Cost of living support

Cost of living support hubs

Information on the cost of living support that is available to residents in Westminster Council and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Westminster City Council  https://www.westminster.gov.uk/cost-of-living-support
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/cost-living-support-hub

Debt Advice

Worrying about money - interactive ‘money worries’ web form that provides tailored advice and support https://www.worryingaboutmoney.co.uk/westminster
Westminster Citizens Advice -  free, confidential and impartial advice on a range of subjects including benefits or grants entitlement. Open weekdays from 10am to 4pm. Virtual drop in sessions available Mon, Tues and Wednesdays 10am to 11am. Tel: 0808 278 7834 https://www.westminstercab.org.uk/ 
Turn2Us Benefits Calculator – free and confidential benefits calculator to find out what benefits you are entitled to claim. https://benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk/
StepChange – free and expert advice service that helps deal with debt issues. Helpline open Mon-Fri from 8am to 8pm or Saturday from 8am to 4pm on 0800 138 1111 https://www.stepchange.org/

Job and Career advice

Westminster Employment Service (WES) – recruitment service for local residents and businesses. https://www.westminster.gov.uk/jobs/westminster-employment-service
Find a job service - https://www.gov.uk/find-a-job
National Careers Service (NCS) – provides free careers information, training and learning advice and guidance. https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/

Support with rising energy costs

Contact your energy supplier - all energy supplier companies have staff available to talk to review current payments, work out affordable payment plans and arrange for payment breaks.
Thames Water - low income households (earning less than £20,111) can get discounts of up to 50% through its WaterHelp programme. See website for eligibility criteria and application form – https://www.thameswater.co.uk/help/account-and-billing/financial-support/waterhelp
Priority Services Register – is a free support service that energy suppliers run to help people in vulnerable situations. Apply by contacting your energy supplier.
Switching energy provider e.g.

Smart Meter - having a Smart Meter installed in your home so you only pay for the energy you use - https://www.smartenergygb.org/
MoneySavingExpert – financial website providing regular updated information on saving costs, finding deals and other useful research https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/energy/
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Ofgem – the energy regulator for Great Britain. See website for information and advice on energy supply or to make a complain. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households

National support schemes

Government support - independent, free, anonymous benefits calculator to check what benefits you could be entitled to - https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators
Winter Fuel Payment - £100 to £300 payment for older people born on or before 5 October 1954.​​​​​​​
Cold Weather Payments - £25 payment for every 7 days of cold weather between November and March. See website for eligibility https://www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment/eligibility
Warm Home Discount - £140 discount on energy bills for people on low income / receiving Pension Credit. See website for eligibility https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme
Government Cost of Living Payments – £650 one-off cost of living payment for those on means-tested benefits. Two lump sum tax free payments in July and autumn to people on a range of benefits. Automatically paid to those on certain benefits or tax credits. Guidance can be found on the website - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/cost-of-living-payment
Energy Bill Support Scheme - £400 is available for all households to help with rising energy bills regardless of income or size of house. The discount will be made automatically by the energy supplier. The £400 will be received in 6 instalments in Oct and Nov 2022 and from Dec to March 2023.​​​​​​​
Pensioner Cost of Living Payment – one-off £300 tax free payment for households that receive the Winter Fuel Payment.​​​​​​​
Disability Cost of Living Payment – a one-off £150 tax free payment will be made in September to people who receive a range of disability benefits.

Local support schemes

Citizens Advice Westminster – can provide support options and information on managing energy bills. Tel: 0808 278 7834 https://www.westminstercab.org.uk/advice/lets-talk-money-project/are-you-struggling-to-pay-your-energy-bills/
Green Doctors – London based charity offering free and impartial energy advice to low income households, over 65s or those with long term health conditions or disabilities. https://london.greendoctors.org.uk/
Discretionary Housing Payment – an extra payment towards rental costs. Means tested. Apply online: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/benefits/apply-discretionary-housing-payment
Local Support Payment for low-income recipients suffering crisis or emergency (comes in the form of quality second –hand furniture, white goods or store vouchers) – Apply online https://www.westminster.gov.uk/benefits/apply-local-support-payment
Westminster Local Hardship Fund (Household support grant extension) – helps households most in need to pay for essentials such as food and utilities. Tel: 0808 278 7834 WLHF@westminstercab.org.uk
Supermarket grocery vouchers – can be obtained as part of the Westminster Local Hardship Fund - https://www.westminstercab.org.uk/advice/westminster-local-hardship-fund-household-support-grant-extension/
Westminster School Uniform Support Scheme – new scheme starts in Sept 22 to help with costs of primary school uniform. https://www.westminster.gov.uk/news/new-council-funding-school-uniforms
Holiday activities and food programme for children aged 4 to 16 eligible for free school meals during school holidays - https://ourcity.org.uk/haf-programme
Victoria Privilege Card – discount store card scheme https://www.victoriabid.co.uk/privilege-card/current-offers/
Affordable broadband - some broadband providers can offer social tariffs for Westminster residents. Check the handy comparison chart showing offers and eligibility. https://airtable.com/shrPejmyjWsvBttoX/tblR71A2iYOFHEPB8

