Cost of Living Support

This page is designed to assist local residents and businesses in finding the support they might need over the coming months. This information includes internal and external agencies and may be subject to change. More information will be added as it becomes available.

Support for Local Residents

Financial Support


Check to see if you are claiming benefits that you may be entitled to:

Benefits Calculator


If you're a low-income family, you could be eligible for a discounted broadband service.

Low-cost broadband deals (

Citizens Advice Tendring

Citizens Advice Tendring (

Childcare Costs

Families can sign up to Tax-Free Childcare to help pay for holiday clubs, before and after-school clubs, childminders and nurseries, and other approved childcare schemes. It is available to families with children up to the age of 11, or 17 if their child has a disability.

Tax-Free Childcare - GOV.UK (

Debt Advice - Citizens Advice

Help with debt - Citizens Advice


Find a Food Bank - The Trussell Trust 

Ways to save food and Save Money

Love Food Hate Waste


N.E.S.T. - North Essex Support Team - Support Harwich

Help to pay rent or Council Tax

Apply for help to pay rent or council tax

Help with Grants – Citizens Advice

Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills - Citizens Advice

Help During School Holidays

The Department for Education has provided Essex County Council with funding in order to deliver the holiday activity and food programme (HAF) across Essex during the 2022 Easter, summer and Christmas school holidays.

Essex Activate | Active Essex

School Uniforms

The Free School Uniform Project (

Stay in Control of your Money- First Right of Appropriation

When you pay money into your account, you have the right to tell the bank how you want that money to be used. Therefore you must inform them how you want the money to be used at the time of payment. If you don’t give your bank instructions at the time of payment then they may decide how the money should be used. 

Stay in control of your money - First Right of Appropriation

Support from Banks



Helping with the Cost of Living Crisis


Some bus companies in the East of England are continuing with the £2 bus fare cap, find if your route is included. - £2 bus fare cap

Accessing financial support if you use home oxygen equipment

With the rising cost of living, please remember, you can be reimbursed for the electricity used by your oxygen concentrator.

Click here for information on how to access financial support whilst utilising oxygen.

You are also entitled to join the priority services register with your energy supplier which includes:

  • Priority support in an emergency
  • Being informed of planned power cuts

Please contact your energy supplier to arrange this if not already in place.

Please see links from OFGEM and Asthma and Lung UK for further information

Help with your heating costs | Asthma + Lung UK (

Get help from your supplier - Priority Services Register | Ofgem

Help with your TV Licence

The Simple Payment Plan was created for those in financial difficulty. Qualifying customers can choose from either a fortnightly or monthly payment plan that spreads the cost of a TV Licence over 12 months, this means you make smaller payments more frequently, helping you to better manage your finances. TV Licensing accepts referrals to the Simple Payment Plan from not-for-profit organisations such as charities or your local authority money advice department. It cannot accept referrals from commercial organisations.

If you would like to speak to someone about your finances, you can contact your local authority debt advice team or there are many not-for-profit organisations offering free, confidential and independent advice. Any not-for-profit organisation providing this service can refer you to us to join the Simple Payment Plan. Find more information on the simple payment plan and how to access it. 
There are other TV licence concessions, which you might be eligible for depending on your circumstances. There are concessions available for:

•    People who are aged 75 or over and receive Pension Credit.
•    People who are blind (severely sight impaired).
•    People who live in qualifying residential care and are disabled or over 60 and retired.

Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing

Age Well East

About us - Age Well East

Carers First

 Online, Phone & In Person Support for Unpaid Carers - Essex | Carers First


Tel: 01255222022


Citizens Advice Mental Health Hub

Offering a 12 month mental health recovery programme

Mental Health Hub — Tendring (

Community Voluntary Services Tendring

Run by the local community to support, promote and develop voluntary and community action. 

Home - CVS Tendring

Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse

Essex Wellbeing Service

Residents who are registered with a GP and are aged 16+, can receive health and wellbeing support

Essex Wellbeing Service

Home Start Harwich

Home-Start Harwich | Home-Start UK



Shelter & Health Enlisting Local Support

Housing Adaptations

Adaptations will help those with special needs to continue living an independent life in their existing home. 

Disabled Facilities Grants

Mid and North East Essex MIND

About us - Mid and North East Essex Mind (

National Careers Service

Careers advice - job profiles, information and resources | National Careers Service


Supporting people in the community | Peabody

Priority Services Register

You can sign up to a Priority Services Register (PSR) to receive extra help from your energy or water company

Sign up to the Priority Services Register (


Samaritans | Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy | Here to listen

Salvation Army

Emergency assistance | The Salvation Army


Public and community transport

Essex Pedal Power

Essex Pedal Power launched in Clacton and Jaywick Sands in June 2021, with funding to giveaway 1,300 bikes, each with a GPS tracker, helmet, lock, pump, and lights. Check for eligibility

Clacton and Jaywick, Essex Pedal Power (

Ways to Save Energy

Sustainable Warmth Scheme

If you're an Essex homeowner with a household income below £30,000, you may be eligible for up to £10,000 of work to make energy efficient improvements to your home through the Sustainable Warmth Scheme.

