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Cost of living help

Are you worried about the rising cost of energy bills, food and transport?

Whatever your money worries may be, we've put together some information to help you.

  • Help with energy costs

    More cost of living payments have been announced have been announced by government for 2023/24.

    If you receive:

    • Universal Credit
    • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
    • Income Support
    • Pension Credit
    • Child Tax Credit
    • Working Tax Credit

    You will get:

    • First cost of living payment of £301 issued during spring 2023
    • Second cost of living payment of £300 issued during autumn 2023
    • Third cost of living payment of £299 issued during spring 2024

    If you receive:

    • Attendance Allowance
    • Constant Attendance Allowance
    • Disability Living Allowance for adults
    • Disability Living Allowance for children
    • Personal Independence Payment
    • Adult Disability Payment (in Scotland)
    • Child Disability Payment (in Scotland)
    • Armed Forces Independence Payment
    • War Pension Mobility Supplement

    You will get:

    • A £150 disability payment will be issued during summer 2023

    If you get:

    • The Winter Fuel Payment

    You will get

    • A £300 pensioner payment issued during winter 2023/2024

    The payments will be made separately from your benefits and will be paid automatically, there will be no need to apply.

    Claimants who are eligible for any of the cost of living payments and receive tax credits, and no other means-tested benefits, will receive payment from HMRC shortly after DWP payments are issued.

    Energy Bills Support Scheme - Alternative funding

    The government will soon be introducing an extension to their Energy Bills Support Scheme, for people who didn't receive the £400 energy rebate from the original scheme. These are residents who use alternative fuels like heating oil or who live in households with no domestic electricity meter or who do not have a direct relationship with an energy supplier, such as park home residents.

    Here is a summary of the information that has been made available so far:

    • An online application form will bemade available on the government websiteby the end of February 2023
    • A dedicated customer helpline will be available for those without online access
    • Eligible applicants will receive £400

    Subject to applications meeting the full eligibility criteria, the groups of people who are likely to receive support under this scheme extension will include:

    • Care home residents, and others in care facilities/ sheltered accommodation
    • Social and private tenants who pay for energy through a landlord on a commercial supply
    • Travellers
    • Homes on a heat network or private wire
    • Off-grid homes
    • Residents of park homes, houseboats, or caravans on registered sites
    • Farmhouses used for wholly domestic purposes

    Any payment will be made direct into a bank account by BACS

    Households eligible for support through the main Energy Bills Support Scheme are not eligible for an award under this alternative funding scheme extension. Second or holiday homes are excluded; the dwelling must be the main or sole residential address of the applicant.

    Households who are not responsible for paying for energy used are not in scope of the scheme, so the following groups are excluded from the scheme:

    • Students living in purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA)
    • Seasonal workers living in associated accommodation
    • Service occupiers – such as security, building caretakers, property guardians
    • Fully publicly funded care home residents

    Once an application has been made on the government website, details will be passed to the council for further pre-payment verification checks, which will include:

    • Verification of the applicant's address
    • Check that the name of the applicant matches the pre-verified bank account details
    • Check that an Energy Bills Support Scheme payment has not already been made

    Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP)

    The additional £200 Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) will be available in February for those who do not heat their homes with gas and instead use oil, solid fuel, biomass, or bottled gas.

    The government have confirmed most households eligible for AFP support will receive their payment automatically from their electricity supplier in February, with no further action needed.

    Those households who will need to apply for the AFP, for example because they do not have a relationship with an electricity supplier, will be able to do so in February,through the governmentwebsite.

    Grants to help pay energy bills

    To see whether there may be grants available to help you with your energy bills, see below:

  • Household Support Fund

  • Benefits available

    Are you claiming all the benefits you should be?

    To see if you are entitled to any other benefits please use our calculator

  • Help with debt

    For general advice visit the debt advice page on our website

    Worried about which bills to pay first?

