly food shop.
  • When you are food shopping, make a shopping list and stick to it.
  • Understand what might happen if you lost your job or you got into debt.
  • Renegotiate credit card repayments/loan repayments to reduce your monthly out-goings or pay more if you can afford it.
  • Do not borrow money from payday lenders with excessive interest rates or Loan Sharks. Try a credit union instead. Visit sixtowns website for more information.
  • Look at ways of increasing your income. Sell things you don’t need, check you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to, look for new work or development opportunities with your existing employer.
  • Look at ways to cut your expenses. Shop around for the best deals, cook your own food and eat what you buy. The average family household throws £700 of food away every year. Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for help

Debt advice and other financial support

If you are worried about your finances, then seek help as soon as possible.

Call South Worcestershire Citizens’ Advice Adviceline on 03444 111 303.

Call the Government backed Money Advice Service for free and impartial advice on 0800 138 7777.

The Cost of Living Campaign website is a government run scheme with links to a range of support with housing, transport and general living costs.

Worcestershire Here 2 Help offers advice on money matters and other topics. You can also make a request for help to them and they will refer you to an organisation that can offer you support.

The Money Saving Expert Cost of Living Survival Guide has been put together by money saving expert Martin Lewis and his team and includes a range of basic and practical tips to help you during this challenging time.

Credit Unions

Credit Unions are an alternative to high street banks. They are not-for-profit organisations created to support their members rather than shareholders. They can be used by anyone and offer a range of services including current accounts, savings accounts, Christmas saving accounts and loans.

They are a welcome alternative to pay day lenders and loan sharks which we advise you to avoid using.

There are two Credit Unions that offer services to people living and working in Worcestershire. 

Loan sharks

Have you ever been offered a cash loan? Did they fail to give you paperwork? Did they add huge amounts of interest to your loan? Have they threatened you? Are you scared of people finding out? Have they taken your bank card, benefit card, passport, watch or other valuables from you?

If you answered yes to any of those questions then you could have borrowed money from an illegal money lender, more commonly known as a loan shark. You are not alone. It is estimated  310,000 people across the UK are in debt to illegal money lenders. We support the work of the national Illegal Money Lending Team to raise awareness of what loan sharks are, support victims and direct people to safe and legal alternatives.

If you suspect a loan shark you can report in confidence by calling 0300 555 2222, text 078600 22116 or use the online form on the stop load sharks website

If your income is low, you have a poor credit rating or you only need a small amount for a short period of time then there are alternatives to loan sharks that are legal and safe, such as a Credit Union. If you are in debt and struggling then please seek financial advice.