Support for families

Financial support

financial support

We are committed to supporting our residents as much as we can through the cost-of-living pressures and there’s a range of financial support available.

Council tax and housing support

We understand this is a challenging time for many of our residents, if you are having trouble paying your council tax or rent you should contact us straight away - it's never too late to get in touch. Financial support may be available to help you meet the cost of your council tax or rent. Find out more on our benefits webpage. For other housing advice, including finding a home and housing repairs, see our housing webpage.

Council tax support fund and local discretionary hardship support

In 2023/24, those who receive Council Tax Support will see an automatic reduction in their council tax bill after their Council Tax Support has been awarded. This reduction is up to £25 for pensioners and up to £150 for working age depending on their liability. Find our more on our housing benefit and council tax support page

Household support fund

All local authorities have been given a grant from the Department for Work and Pension (DWP) to provide support to help vulnerable households with the cost of food and utilities and have access to other essential household items, from April 2023 onwards. We are currently developing our plans - details of eligibility criteria will be available soon and updates available on this page: Household Support Fund.

Cost of Living Payment

Households on means tested benefits, including Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Tax Credits, will receive a payment of £650 from the Government this year. This will be made automatically in two instalments, one in summer and another in the autumn. Find out more on the Government's help with your energy bills webpage.

Disability Cost of Living Payment

Residents who receive disability benefits should have received a one-off £150 payment in September 2022 from the Government to help with extra costs, such as for specialist equipment or transport.

This is in addition to the £650 Cost of Living Payment for disabled people who also receive means tested benefits. Find out more on the Government's Cost of Living Payment webpage.


You can use the Government’s benefits calculator to check if you’re entitled to other benefits. 

Money advice

North Tyneside Citizens Advice provide free impartial advice, TEL: 0300 3309 047. Money Helper UK, endorsed by the Government, also provides a range of advice, including suggestions on how to save money on household bills. Find out more on the Money Helper webpage.

Beware of scams

The Government is urging people to stay alert of potential scams, especially around its £400 support for energy bills, and report these to the relevant authorities where they are suspected. For more information, see its webpage on avoiding and reporting scams

If you think a business has broken the law or acted unfairly, you can report them to our Trading Standards team. Where appropriate, we can use the information you give us to investigate unfair trading and illegal business activity, like rogue traders and scams.

Crisis support

If you are experiencing exceptional hardship, you may be entitled to Crisis Support. Please telephone our Welfare Assistance team on (0191) 643 2777 and press option 2 between 9am and 2pm, Monday to Friday.

Debt advice

If you are having trouble paying your council tax or rent, you should contact us straight away - it's never too late to get in touch. Please find advice under ‘energy advice’ below if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills.

Unfortunately, we can’t provide debt advice on other matters, but North Tyneside Citizens Advice provide free impartial advice, TEL: 0808 278 7822

Energy advice and support

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Energy grants

To support residents with heating bills, several energy grants and funding schemes are available to apply for. Eligibility information and how to apply can be found on our energy grants webpage.

You can find information from the Government on other help available on their help for households webpage.

Price cap

The Government has announced a price cap from 1 October 2022, in place until April 2023. Find out more on the Government's webpage: Energy bills support factsheet.

£400 reduction in energy costs

Households started to receive £400 off their energy bills from October 2022, with the discount made in six instalments to help households throughout the winter period. This is being administered by your energy provider.

If you have a pre-payment meter, your supplier should have already let you know how you’ll get your discount, which will be either through vouchers or a credit. Contact your supplier for more information. You can use this Citizens Advice tool to find out who your supplier is if you're unsure.

Apply for energy bill support if you didn’t receive it automatically

From 27 February 2023, the Government widened its £400 energy discount for those who weren’t previously eligible.


Most households received a £400 Government discount on their energy bills automatically through instalments from your energy company. But in some cases, residents didn’t get the discount automatically if, for example:


  • You pay for energy through a landlord, housing manager or site owner
  • You live in a park home, houseboat or off the electricity grid.


The Government has now launched a portal for those residents who weren’t previously eligible to apply for a one-off, non-repayable lump sum of £400.


To find out more and apply see: Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically or call: 08081 753 287.  

What to do if you can’t afford to pay

If you can’t afford to pay your energy bill, contact your energy supplier as soon as possible. Ofgem regulations mean suppliers must work with you and agree a payment plan, find out more on the Ofgem website. The help they offer is decided on a case-by-case basis. You can also contact Citizens Advice.

Priority services register

The Priority Services Register ensures energy suppliers provide extra help to particular energy customers.

