Helping our community with the rising cost of living

Date: 

Friday, 17 June, 2022

Are you worried about energy bills and the growing cost of putting food on the table? Are you managing on a low income and struggling to make ends meet?  

Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC) and our partners are doing everything we can to try and help.  

SHBC Leader, Cllr Alan McClafferty, said: “We know the rising cost of living is hitting many people hard, and the Council is committed to do all we can to support our community. 

“From distributing the £150 Council Tax rebate to thousands of households to offset the rise in energy bills, to working in partnership with Citizens Advice Surrey Heath on the Household Support Fund to allocate almost £200,000 to vulnerable people locally, we are working hard to help get money to those who need it most. 

“Through benefit payments, grant schemes, housing support, targeted funding and partnership working, our teams are dedicated to supporting those struggling with rising bills, increasing costs, food poverty, debt problems and homelessness. 

“I’d encourage people to go to our dedicated Additional Support webpage, for a comprehensive guide to the different kinds of help available, from ourselves and our partners, along with useful advice and information on reducing costs.”  

SHBC has provided additional funding to Citizens Advice Surrey Heath to help ensure support, information and guidance relating to the cost of living crisis is available to all residents who need it.   

For confidential guidance on the help that is available, you can visit the Citizens Advice Surrey Heath website or call them on 01276 417900 – no one should suffer in silence, there is support in place for those who need it. 

The next round of the Household Support Fund is now open, offering grants of up to £100 to vulnerable households for essential household expenses. Through our partnership with Citizens Advice Surrey Heath, people can apply online for these vital funds.  

Benefits support residents in our borough on low incomes and those with specific needs. We’d encourage those who may qualify to use our online benefits calculator  to check their possible entitlement for benefits, including help with your rent and Council Tax costs. 

Food poverty is an increasing issue in our area, and SHBC has worked closely with local food banks to help support the role they perform in the community. The recent Household Support Fund Scheme awarded one-off grants to local food banks at Camberley Besom and Woking Foodbank to help them continue their food parcel provision service in the borough, and to St Martin’s Church, Camberley, to help set up a new Community Larder project.   

Through its Emergency Food Poverty grant scheme, SHBC aims to support local-not-for-profit groups delivering services to those experiencing hardship in the Borough.  

As part of this scheme, more than £4,000 was awarded to the Old Dean Community Group to help extend their existing Old Dean food stall service. 

If rising costs or changing circumstances mean you are at risk of homelessness, our Housing team can help. Every year we prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless, or help them find a planned move so they do not become homeless. The longer we have to work with people the better the chance of finding a housing solution for them so if you are at risk of losing your home please contact us now.  

SHBC also works in partnership with The Hope Hub, a charity working to prevent and end homelessness in Surrey Heath. We recently opened an Emergency Accommodation Service in Camberley offering short-term accommodation for people needing emergency housing. 

Our partners at Surrey County Council have also launched a community helpline for residents in need of financial, health and welfare support.   

You can find lots more information on the ways your council can support you and your family, along with advice on grants, information on managing debt and guidance on reducing costs at https://www.surreyheath.gov.uk/additional-support