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Cost-of-living support

Find out what support is available to help you and your family get through the cost-of-living crisis.

This factsheet provides our school’s families with the help available locally. We have added links and addresses/phone numbers to help

Let us know if you’re in financial difficulty

At St Joseph’s Catholic High School, we know that many families are going through a tough time and as a school we want to do everything we can to help you and your child. If you’re struggling with your finances, please get in touch to let us know, as there may be things we can suggest which will help.

Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Family Hub

Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB)

You don’t have to be a UK citizen to get support from your local CAB, you just need to be
a resident of the local area. The CAB can help you with:

  • Getting benefits or organising other financial support
  • Accessing support for essential costs (food, bills, rent)

Visit the Citizens Advice website or contact your local branch to book an appointment. Your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau is found at -Town Hall, Oxford St, Workington, CA14, tel. 01900 604735

Check you’re paying the right amount of tax

Make sure you’re on the right tax code. If you aren’t, you might be due a refund. Use the  Money Saving Expert Tax codes: free tax calculator to check yours – MSE (moneysavingexpert.com) free tax code calculator to find out.

Claim any benefits you’re entitled to

Use one of these benefits calculators to determine whether there are any benefits you could be claiming:

You may be able to get benefits paid early if you need cash urgently – this is known as ‘a short-term benefit advance’. You will need to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) office at Simon House 197 199, Vulcan’s Lane, Workington, Tel- 09456043719 who would be  handling your claim.

Check you’ve received all the government’s cost-of-living payments

The government’s Cost of Living Payments 2023 to 2024 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) are available for those receiving certain benefits or tax credits. You don’t need to apply for these – if you’re eligible the money should go straight into your account. You could also read this PDF for more help and information about cost-of-living issues Cost of Living Booklet (cumberland.gov.uk)


If you think you’re due a payment but haven’t received one, r Report a missing Cost of Living Payment – GOV.UK (dwp.gov.uk) to the government.

Be aware of scams! If you receive any emails, texts or phone calls asking you to fill in an application form or asking for your bank details to receive a cost-of-living payment, do not talk to them or send a reply. Get more information on cost of living scams on the Money saving Expert’ s website Warning: Three cost of living scams to watch out for as fraudsters try to exploit the crisis (moneysavingexpert.com)

Find out what help you can get with your energy bills

Take a look at these resources from the British Gas Energy Trust – Independent advice and support – British Gas and here from the Money saving expert offer advice on saving money on bills Gas, Electric & Water Guides – MoneySavingExpert

Check if your child is entitled to free school meals (FSM)

If your child is eligible for FSM you need to get them registered. This will allow them to get a free meal at school and, as a school, we’ll get extra funding (known as the pupil premium) to support your child’s learning.

Go to Cumberland Council Free school meals and clothing vouchers | Cumberland Councilto check if your child is eligible. If they are, or if you’re not sure, you can go to the link below for more information where you can sign up for the Citizen’s portal and therefore apply for FSM and clothing grants Apply for free school meals and clothing vouchers | Cumbria County Council (cumberland.gov.uk)

See what other support you can get from your local authority

For more information about what is available from Cumberland Council please go to the link below and it will sign post you to a range of options that might be able to help you.

Cost of Living Support – financial support | Cumberland Council

Local authorities have many schemes that you might be eligible for, including:

Get free or low-cost food

If you’re worried about not having enough food to feed your family, you’re not alone. There are
a number of places offering support.

Free hygiene products

Replace or repair household items at a low cost or for free

Check if you can get broken household goods replaced or repaired by your local community.

Find a warm space to beat the chill

Some community spaces open their doors to provide a safe and warm space for a few hours. Many also offer hot drinks and WiFi.

Many warm spaces are available locally, including the Oval Centre, Workington, and Kings Church in Cockermouth.

Find a warm space on:


Further information

Contact StepChange Debt Charity – Free Expert Debt Advice. for debt advice

Contact Home – Shelter England  if you’re having issues related to housing

Contact the Homepage | The Salvation Army for emergency assistance

See if you’re eligible for grants turn to Fighting UK Poverty – Turn2us

Single parents can get support from Home | Gingerbread

Rising Cost of Living – help & support available

Cost of Living Support | Cumberland Council

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