Food support service

Westminster provides several food support services – Mon-Sat. See council website for details and days of the week available https://www.westminster.gov.uk/cost-of-living-support

Monday

Tuesday

Tel: 0800 047 8161

  • Notting Hill Methodist Church (Kensington and Chelsea Foodbank), from 11am to 1pm at 240 Lancaster Road, Notting Hill W11 4AH, Tel: 020 3728 9003.  Voucher is needed from a support agency such as Citizen Advice.
  • St Michael’s, North Kensington – food provided by WandUK. Registration in advance required either online or in person. Operates from 11am to 4pm at 35 St Lawrence Terrace, W10 5SR, Tel: 020 8962 4132.

Wednesday

  • North Paddington Food Bank – offer supermarket food vouchers, Phone 07932 623443 on Wednesdays 11am to 4pm and Fridays 11am to 4pm
  • St Matthew’s Food Bank from 4pm – 6pm, 29 St Petersburgh Place, W2 4LA. Open to all. No voucher or booking required. Coffee and tea also served.
  • Granville Community Kitchen Food Aid – from 3pm to 4.30pm at the Granville Community Centre, 140 Carlton Vale, London NW6 5HE
  • North Kensington Community Kitchen – from 11:30am to 1pm at Notting Hill Community Church, 92 Kensington Park Road, W11 2ES. Registration required on arrived.
  • ​​​​​​​The Abbey Centre Pantry – weekly subscription of £4.50 for access to food, fresh fruit and vegetables in the value of £15-£20. Operates from 9am to 1pm at The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BU

Thursday

  • Dalgarno Trust – Open to local residents only. Registration required online or in person between 10am to 1pm. Food bags collected from entrance at assigned time between 2.30pm and 6.30pm. 1 Webb Close, Dalgarno Way, W10 5QB.
  • Westbourne Park Food Pantry – Weekly subscription of £5 to access food. Value of £15-20 from 10am to 1pm and 3.30pm – 5.30pm at Westbourne Park Pantry, Westbourne Park Baptist Church, London W2 5DX
  • ​​​​​​​Bay 20 – Providing hot takeaway meals from 2pm to 4pm at 71, St Marks Road, W10 6JG. Tea and coffee available Mon-Fri from 11am to 4pm.

Friday

  • Notting Hill Methodist Church – Kensington and Chelsea Foodbank from 1pm to 3pm.
  • Granville Community Kitchen Food Aid – from 4pm – 5.30pm at the Granville Community Centre, 140 Carlton Vale, London NW6 5HE.
  • The Abbey Centre Pantry – weekly subscription of £4.50 for access to food, fresh fruit and vegetables in the value of £15-£20. Operates from 9am to 1pm at The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BU
  • Westbourne Park Food Pantry – from 10am to 1pm at Westbourne Park Pantry, Westbourne Park Baptist Church, London W2 5DX
  • North Paddington Food Bank – offer supermarket food vouchers, Phone 07932 623443 on Wednesdays 11am to 4pm and Fridays 11am to 4pm

Saturday

  • The SPACE – serving hot food from 12:30pm to 2pm
  • ​​​​​​​Venture Centre – Registration required between 12pm-2pm. Collection at assigned timeslot from 3pm-4pm at Venture Centre, Faraday House, 103a Wornington Road, W10 5YB

Mental health and wellbeing support and advice

Every mind matters – expert advice and practical tips for better mental health and wellbeing. https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/
Good Thinking - https://www.good-thinking.uk/ – a digital wellbeing service that gives 24/7 access to a range of digital mental health apps and other resources for Londoners. Free NHS approved apps. Apps include:

  1. Tomo App – helps build healthy habits to improve wellbeing and handle challenges.
  2. Meditainment – access to guided meditations and visualisation techniques.
  3. Be Mindful App – online mindfulness course to help reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

Westminster Talking Therapies (IAPT) – provide a range of talking therapies for people 18 years and over who are feeling anxious and worried, or down and depressed. Service is provided via self-referral – Tel: 030 3333 0000 or referral by GP / Healthcare Professional. https://talkingtherapies.cnwl.nhs.uk/westminster
The Samaritans - https://www.samaritans.org/ Tel: 0330 094 5717 or freephone 116 123 provides 24/7​​​​​​​
The Listening Placehttps://listeningplace.org.uk/ Tel: 020 3906 7676 operates from 9am to 9pm, Monday to Sunday. Offering a free, confidential and ongoing face to face support for people with suicidal feelings​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​Mental Health Hubs – GPs referrals – No self-referrals

  • North Westminster community mental health team hub and the
  • South Westminster community mental health hub.

The Single Point of Access - open 24/7, 365 days a year. Tel: 0800 0234 650 or email cnw-tr.spa@nhs.net. The Single Point of Access provides one number and one email address for referrals to secondary mental health services and support in a mental health crisis in the Boroughs of Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster.

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