Helping with the cost of living

Government, Local Councils and other organisations are offering help with the cost of living and help for households. To help residents I have tried to pull together the wide variety of potential help and advice available, locally and nationally, on this page below:

Latest News:

15 March 2024: Childcare applications for parents of 9 month olds to open on 12 May to access 15 hours of government-funded childcare a week, with the offer beginning from September 2024.

12 March 2024: Working families can save up to £2,000 per child on their childcare bills with Tax-Free Childcare or £4,000 if their child is disabled.

13 December 2023: Low income households to receive over £2billion in further cost of living support. Around 8 million eligible households across the UK are set to receive a £299 Cost of Living Payment in February, as the Government unveiled its plans to reward work, reform welfare and grow the economy.

31 October: PM confirms continuing support for families with cost of living ahead of winter with second cost of living payment of £300 arriving from today to 19 November. Other measures including increasing benefits in line with inflation, maintaining triple lock for the UK’s 12 million pensioners, extending household support fund for another year, increase in the National Living Wage, a cut in fuel duty, increasing coverage of childcare costs (from 70% to 85%) for working households on universal credit.

25 October: Thousands of parents on Universal Credit will be supported to increase their chances of getting a job or up their work hours.

23 October: Heat pump grants increased by 50%.  Homes can get up to £7,500 to install a heat pump, meaning they can be cheaper than gas boilers.

16 October: Families in need encouraged to check for local cost of living support as 26 million awards already made. Cheshire West & Chester Council allocated £4.58m for 2023/24.

10 October: Save up to £2,000 a year on childcare costs with tax free childcare for working families. 

5 October: £2 bus fare cap on selected routes extended to 31 December 2024. 

20 September: Second 2023-24 Cost of Living Payment dates announced, confirming millions of households will receive £300 directly from the DWP between 31 October and 19 November. 

28 June 2023: Working parents to benefit from childcare boost.

23 June 2023: Chancellor agrees new support measures for mortgage holders.

17 May 2023: £2 bus fare cap on selected routes extended to 31 October 2023. From 1 November 2023 the bus fare cap will change to £2.50 for single tickets and last until 30 November 2024.

21 February 2023: Household Support Fund extended to 31 March 2024 with Cheshire West & Chester receiving additional £4.58million to help those in the most need.

Government Help for Households with information on a wide variety of help:

  1. Household costs
  2. Help with energy bills
  3. Energy saving tips to save money
  4. Help with childcare costs
  5. Income support
  6. Help with transport costs
  7. Help finding work
  8. Discounts and offers

Government Cost of Living Payment (updated 21 June 2023) including:

  1. Low income benefits and tax credits
  2. Disability Cost of Living Payment
  3. Report a missing Cost of Living Payment
  4. Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
  5. Other help
  6. Cost of living payments 2023/24

Government Benefits including eligibility, appeals, tax credits and Universal Credit.

Government Pension Credit including eligibility and other help it can get you.

Government Disabled People including carers, your rights, benefits and the Equality Act.

Government Financial Help if you have children including Financial support for childcare, when you’re having a baby or if you’re studying. Child benefit, tax credits. Also you need to apply to continue to receive Child Benefit for 16+ if your child is in approved education or training. 

Government Working, jobs & pensions including holidays, finding a job and redundancy.

Government Own your Home including help to own your own home.

Cheshire West & Chester Council Cost of Living (local administration of Government funds and local initiatives):

Household Support Fund

Help in Emergencies for Local People (HELP)

Housing benefit and Council Tax reduction

Worried about money? Find support options

Social Prescribing and how it could help you

Warm Welcoming Spaces

Live Well: Money matters

Benefit advice

Home energy

Financial help

Skills and employment

The Welcome Network: Get help with food

Digital inclusion

Free school meals

Healthy Start

Citizens Advice Cheshire West

Money and Pensions Service: MoneyHelper

Armed Forces Covenant (support for ex-services personnel)

Home Energy Efficiency Improvements

Tips to save money on your food

Help with paying your TV Licence

Cheshire East Council

Cheshire East – Money Matters

Cheshire East – Cost of Living

Local organisations:

Mid-Cheshire Foodbank – Get Help – including Northwich, Tarporley, Winsford & Weaverham “Mid Cheshire Foodbank is run completely by volunteers, our distribution centres are operated from places kindly provided by local churches, community hubs and car park spaces for our mobile service from our vans. Everyone who comes to the foodbank for emergency food needs to have a valid foodbank voucher.”

Middlewich & District Foodback – Get Help – “We are a small volunteer led food bank and a registered charity. We are part of the Trussell Trust Food Bank network and we are open three days per week.”

Northwich Community Support – Facebook – A charitable organisation, supporting the Northwich Community as a no food waste initiative (not a foodbank). Staffed entirely by volunteers preventing good food going to landfill and helping people stretch their weekly budget. Cuddington Tuesday, Weaverham Wednesday and Barnton Friday (see page for locations and morning opening hours).

Changing Lives Together – based in Winsford – “CLT provides services across the whole of Cheshire. Established over 25 years ago in Winsford by our founders Gary Cliffe and Deina Smith our mission is to find innovative solutions for environmental and social challenges which benefit our local communities”. Services include a food waste initiative at the Very Green Grocery plus community cafes at Winsford Community Centre and the Old School House in Northwich.

Whitegate Community Cafe – just outside Winsford – The old train line closed in 1968 and is now a route of popular footpaths and bridleways called Whitegate Way. Whitegate Station was opened as a Community Non For Organisation as Station House Café in July 2015. It is mainly run by volunteers and provides an opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to learn new skills, build confidence and provide tasty refreshments to people visiting the area.

National Organisations

Money Helper – – “MoneyHelper is a free service provided by the Money and Pensions Service, an arm’s-length body, sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions. It has a joint commitment to ensure that people throughout the UK have guidance and access to the information they need to make effective financial decisions over their lifetime.” New “Midlife Money MOT” for people aged 45 – 65, living and planning to retire in the UK.

National Debt Line – Cost of Living Hub – “Providing free debt advice for over 25 years. We are a charity and are dedicated to providing free debt advice to people across the UK.”

Money Saving Expert – – (its founder Martin Lewis grew up in Norley) is the “UK’s biggest consumer website, with more than 16 million users a month. The site’s dedicated to cutting your bills and fighting your corner with journalistic research, cutting-edge tools and a massive community – all focused on finding deals, saving cash and campaigning for financial justice.” Cost of Living help guide.

Which? – “Which? is the UK’s consumer champion. As an organisation we’re not for profit and all for protecting consumers – a powerful force for good, here to make life simpler, fairer and safer for everyone.”

Citizens Advice Bureau – Debt and Money section“We give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever their problem. Our national charity and network of local charities offer confidential advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.”

Association of UK Dietitians – Eat Well, Spend Less – “Healthy eating is important and doesn’t need to be expensive. This Food Fact Sheet will give you some ideas to help you to eat well and keep costs down. The British Dietetic Association (BDA) is the only body in the UK representing the whole of the dietetic workforce. We are a trade union and professional body representing the professional, educational, public and workplace interests of our members.”

NHS Coping with financial worries – Advice from the NHS.


Second 2023 to 2024 Cost of Living Payment dates announced

Millions of households across the UK will receive £300 directly from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) between 31 October and 19 November.

This is the second of 3 payments totalling up to £900 supporting eligible people on means-tested benefits with the cost of living.