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 rent 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: Benefits.
Council tax support 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
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.
Pensioner Cost of Living Payment
If you're entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2023 to 2024, you will get an extra £150 or £300 paid with your normal payment from November 2023.
You can get a Winter Fuel Payment if you were born before 25 September 1957. 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 Helper UK, endorsed by the Government, provides a range of advice, including suggestions on how to save money on household bills. Find out more on the Money Helper website.
North Tyneside Citizens Advice also provides free impartial debt advice, TEL: 0808 278 7822
Beware of scams
The Government is urging people to stay alert of potential scams 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.
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.
Energy advice and support
To support residents with heating bills, a number of 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 this webpage: Help for Households.
Energy Price guarantee
The Government announced it's Energy Price guarantee which remains in place until the end of March 2024. From 1 July 2023, households without a pre-payment meter will no longer receive an Energy Price Guarantee discount on their gas and electricity bills. This is because the Ofgem price cap will be lower than the Energy Price Guarantee level, meaning households will pay the rate set by the price cap. Find out more on the Government's webpage: Energy bills support factsheet.
Winter fuel payment
In the winter months, pensioners can get between £250 and £600 from the Government to help pay heating bills. Find out more on this webpage: Winter Fuel Payment.
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 Ofgem's website. The help they offer is decided on a case-by-case basis. You can also contact Citizens Advice.
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.
Priority services register
The Priority Services Register ensures energy suppliers provide extra help to particular energy customers, including those who have reached state pension age.
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.
Warm welcome scheme
Over 40 venues in North Tyneside are part of this years Warm Welcome scheme.
The scheme sees our Customer First Centre and libraries and family hubs, as well as community and voluntary sector organisations, extending their support to residents by offering a comfortable space to relax. Additional free activities and hot drinks are also offered. Please note, this is not means-tested and is available for all residents.
Warm Welcome venues
Find your nearest Warm Welcome venues on our interactive map.
Food support venues
Find your nearest food support venues on our interactive 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.
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.
- Whitley Bay Big Local’s social supermarket is is open Tuesdays and Fridays 10am - 12pm. 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.
- North Tyneside Disability Forum runs a social supermarket each Monday between 11am and 1pm, where residents can sign up to access around £10 worth of food for £5. The Forum can be found at Shiremoor Centre, Earsdon Road, Shiremoor, NE27 0HJ
- Cedarwood Trust's Battle Hill pop-up food club, based a the Church of the Good, runs each Friday between 11am and 1pm. A shop costs £4 for around £16 worth of food.
- St Paul's Community Partnership runs a social supermarket each Thursday between 10.30am and 1pm. Membership costs £1 and members simply pay £5 for around £10 worth of food. Items include fresh fruit and veg, cupboard food as well as toiletries and cleaning goods. The store can be found at St Paul's Centre, George Street, Willington Quay, Wallsend, NE28 6SL.
- Riverside Food Club is available at Riverside Family Hub in North Shields. A shop will cost £5 for around £10 worth of food. The store can be found at Minton Lane, North Shields, NE29 6DQ.
Water financial support
Northumbrian Water has different ways it can help if you're struggling to pay your water bill, from payment plans to low-income discounts, to advice on saving water which can help lower your energy bills too. If you're on a low-income (less than £17,005) or receive pension credits, your bill could be reduced by up to 50 per cent. Find out more: Northumbrian Water financial support. If you are a council tenant and pay your water rates to us, we can apply for you – please call 0345 2000 102.
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
Staying healthy this 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 who might be 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.
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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0300 3001490.
Age UK North Tyneside
The charity Age UK North Tyneside can support adults and their carers with a host of concerns. They offer free, expert, confidential advice on subjects including household income maximisation, benefit entitlement, will writing and power of attorney, family and personal matters and more.
You can email email@example.com or call 0191 2808484 to contact their team.