Support for all residents, including low income households

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 page. For other housing advice, find out more about housing advice, repairs and finding a home

Council tax support and local discretionary hardship support

In 2024/25, working age claimants recieving 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 £150 depending on their liability. Find out more on our housing benefit and council tax support page

Council tax discount 

Some residents may be eligible for council tax exemptions, discounts and reductions. This includes for certain properties, people with disabilities, students and more. You can find the full eligibility here. 

Pension credit 

Pension Credit tops up pension income and can help with day to day living costs. If you are over State Pension Age, you may be eligible to claim Pension Credit, even if you own your home or have savings. You could be eligible for Pension Credit if your weekly income is below £201.05 or if you have a partner who lives with you, £306.85. Qualifying income level may be higher in some circumstances. 

Find out if you're eligible for Pension Credit and how much you could get using the Governments calculator.

Benefits

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

Mortgage Charter 

If you’re struggling with your mortgage rate, you may be able to get help from your mortgage lender.

There are six key ways in which the charter might help you:

  • If you’re worried about repayments, you can now contact your lender for help and guidance, without any impact on your credit score.
  • If you’re up to date with payments, lenders will let you switch to interest-only payments for six months.
  • If you’re approaching the end of a fixed rate deal, you will have the chance to lock in a new deal 6 months ahead.
  • If you’re up to date with payments, you can switch to new mortgage deals.
  • You can access tailored support from your lender if you’re struggling with payments.
  • Homes cannot be repossessed within 12 months of a first missed payment.

Find out more and check if your lender has signed the charter. 

£2 bus fare cap

To help people save on everyday travel costs, the government extended the £2 bus fare cap on most routes in England outside London until the end of December 2024.

Visit your local bus operator website for more information about the cap in your area. Further information on the cap and participating operators can be found on GOV.UK.

Money advice

North Tyneside Citizens Advice provide free impartial advice, TEL: 0808 278 7822. Money Helper UK, endorsed by the Government, provides a range of advice, including suggestions on how to save money on household bills. 

British Gas Energy Trust grants 

The British Gas Energy Trusts Individual and Families Fund is available to British Gas and Non British Gas customers with debt on a credit energy account or those on a pre-payment meter. For those with British Gas, its Energy Support Fund is also open for applications. Full criteria and further information is available here.

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.

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.

Energy advice and support

light switched on/off

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: energy grants.

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

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.

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.

Warm welcome

Warm welcome NT

Warm welcome scheme

Our warm welcome scheme is currently closed. Venues including our Customer First Centres and libraries and community and voluntary sector organisations may be extending their support. We will update this section with more information as soon as it's available. 

 

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 six locations in North Tyneside. The hubs offer weekly groceries valued an average of £35 at the 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.
  • Whitley Bay Big Local’s social supermarket is is open Tuesdays and Fridays 10am - 12pm and Wednesdays 2pm to 6pm. 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.Paste

  • 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. 

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.

 

Hygiene Support

The Hygiene Bank Whitley Bay is helping to tackle hygiene poverty and donates it's products including sanitary and personal hygiene items to local charities and community partners including The Bay Foodbank and Support and Grow. 

North Tyneside Council's Quadrant office and local Boots stores are Hygiene Bank donation points. The recommended donations are of new, unused and in-date personal care productions. 

 

 

Support for Families

School uniform support

Schools across the borough run pre-loved uniform schemes, including swap shops, pre-paid uniform, and uniform banks. We've worked with more than 30 schools to set up schemes, purchase uniform and refresh policies. 

You can find out some of what's on offer here. Please speak directly to your child's school for further support and information. 

Pre-loved sportswear

Preloved sportswear available for free from The Kit Hub; including t-shirts, trainers, sports bras, sweatshirts, shorts, tracksuit bottoms.

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.

Childcare

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.

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? 

Household Support Fund

We will receive another Household Support Grant for six months to be spent from April 2024 onwards.

We are waiting for guidance from the Department for Work and Pensions around how this can be spent. 

Once this guidance is received, a decision will be made around the priorities of spend for this grant, and how it can be best used to support those most in need across the borough.

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

Water financial support

tap

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. 

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. 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

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.

Maximising income through skills, jobs and careers

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

Multiply courses 

Our free Multiply courses are designed to help people through the cost of living crisis and beyond. Through workshops and one to one support, you can learn new skills including how to navigate rising costs, create effective household budgets for meal planning, cooking and savings and loans. There's courses on understanding payslips and bills, boosting your income and affordable DIY maintenance for our housing tenants. Access the full range of courses on the Employment and Skills website.

Working Well North Tyneside 

Our Working Well hubs offer confidential, one-to-one support to anyone struggling with the cost of living. You can talk to a wide variety of partners who offer support to address barriers to employment such as Citizen's Advice, North Tyneside Carers, the National Careers Service and many more. The team can help with increasing your income based on your interests, accessing training and job opportunities, access digital support, learn budgeting skills and support with general wellbeing and social inclusion activities. 

Working Well hubs are located in The Beacon Shopping Centre, North Shields and on the second floor of Wallsend Customer First Centre, Wallsend Forum. If you can’t get to one of these venues, drop us an email at employability.skills@northtyneside.gov.uk or call 0191 643 2288 and we’ll make an appointment with you close to where you live.

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.

Report concerns about a child

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

Report concerns about an adult

If you are concerned about an adult, report concerns on our webpage: worried about an adult. 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

Exercise

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 referral.ngs@nhs.net or calling 0300 3001490.

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 food@northtyneside.gov.uk with your name. If you’re signing up as a professional, let us know the area you work in.

Related documents

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