    The Money Helper website will help you prioritise and get hints and tips on managing your bills

  • Emergency assistance with food, gas or electric

    The Blackpool discretionary support scheme can provide assistance to vulnerable people who need:

    • Short term emergency support
    • Help to become established or maintain independence in the community
  • HMRC help with childcare costs

    As children return to school after summer holidays, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding families who may be missing out on Tax-Free Childcare to register

    Families receive up to £500 every three months (£2,000 a year) per child, or £1,000 (£4,000 a year) if their child is disabled, helping towards the cost of before and after-school clubs, childminders and nurseries, holiday clubs and other approved childcare schemes. 

    More than one million families in the UK are entitled to some form of government childcare support and the government is encouraging those eligible to not miss out on their entitlements. 

  • Government help for households

    The government has produced a usefule guide to cost-of-living support, including:

    • Household costs
    • Help with energy bills
    • Help with childcare costs
    • Income support
    • Help with transport costs
    • Help fining work
    • Discount and offers

    Visit the Help for households website for more information

  • Help with water bills

    If you're finding it difficult to pay your water bill you can call United Utilities on 0800 072 6765.

Other assistance

  • Local support directory

    View our directory of all local support available including places to go to keep warm, who can help with food and essentials, and organisations that can give you advice and information.

  • Community grocery

    Blackpool now has a community food shop, where you can get groceries for a reduced amount. You need to sign up to become an annual member (at a small cost of £5). You will then have access to three weekly shops.

    His Provision CIC

    You purchase £5-£10 worth of tins or packaged food, toiletries or cleaning items offered at supermarket prices or below, then choose from a selection of free products including bakery, fruit and veg, dairy, fresh and frozen food – minimum value will be £15

    Visit the Life Centre, Raikes Parade, FY1 4EY

    • Tuesday 12.30pm to 2.00pm
    • Wednesday 11.00am to 12.30pm
    • Thursday 12.30pm to 2.00pm


    Visit the mobile pantry:

    • Claremont Community Centre on Tuesday 1.00pm to 2.30pm
    • Argosy Court on Thursday 9.30am to 11.00am
    • Ibbotson Court on Thursday 12.30pm to 2.00pm
  • Free school meals

    Free school meals in Blackpool are available for families on certain benefits.

    All Blackpool primary school children are entitled to a free breakfast under a scheme to improve the health and well-being of the town's young residents.

  • Jobs and skills support

    Positive Steps into Work is a Blackpool Council service designed to get unemployed people back into work and, at the same time, help local businesses to recruit local people into their jobs.

    It's all part of our commitment to regenerating Blackpool and making it a better place to live, work and do business.

  • Energy saving advice

    Cosy Homes in Lancashire (CHiL) provides help with access to cost effective ways of keeping your home warm whether you own or privately rent. Other help and advice on grants to improve the energy efficieny of your home are available on the inuslation and boiler grants section of our website.

    Warm and Healthy Homes Project supports households of all tenures. Care & Repair's free service will run for two years to help ensure Blackpool residents can save money and stay warm at home. More information on the Warm and Healthy Homes Project.

    The Energy Saving Trust website has a range of helpful advice and guidance to help you save on your energy costs.

    The government's household energy page will give you suggestions on alterations you can make to your home that can help you save on your energy usage.

    Money Saving Expert website also has a wide range of energy saving tips to help you reduce your costs.

    Using less hot water has the added benefit of lowering energy bills too. Examples of annual savings are shown below:

    • Reducing each person's daily shower from 10 minutes to 5 minutes - £740
    • Cutting out two dishwasher runs per week by only running with full loads - £76
    • Cutting out two washing machine runs per week by only running with full loads - £37
    • Fixing a leaking toilet - £300
    • Turning off the tap while brushing teeth - £100
    • Fixing a dripping tap - £17
  • Mental health support

    Is the cost of living problem making you feel anxious?

    We know that worrying about bills can have a negative effect on your health so below are some links, which you may find useful.

  • Transport costs

    Blackpool Transport

    “Get around for £2” with Blackpool Transport

    Blackpool transport are taking part in the government's scheme to help customers pay less to travel by bus this winter, meaning that all of our single adult bus fares will be £2 per journey no matter where you travel to or from.