Sustainable Warmth Grant Scheme Application Form (

Warm Homes Essex

Helping Essex Residents save energy and reduce bills

Homepage - Warm Homes Essex


Warm Hubs

A list of activities where you will find a warm welcome and have the opportunity to meet new friends.

Warm Hubs Guide


Support For Local Businesses

Find out about the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) for non-domestic customers and how you can get support this winter.

Energy Bill Relief Scheme: help for businesses and other non-domestic customers - GOV.UK (

Funded Business Advice to new and existing businesses.

Colbea | The Colchester Business Enterprise Agency

Information for Landlords about Benefits

Information For Landlords About Benefits

Keep in touch with Funding and Local Information

Keep in touch with Funding and Local Information


Funding Opportunities

A list of external funding opportunities. Please be sure to check who can apply, what the fund is for, and the closing date for each fund.

The Community Winter Warmth and Welcome Spaces Fund

A small local grants programme funded by Essex County Council and is being delivered on their behalf by the Essex Association of Local Councils. 

  • The £100,000 fund is for grants of up to £1,000 to support the provision of Winter Warmth and Welcome Spaces and activities for local communities in Essex. These can be the creation of new spaces and activities or to support existing ones.

Fund Priorities

For the purposes of this fund, Winter Warmth and Welcome Spaces are to be warm, free to access to all, safe and supportive spaces that Essex residents can visit during the winter.

They offer somewhere to:

  • Keep warm

  • Look after your physical and mental health

  • Get access to activities, support and advice

Projects should be delivered and all funds spent by 31 March 2023.

Successful applicants must work with Essex County Council to ensure that their project is connected into the local cost-of-living offers of support being developed in their areas to enable project beneficiaries to have greater awareness and access to support available to them. This will include agreement to sharing their contact details with relevant third parties such as District Councils, health partners and other public sector bodies to facilitate this.

Who can apply?

  •  Registered charities

  •  Unincorporated clubs or associations and small community groups

  •  Community interest companies

  •  Parish and Town Councils (Please note that Parish and Town Councils MUST provide a minimum of 50% matched funding contribution of the total project cost. If a Parish or Town Council is unable to provide a minimum of 50% contribution then they must clearly state any exceptional circumstances for the Panel to consider) 

How to apply?

Please read through the guidance notes carefully for the scheme’s eligibility and criteria details.

Micro Grants - Community Chest

The Community Chest Fund is designed to help parish & town councils, community groups, clubs, societies and voluntary organisations improve their local community. This grant excludes projects that deliver outside of the administrative area of Essex County Council. Micro-grants are available up to the value of £500 for any one project.

Who can apply?

  • Town/Parish Councils

  • Formally Constituted Groups

  • Community Groups/Associations

  • Social Enterprises

  • CIC's

  • Community Benefit Societies

​How to apply

Please read through the guidance notes which contain details of this particular grant.

Email a completed Micro-grant application to the Funding Officer. These will be reviewed twice a month and then advised if your application has been successful​.

Community Chest Guidance Notes

Application Form

You can apply for both the Community Initiative Fund and the Micro-grant

Micro Grants - Communication & Technology Support (this fund remains OPEN)

This grant supports grassroots organisations responding to the pandemic that rely largely on volunteers to deliver their projects and have no infrastructure to support communications & technology.

Micro-grants are available up to the value of £500 for any one project.

Who can apply?

  • Town/Parish Councils

  • Formally Constituted Groups

  • Community Groups/Associations

  • Social Enterprises

  • CIC's

  • Community Benefit Societies

​​How to apply?

Please read through the guidance notes which contain details of this particular grant.

Email a completed Micro-grant application to our funding team.

      These will be reviewed twice a month and then advised if your application has been successful​.

If you have any questions regarding this fund or would like to be added to the distribution list, then please contact our funding team on 01371 879722 or email .

Community Challenge Fund

You can bid for between £300 and £5,000 to fund a new, not for profit scheme, group, initiative or idea. This fund is available in Clacton, Harwich, Canvey, Harlow, Rural Braintree and parts of Colchester and Basildon.

You can only apply if you are:

  • Applying as an individual

  • Applying as a group (The applicant and other individuals they are working with) 

  • An un-constituted group (small scale voluntary groups who do not have any employees and who do not pay trustees or staff)

  • A Registered Charity, Community Interest Company (CIC) or Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) (where this is a new proposal and not a part of your core business)

Examples of how the grant could be used include:

  • Training and equipment to share skills and create training opportunities

  • Printing for a local event or newsletter

  • Hosting and promoting an online magazine for young people

  • Setting up a local seed exchange

  • Providing taxi or licensed hire vehicles to bring isolated residents together

  • Setting up a clothes swap in a community hall

    The deadline for application is the 31st of March 2023.
    All successful applications must spend their funds within 6 months.

How to apply?

For further information on the criteria, what areas are eligible and what the scheme will fund, please click the link below: 

community-challenge-fund-criteria.docx (

To apply for the fund click the link below:

Essex County Council Community Challenge Fund Application Form (

Last updated on: 28/11/2022 - 13:37