Cost of Living Support
Everyone is 'feeling the pinch' right now. As the cost of living crisis continues, we thought it would be useful to our college community to list various sources of information and contacts who may be able to support you during these testing times. First and foremost, if you’re struggling with your finances, please do get in touch with us, as there may be things we can suggest which will help. We want to do everything to support our community through this winter. Please contact your child’s Formation Tutor, or Head of Year, if you require support.
Listed below are sources of information, support and even ways in which you can cut and control your expenses. Many of these have been taken from the Money Saving Expert website which provides a wealth of information about home finances and benefits.
Grants, Payments & Benefits
Citizen’s Advice Bureau or Family Hub Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB)
You don’t have to be a UK citizen to get support from your local CAB, you just need to be a resident of the local area. The CAB can help you with:
- Advice on benefits
- Consumer queries
- Debt advice and guidance
- Workplace disputes and guidance
Visit the Citizens Advice’s website, or contact your local branch to book an appointment:
Staffordshire South West (Cannock Office) Citizens Advice Civic Centre, 28 Beecroft Road, CANNOCK, Staffordshire, WS11 1BG - 0808 278 7874
Millions of people are missing out on benefits payments. You can check what you're entitled to using the 'Turn2Us Benefits Calculator'. You can also browse a list of available grants and seek support here: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Get-Support
Make sure you’re on the right tax code. If you aren’t, you might be due a refund. The rules say it's YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to check that yours is correct (not your employer's or HM Revenue & Customs'). You can use Money Saving Expert's Tax Calculator to check yours.
Cost of Living Payments 2022
Many households in England, Wales and Scotland can get up to £1,500 of Government support this year, designed to help a little with energy bills – though most households won't be eligible for the full amount. You may be able to get:
- A non-repayable £400 energy grant in October to all households. See £400 energy grant for more info.
- A one-off payment of £650 for those on means-tested benefits. Find out more about the £650 one-off payment.
- A £300 winter fuel payment top-up. A top-up will be paid in November or December to the UK's eight million pensioners who get the winter fuel payment. You'll qualify for this payment if you'll be over state pension age (aged 66 or above) between 19 and 25 September 2022, and as long as you meet certain other requirements – see Gov.uk for full details.
- A £150 top-up for those on certain disability benefits. About six million people across the UK on certain disability benefits will receive a one-off payment of £150 in September. This will be paid straight into the account you currently receive your benefits into and is designed to help towards the cost of specialist equipment and food, and increased transport costs. Find out if you qualify.
If you think you’re due a payment, but haven’t received one – report a missing payment to the government here.
Be aware of scams! If you receive any emails, texts or phone calls asking you to fill in an application form, or asking for your bank details to receive a cost of living payment, do not talk to them or send a reply.
Free School Meals
Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
Your child may also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:
- younger than the compulsory age for starting school
- in full-time education
If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2023.
You can view more information about this, and apply, by visiting this page on our website: https://cardinalgriffin.org.uk/Meals/
Staffordshire CC Educational Awards and Funding
If you're a low-income family, you could get help with the following:
16-19 Bursary - https://www.gov.uk/1619-bursary-fund
Cannock and District Foodbank & Community Fridges
If you are in food crisis, you may be eligible for a food parcel from our local foodbank. They work with the following agencies to receive referrals for people in real need:
- Citizens Advice
- Housing Support Officers
- Children’s Centres
- Health Visitors
- Social Services
- Local charities
Contact Details for Cannock and District Foodbank:Office Address
Pye Green Christian Centre,
521 Pye Green Road,
A Community Fridge is a space that brings people together to eat, connect, learn new skills and reduce food waste. It is a site where local people can share food, this includes surplus from supermarkets, local food businesses, producers, households and gardens. Fridges are run by community groups in shared spaces such as schools, community centres and shops, their main purpose is saving fresh food from going to waste. You can visit 'Hubub' to find a community fridge near you.
Mobile Broadband and WiFi
If you're on a lower income (e.g. Universal Credit), you could be eligible for a 'Social Tariff, with some costing around £15 per month. You may even receive an introductory FREE period. You can view a list of social tariffs here: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/compare-broadband-deals/broadband-social-tariffs/
If you're struggling to afford period products, please speak to us. We keep a stock within college and are able to supply these to our children. Nobody should suffer from period poverty. You can also view further information on this issue here: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/cheap-sanitary-products/#struggle
If you're struggling to pay your energy bills, or are falling behind with the payments, you could speak to the Citizens Advice Bureau about your options. Your first port of call will likely be your energy supplier who should be able to offer support in terms of advice and, perhaps, rescheduling your payments.
The Energy Saving Trust has a wealth of information on how you reduce your energy use this winter: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/energy-at-home/
Get FREE Food & Household Items
Leftover food, personal items and household items from supermarkets, restaurants and individuals are regularly listed on sharing apps such as OLIO, Trash Nothing, Too Good to Go and Facebook Marketplace. Just sign up and start sharing!
Cook Inexpensive Meals at Home
Websites such as 'Bootstrap Cook' have a whole host of affordable and nutritious recipes ideas (costed to the penny) for you to use. If you've got a slow cooker at home, this can also be a way to cut down on your food and cooking expenses - they're cheap to run, and you can cook in bulk, saving money in the long run.