    More information

    Shared Wheels

    If you need to cut transport costs? Have you thought about sharing a car journey? Shared Wheels will help you find people to share your journey with

  • Keeping warm and safe

    Blackpool FC Community Trust - Winter Warm Up Hubs

    Family Warm Up Hubs

    Daily Monday to Friday 3.00pm to 6.00pm, during school weeks.

    Includes a meal, homework clubs and activities - inside the Moretti Lounge at Blackpool FC.

    Pool Together Hubs

    Tuesday's and Thursday's 12noon to 3.00pm, term time only.

    Includes a meal, homework clubs and activities - inside the Moretti Lounge at Blackpool FC.

    Bloomfield Road
    Seasiders Way
    FY1 6JJ

    Contact: or call 01253 348691

    Blackpool Libraries

    All our libraries are warm and welcome places for our residents. With a varied range of events, activities and services in each location - there's something for all ages.

    Take a look at their Facebook page for the latest events, sessions and updates, and get more info about their services and opening times online

    Layton Community House

    For residents of Layton

    Over winter, Layton Community House will be a warm hub, open Monday to Thursday 9.30am to 4.00pm and Friday 9.30am to 2.00pm.

    Pop in for a hot drink and refreshments, chat, read a book or join in with one of their varied commnity group sessions.

    Support is available with energy costs and energy saving equipment - eligibility criteria applies.

    Please visit their dedicated Facebook page for further information.

    Winter Warm Club @thegrange

    For residents of Grange Park

    Daily Monday to Friday 9.00am to 4.00pm

    Bathurst Avenue
    FY3 7RW

    Telephone: 01253 478301

    The club is aimed at all ages and includes measures to help support the community during the cost of living crisis.

    You need to register in advance and in return you will receive a range of benefits including:

    Financial support

    • Free use of 3 tumble dryers
    • A home audit looking at energy and water savings
    • 1 on 1 financial advice


    • A daily discounted hot meal available
    • Access to food pantry

    Feel good

    • New community barbers
    • Free exercise classes
    • Mums and tots exercise class
    • Zumba classes
    • Ballroom dancing


    • Board and card games
    • Pamper days
    • Arts and crafts classes
    • Bingo
    • Organised local trips
    • TV and film club
  • Help with prescription costs

    There is a low income help scheme run by the NHS. You do not have to be claiming benefits to apply. If you're employed with a low income you may be eligible for help. The NHS will take your total household income, Council Tax and housing costs into account.

    You can apply online here

    You must be at least one of the following and the application will look :

    • A pensioner
    • A student
    • Earning a wage
    • Receiving state benefits
    • Living in a care home

    If you are not eligible but need regular prescriptions then you could apply for a pre-payment certificate.

  • Help with food

    If you're struggling with the cost of food, there are places you can go to get help. Some offer free or low cost hot meals and refreshments. See some of what is available below.Find the full list of food help on the FYi Directory

    Blackpool Comfort C.A.F.E.

    Offering hot food, drinks, snacks and emergency items every Tuesday 11.00am to 12.30pm from out of St Thomas Church on Caunce Street, FY1 3NJ.

    Salvation Army

    For adults aged 26 years and over, The Bridge Project at the Salvation Army Citadel on Raikes Parade offers emergency food, hot meal, shower and laundry facilities 9.00am to 11.00am Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for homeless people and a hot meal 12noon to 2pm for homeless and vulnerable adults.

    Amazing Graze Blackpool Free Food Shop

    Visit the Free Food Shop at 44 Bolton Street, FY1 6AA on Tuesdays and Fridays 5.00pm to 7.00pm. It's free to sign up each person is allowed a choice of up to 10 items per week.


    Asda cafes are offering over 60's soup, a roll and unlimited tea and coffee for £1 in it's cafes until the end of March 2023.

    They are also offering a hot or cold meal for children under 16 for £1 at any time of day, 7 days a week with no minimum adult spend until the end of March 2023.


    Morrisons are offering a free meal for 1 child under 16 when buying an adult meal with a value of £4.99 or over at it's in-store cafes.

  • Help with broadband costs

    If you are on benefits you may be due cheap, long-term 'social tariffs'

    Check out the tariffs on Money Saving Expert

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