It is a system designed and overseen by Ofgem to better ensure that individuals with special requirements have access to additional support from their energy supplier as and when they require it.

Find out more on Ofgem’s webpage: Priority Services Register.

Reducing your energy use

There’s information about how to reduce your energy consumption on our action on climate change page. You will see there is advice about turning down your heating in some circumstances, but please do not risk your health or wellbeing through being cold.

Simple Energy Advice also gives government endorsed impartial and independent energy advice to help you:

  • reduce your energy bills
  • make your home warmer
  • plan home improvements
  • make your home greener

The Simple Energy Advice website contains a range of useful information and tools to help you, based on where you live. You can also contact them by calling 0800 444 202.

Charity National Energy Action also offers advice and support for people who are struggling to heat their homes. Find out more on the National Energy Action website.

Household Support Fund

As part of the Household Support fund, we have been awarded £3,219,996 to help our most financially vulnerable households in the borough over the coming year.

How the Household Support Fund grant will be used to support vulnerable households throughout 2023/24:

  • Those entitled to income related Free School Meals will receive £15 supermarket vouchers for each week of the school holidays per child.
  • Increase support though Crisis Support for those who are in a crisis or who need immediate support.
  • Extension to the Warm Welcomes across the borough. 
  • Residents, community and voluntary partners who are helping residents, can also apply for support via an online application form. Please see below for more information.

For more information, the criteria and how to apply can be found here.

If you are in crisis and have no food or utilities, please contact our Welfare Team on (0191) 643 2777 and select option 2. 

Warm welcome

Warm welcome NT

We have Warm Welcome venues across the borough, which sees our Customer First Centres and libraries, as well as community and voluntary sector organisations, extending their support to residents by offering a comfortable space to relax. For those who wish to get involved, additional free activities and hot drinks are also offered. Please note, this is not means-tested and is available for all residents. You can find more details via the interactive map or the ‘related documents’ section below.

Warm Welcome venues

Find your nearest Warm Welcome venues on our interactive map.

Warm Welcome venues (external map)

Related documents

Food support

The Bread and Butter Thing

Food support venues

Find your nearest food support venues on our interactive map.

Food support venues (external map)

The Bread-and-Butter Thing

The Bread-and-Butter Thing is an affordable food hub, with four current locations in North Tyneside and a further two planned. The hubs offer weekly groceries valued an average of £35. From April 2023, they'll cost of £8.50, with packages containing a wide variety of foods, including fresh fruit and vegetables and cupboard staples. Anyone wanting to sign up to The Bread-and-Butter Thing can do so by texting 07860 063 304 with their full name, postcode, and the name of the hub they will be collecting from.

Further information about The Bread-and-Butter Thing, including a map of the existing hubs, can be found on their website.

Please note, this is not means-tested and with no sign-up criteria, residents across the borough can use the service without needing to be referred or in receipt of benefits.

Social supermarkets

There are several ‘social supermarkets’ in the borough, offering low-cost or free food. Please find more information below.

  • Cedarwood Trust’s Community Membership Store has been created to offer a quality shopping experience via a weekly membership system to support those on low incomes to reduce food costs and food waste. Members simply pay £4 to get at least £15 worth of shopping, which includes fresh fruit and veg, chilled and frozen foods as well as toiletries and cleaning goods. The store runs alongside existing services at Cedarwood Trust, so anyone using the store can access everything else on offer, including debt advice, budgeting, family and pastoral support, training and volunteer experiences and so much more. To join the subscription supermarket, pop into the Cedarwood Trust with proof of address and £1 to join.
  • Wallsend Food Pantry is located at The Allen Centre (formally the Allen Memorial Methodist Church), The Green, NE28 7NP. The pantry operates Friday mornings, 10am to 12pm, where residents can save up to 50 per cent on their food shopping. Pop along to register. You can find out more and contact the service via its Facebook page


  • Justice Prince, based at Longbenton’s Oxford Centre on West Farm Avenue, runs a food pantry every Friday from 10.30am to 12pm. 


  • Wallsend-based Walking With, which supports refugees or people seeking asylum in the UK, runs a food pantry for those they work with. No appointment is necessary, and you can find out more information on the Walking With website.


  • Forward Assist, based at John Willie Sam’s Centre in Dudley, has a food donation point where members of the community can pick up donated food.


