Cost of Living help

Organisations, agencies and charities that can help with your rising bills.

Help with your finances

National Debtline provides free, independent debt advice. Phoneline: 0808 808 4000

Entitledto is a benefit checker, to make sure you are getting all the benefits or financial help you are entitled to.

Step Change provide help and advice for people who are in debt. Phoneline: 0800 138 1111

Turn2us is a free benefits calculator and information on benefits, grants and other schemes.

MoneyHelper and Money Saving Expert offers free advice on guidance on money issues.

Help with your finances

Debt Free London provides free expert debt advice. Phoneline: 0800 808 5700

Citizens Advice provides free, confidential, impartial advice and support.

Greenwich Welfare Rights Service provides advice on benefits, tax credits, and grants Phoneline: 020 8921 6375

Plumstead Law Centre Service provides legal advice and effective advocacy for all welfare benefit appeal matters. Email:, Phoneline: 020 8853 9993

Help with your energy and bills: Government schemes

Government Advice for homeowners to make improvements that could make it cheaper to heat your home.

Winter Fuel Payment is an annual payment for heating bills and is available to those born before 25/09/1956.

An extra Cost of Living’ payment is available to those receiving certain benefits and those entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment.

Warm Home Discount Scheme is a one-off discount on electricity bills for those on a low income or on the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit.

Cold Weather Payment is available to those receiving certain benefits or on Support for Mortgage Interest. You’ll get £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather.

Help with your energy and bills

Energy Saving Trust provide advice on making your home more energy efficient and lowering your bills.

British Gas Energy Trust have free resources, including the Bounce Back Checklist, and grants to remove energy debt, fund emergency fuel credit, and provide boiler replacements.

National Energy Action offer free advice on fuel debt, switching suppliers, energy efficiency, and minimising energy bills. Phoneline: 0800 304 7159

LiveWell Greenwich offer advice and support for residents who may be at risk during cold weather. Phoneline: 0800 470 4831

Big London Energy Switch scheme to lower energy costs through collective energy switching.

WaterHelp and WaterSure – Thames Water programme to give 50% discount on a household water bills. Available to low income voters. Email:, Phoneline: 0800 009 3652

Help with food

Bexley food bank

Free 3-day emergency food supplies. Available to anyone with a food voucher.

  • Avery Hill Christian Fellowship (Tues 10am-12pm, Thur 12-3pm)
  • New Community Church (Mon 11am-1pm, Tues 12:30-3pm)
  • Queen Street Baptist Church (Wed 10-12pm, Sat 10am-12pm)
  • Trinity Baptist Church (Mon 1-3pm, Fri 10:30am-12:30pm)

Greenwich food bank

Free 3-day emergency food supplies. Available to anyone with a food voucher.

  • East Plumstead Baptist Church (Mon 4:30-6:30pm)
  • Emmanuel Baptist Church (Tues and Thurs 10am-1pm)
  • St Peter’s Catholic Church (Wed 5pm- 7pm)

If you are struggling to afford groceries and food, consider joining a local food pantry. It costs £3.50 a week for £20 worth of food, so you can feed your whole family for much less. Email:

Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (GCDA) supports communities to be healthy through training programmes at community hubs. Run at Abbey Wood Community Centre, Glyndon Community Centre, and Trinity Methodist Church, Plumstead. Email:, Phoneline: 0800 470 483

The Healthy Start Scheme is a prepaid card to buy milk, formula, fruits, vegetables, and pulses. Available to those more than 10 weeks pregnant or with a child under 4.

Support for children and families

Government scheme to provide 30 hours of free childcare. Available to eligible households with a 3 to 4 years old.

Tax-Free Childcare: Up to £2000 a year per child (or £4000 a year, if the child is disabled) to help with the costs of childcare. For every £8 paid for childcare, the government will pay £2.

One-off Sure Start Maternity Grant of £500 towards the cost of having a child. Available to those expecting their first child or a multiple birth who receive certain benefits.

The Families Information Service gives help and advice on a range of issues affecting families. Email:, Phoneline: 020 8921 6921

Support through children’s centres. You can find free or low-cost activities for families with children aged under five at one of our 23 children’s centres around the borough.

Mental Health

We know that the cost-of-living crisis will be very stressful for many people as you try to manage your daily finances. If this is affecting you and you think you might need some support, or to speak to someone, then there are a number of services that can offer help advice and support.

Speak to the Samaritans for emergency help for anyone struggling with their mental health by calling 116 123.

Mind provide help for anyone struggling with their mental health or anyone supporting someone who is. Phoneline: 020 8853 1735


Free prescriptions are available to a range of people, including anyone over 60 or under 16, and anyone with a valid maternity or medical exemption certificate. Phoneline: 0300 330 1349

The NHS Low Income Scheme helps with prescription costs, dental costs, eyecare costs, healthcare travel costs, wigs and fabric support. Phoneline: 0300 330 1343


Transport for London offer a range of free or discounted travel options for eligible users. Available to under 18s, over 60s, disabled users, and students, among other groups.

National Rail have a range of free or discounted travel options for eligible users through railcards. Available to under 18s, over 60s, and disabled users, among other groups.


Shelter provide free, expert housing advice. Phoneline: 0808 800 4444

Greenwich Housing Rights offer specialist housing advice in Greenwich. Email:, Phoneline: 020 8854 8848

Discretionary Housing Payments are financial payments to help with rent or housing costs. Available to those on Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit.

Support at work

A trade union is an organisation with members who are usually workers or employees. It looks after their interests at work by doing things like:

  • negotiating agreements with employers on pay and conditions
  • discussing big changes like large scale redundancy
  • discussing members’ concerns with employers
  • going with members to disciplinary and grievance meetings


You have a legal right to join a union and the Trade Union Congress can help you find the union that is right for you.

GMB is an organising and campaigning union for all workers.

UNISON represents workers who provide public services, whether they are employed in the public or private sector.

Unite is a democratic and campaigning union with members across the private, public, and voluntary sectors.


USDAW is the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers.


Community is a union for workers in all industries and sectors.


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