With Together for Short Lives today launching a fund to help families with seriously ill children with their energy costs, here’s a round up of cost-of-living support news from around the country.Isabel and her mum – Isabel relies on a range of equipment to keep her comfortable and alive
Grants to help with energy costs for families with seriously ill children
Families caring for a seriously ill child dependent on vital equipment to stay alive can now seek support from a new Together for Short Lives fund.
The charity’s Cost of Living Support Fund launches today to help families across the UK currently struggling to pay energy bills for this equipment and offers grants of £250 to help. Families can call the helpline for more information on 0808 8088 100 Mon-Fri 9am-4pm.
The Together for Short Lives fund has been started by a £100,000 donation from Morrisons’ partnership fundraising. This initial donation will allow Together for Short Lives to support 400 families caring for a seriously ill child.
Andy Fletcher, Chief Executive at Together for Short Lives commented:
“It’s such a stressful time for everyone right now with the cost-of-living crisis, but families who are caring for a child reliant on electrical equipment to stay alive are having to make very difficult choices.
“That’s why we’re launching our Cost of Living Support Fund today to help with spiralling costs, thanks to the initial donation from Morrisons. We are asking the public – if they are able – to donate to this appeal so that we can help as many families as possible caring for a seriously ill child make the most of every moment they have together this festive season.”
Council allocates £50K to warm spaces in Lewes district
Lewes District Council has committed £50,000 to helping local groups set up and run warm spaces during the winter months.
A total of 12 grants have been awarded to groups including St Peter’s Church in East Blatchington, Friends of Bishopstone Station CIC, Peacehaven Town Council, Chailey Free Church, and Kempton House Day Centre.
In addition to warm spaces, applications for the funding were also encouraged to address food resilience, advice – including debt & welfare, digital exclusion and green energy.
Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Deputy Leader of Lewes District Council, said:
“Knowing so many of our residents will be worrying about how to pay their heating bills, this latest funding will create welcoming warm spaces across the district that anyone can visit.”
Soon after declaring a cost-of-living emergency, Lewes District Council put a £250,000 fund in place to support the local voluntary sector and followed this by agreeing £500,000 for households that don’t qualify for the government’s £650 payment, in some cases by as little as a single pound.
Other steps include a council tax reduction scheme that reduces the tax to zero for households on the lowest incomes and the quarterly distribution of the council magazine (DN), which includes help and advice related to the cost-of-living crisis, to every home in the district. A directory of the warm spaces in Lewes district will soon be available at www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk.
Saffron Building Society makes grants available for local charities
The Saffron Community Fund is offering grants to smaller local charities in the Saffron Walden area, with more funding than ever to be made available.
The Fund is operated in partnership with Essex Community Foundation, who receive and manage all grant applications on behalf of Saffron Building Society. Grants are open to charities, not-for-profits, community, and volunteer groups.
In 2021, Saffron Community Fund announced it had reached the milestone of £100,000 in grant funds in the ten years since the launch, spread out over yearly grant funds totalling up to £20,000 per year.
This is now going to be significantly increased by Saffron joining the Reclaim Fund Scheme. The government backed scheme allows monies that are unclaimed and currently held in dormant accounts to be used for social and environmental schemes. In 2022, Saffron was able to claim over £436,000 from the Reclaim Fund initiative which has been added to the endowment fund which will now be used to bolster the value of grants from 2023 onwards.
2023 will also be the first year that grants will be issued twice yearly, to ensure if a deadline is missed, the recipient doesn’t have to wait another year to apply.
The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 12 December and applications can be completed here. The Saffron Building Society community team has also created a step-by-step guide on the fund’s website.
Wiltshire Community Foundation launches cost of living appeal
Wiltshire Community Foundation is responding to the increasing hardship being felt by people in the county by launching a Cost of Living Crisis Appeal.
The appeal will generate funds to help grassroots voluntary groups and charities in Swindon and Wiltshire who are supporting families and individuals in the face of escalating rent, food and energy prices.
Commenting on the appeal Joint Chief Executive Fiona Oliver said:
“We are hearing of increased need across the county with food banks running out of food and more and more people unable to afford to eat or heat their homes to a safe level.
“The money raised through this appeal with fund a new grants programme to support projects which are keeping people fed and warm and provide additional practical support and advice to help people cope throughout this period of great hardship.”
£5k grants available in Greater Manchester
The Greater Manchester Cost of Living fund is open to VCSEs with income between £50k to £250k and supporting people most affected by social inequalities.
Thirty-six £5,000 grants will be allocated across ten localities in the area, including Bolton, Bury, Manchester and Oldham.
Provided by the Eric Wright Charitable Trust, the funding will support the existing activities of medium-sized organisations in Greater Manchester.
The trust aims to pay out approved funding by February 2023. It must be fully spent and reported on as soon as possible but no later than October 2023.
Applicant organisations must:have an annual turnover between £50,000 and £250,000 and be based and operating in one of the ten localities of Greater Manchester (grants can only be used within single localities of Greater Manchester and not across localities) already deliver support activities within a specified locality to people who are most affected by social inequality and the cost-of-living crisis
New project activities are not required; this funding aims to help support anti-poverty organisations that are themselves finding it tough to keep operating. Any typical organisation costs can be included in the grant application, from salaries and expenses, to overheads, and consumables. Those interested can download the grant application forms here and detailed funding guidance here.
The grant application deadline is midday, 12 noon on Friday 13 January.
Funding for volunteer-led work in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland
Volunteer-led work helping people affected by the cost of living in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland could be eligible for a grant of £10,000.
The William Leech Charity Fund is open for applications until 16 January.
The grants will support volunteer-led work helping people in poverty, especially those most affected by increases in cost of living. Examples of the kind of costs a grant could support include:
• continuing or expanding existing volunteering schemes, or setting up new ones
• training, co-ordination and support costs for volunteers
To be eligible, applicants must fit the usual Community Foundation criteria and have an income under £500,000 in the most recently completed financial year. Priority will be given to organisations working in the most disadvantaged parts of Tyne & Wear and Northumberland with the Fund expecting to award 5-10 grants in this round.
In Kind Direct research reveals 1 in 4 low-income families will go without Christmas presents this year
In Kind Direct figures show that 2.4mn British adults expect to turn to charities, food banks or community groups to access unaffordable items this winter, and over 8mn adults expect to be unable to afford hygiene products.
In Kind Direct’s research reveals the ‘Real Christmas Must Haves’ for many low-income families this year, highlighting the true products families need, over toys and traditional wrapped gifts. These include toilet roll, washing liquid, nappies, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel and period products.
In October alone, In Kind Direct distributed nearly 300,000 toilet rolls, almost 20,000 tubes of toothpaste and over 25,000 shower products, which has quadrupled compared to October 2021.
In Kind Direct are urgently appealing for donations of these ‘Real Christmas Must Haves’ from retailers, manufacturers, and brands, so more families don’t have to make the decision to eat, heat or be clean this winter.
Retailers, manufacturers or brands with products to donate can contact: email@example.com with what products and volume are available.
Charitable organisations, such as community groups, registered charities, foodbanks, warm banks or schools needing products, can register for free via: inkinddirect.org/register.