  • Mindstars, in partnership with Feeding Families, are providing Emergency Food Boxes from the Star Hub in North Shields. Email or visit the Hub any Friday from 10am – 2pm
  • .Whitley Bay Big Local’s ‘pay as you can pantry’ is open Tuesdays from 9.30am, Wednesdays from 1pm and Thursdays and Fridays from 10am. There's a range of fresh fruit and veg, milk, bakery items, tins and dried goods. The Big Local can be found at 158 Whitley Road, Whitley Bay, NE26 2LY. TEL: 0191 2523570.

NHS Healthy Start scheme

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child aged under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk. If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops. Find out more here: NHS Healthy Start scheme.

Food North Tyneside

Food North Tyneside is a monthly newsletter that aims to help you eat better for less by sending information about all things food.  

Every edition includes a spotlight on an organisation in North Tyneside that helps people with food, a recipe of the month, supermarket deals and some top food tips. 

To sign up, just email with your name. If you’re signing up as a professional, let us know the area you work in.

Related documents

Free school meals

All children in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 are eligible for Universal Infant Free School Meals. Older children can receive free school meals if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Applications can be taken over the telephone by calling (0191) 643 2288 (You will require your National Insurance Number) or by completing an online form or print and submit a paper application form.

More information about free school meals can be found on this webpage: Free school meals.


Families, parents, and carers may be entitled to free or reduced cost childcare. There are several offers and entitlements available in North Tyneside to support residents with childcare.

Further details of available childcare and information about help with childcare costs can be found on this webpage: Childcare.

School uniform

Schools across the borough run pre-loved uniform schemes, some examples can be found here. Please speak to your child’s school for what support they can offer.

Holiday activity fund

Eligible children in North Tyneside are invited to take part in free programmes of activities intended to help them stay healthy and active during school holidays. The programme, ‘ease INTO’ supports families during school breaks by providing children with the opportunity to try new activities and supplying them with a free meal.

More information about ease INTO can be found on this webpage: What is the ease INTO programme? 

Pre-loved sportswear

Preloved sportswear available for free from Cedarwood Trust, including t-shirts, trainers, sports bras, sweatshirts, shorts, tracksuit bottoms.

Debt advice

Debt advice

If you are having trouble paying your council tax or rent, you should contact us straight away - it's never too late to get in touch.

Unfortunately, we can’t provide debt advice on other matters, but North Tyneside Citizens Advice provide free impartial advice, TEL: 0300 3309 047.

Water support


Northumbrian Water has different ways it can help if you're struggling to pay your water bill, from payment plans, low income discounts to advice on saving water which can help lower your energy bills too. Find out more: Northumbrian Water financial support

Cheaper broadband and phone packages

Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. Some providers call them ‘essential’ or ‘basic’ broadband.

They’re delivered in the same way as normal packages, just at a lower price. Amid rising living costs, Ofcom is encouraging companies to offer social tariffs to help customers on low incomes.

Find out more on Ofcom's website.

Staying healthy and well

Healthy and well support

Staying healthy through winter

Cold weather can make some health problems worse and even lead to serious complications, especially if you are 65 or older, or if you have a long-term health condition. The NHS website offers advice about staying healthy during winter, including vaccinations and those at risk.

Help with NHS costs 

Although most NHS treatment is free, there are charges for certain services. The NHS website has information on how you could be entitled to help with these costs depending on your circumstances.
You could also get help with travel costs if you’re referred to hospital, depending on your circumstances. For more information, visit the NHS Healthcare Travel Costs website.

Healthy Start scheme

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child aged under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk. If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops. Find out more here: NHS Healthy Start scheme.

Report concerns about a child

You can report concerns about a child on our are you worried about a child webpage. If you think a child is in immediate danger, call 999.

Report concerns about an adult

You can report concerns about an adult on our are you worried about an adult webpage. If you think someone is in immediate danger, call 999.

Mental health and wellbeing

Cost of living pressures can affect our mental health and wellbeing, making us feel stressed, anxious, or low. We have advice and support on another part of our website: mental health and wellbeing


Regular physical activity is essential for good health as it delivers positive physical and mental health benefits. Find out more about keeping active in North Tyneside, including reduced cost or free activities:: physical health and wellbeing

Preloved sportswear available for free from Cedarwood Trust, including t-shirts, trainers, sports bras, sweatshirts, shorts, tracksuit bottoms.

Advice on stopping or reducing smoking, alcohol, and gambling

For information about cutting down or stopping smoking or drinking alcohol, see our public health and wellbeing pages.

People can self-refer themselves to the NHS Northern Gambling Service by emailing or calling 0300 3001490.

Maximising income through skills, jobs and careers

You can find a range of support and advice on our skills, jobs and careers page.

Warm welcome feature image

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