Home > Economy > Help with the cost of living

We know that this winter, and likely well beyond, is going to be extremely difficult. We are absolutely committed to doing whatever we can to support you. If you need help, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your Newnham Labour councillors, at cameron.holloway@cambridge.gov.uk and niamh.sweeney@cambridge.gov.uk.

You can also call council officers on 01223 457000, Monday to Friday,  09:00 – 17:15.

We just wanted to let you know about support that is available. For more detailed information, see https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/cost-of-living-help.


Energy bill help

The Cambridgeshire Household Support Fund has been created to help people experiencing immediate financial hardship to pay for food and household energy bills: https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/coronavirus/household-support-fund

If you have a pre-pay meter and are struggling to afford to top it up, contact our partner PECT on https://www.pect.org.uk/projects/warmhomes/ or 0800 8021773.They can offer advice, support and assess you for an emergency fuel voucher.

Our partners at the Cambridgeshire Home Improvement Agency (https://www.cambshia.org/) can help you save money on energy bills, including by providing grants. For more information email hia@cambshia.org or phone 01954 713330.


Financial support

You can find out if you may be entitled to benefits using a benefits calculator: https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators.

You can find support from charity Turn to Us (https://grants-search.turn2us.org.uk/) which helps people access the money available to them, through welfare benefits, grants and other help.

It’s also worth checking the government income support pages: https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/income-support/.

If you are on a low income, you may be eligible for help with your Council Tax payments. Find out here: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/council-tax-reduction.

Cambridgeshire’s Local Assistance Scheme (http://makingmoneycount.org.uk/about-us/cambridgeshire-local-assistance-scheme/) can provide information, advice and financial support.


Food help

If you are in receipt of certain benefits your child may be entitled to free school meals. You can apply for free school meals here: https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/schools-learning/help-with-school-learning-costs/free-school-meals

If your child is eligible for free school meals, you can also access free childcare with a healthy meal over the school holidays, subject to availability. Find out more here: https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/council/communities-localism/support-with-the-cost-of-living/holiday-activities-and-food-programme

Cambridge City Council provides free lunches and activities for children and families. Find out more here: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/free-holiday-lunches

If you are on a low income and cannot afford food, we may be able to help by referring you to a foodbank. You can find a list of foodbanks in Cambridge at https://cambridgecity.foodbank.org.uk/ and of food hubs (no referral needed) at https://cambridgesustainablefood.org/cfpa-covid-19.


Debt and money advice

The following organisations can provide advice and support on how to reduce payments and manage debts.


Health advice

Cambridge City Council funds and partner with Healthy You (https://healthyyou.org.uk/), which offers a variety of health services, many of which are free or heavily subsidised. If you are worried about your health, please email: eh.healthyyou@nhs.net.

We provide a range of free and low-cost activity sessions to help anybody who is experiencing anxiety, depression or other mental ill health through our Invigorate programme.


How you can help others, if you feel able to

Find out how you can help organisations tackling homelessness, by donating, volunteering or offering help in other ways: www.streetsupport.net/give-help/

Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service can help you to find volunteering opportunities in the city: https://www.cambridgecvs.org.uk/Volunteering/

Volunteer at, or donate to, one of our food hubs or food banks. Find more information on the Cambridge Sustainable Food website: https://cambridgesustainablefood.org/

Cambridge City Council is making funding available for community groups to provide warm and welcoming spaces this winter, and to provide support to residents in need. If you have an idea, you can apply for a grant of up to £1000 here:  https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/apply-for-up-to-1000-community-solutions-for-costoflivingprovision-of-warm-spaces-winter-grant

We are in real need of more hosts for Ukrainian refugees. If you are interested in helping, you can register your interest on the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/register-interest-homes-ukraine. You can also let the City Council know, or get more information, by emailing ukraine@cambridge.gov.uk.