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Help in a crisis

If you're having to choose between buying food and heating your home, you've got an unexpected bill which you can't pay, or you're at risk of losing your home, you may be able to get crisis support.

Grants from charities

Some charities give grants to help people who are in crisis. A grant means you don't have to pay the money back.

Most grants have eligibility criteria. This means a list of conditions which you must meet, for example, you must live in a certain area, or have a certain amount of money. You can use the Turn2us grant search to find out if there are any grants you're eligible for.

Community support

As part of our community support scheme, we offer crisis awards to people in need. If you're in a crisis and there's a severe risk to the health or safety of you or an immediate family member, you may be able to get:

  • PayPoint vouchers for food, or a referral to a food bank
  • PayPoint vouchers for gas and electricity
  • PayPoint vouchers for essential clothing

Our dedicated team of community support officers will be able to help you with your application. Find out more and apply for a crisis award now.


If you're homeless, or about to become homeless, and need help, call 01642 726800.

The Housing Solutions team can help you if you're at risk of homelessness, for example by helping you look for somewhere else to live, or helping to deal with problems with your landlord.

If you're already homeless, the Housing Solutions team can help you find accommodation.

Find out more about how the Housing Solutions team can help you.

Free school meals and food banks

There are a number of charities which can help you with food and essentials if you're struggling to feed yourself and your family.

If you're getting some benefits, your children may be entitled to free school meals.

If you need help with food in an emergency, the White Feather Project offers help 7 days a week, from 9am to 10pm. If you need support, please call the White Feather Project on 07552 830185.

Find out more about free school meals and foodbanks.

Domestic abuse support

If you're in danger, call 999.

There are different kinds of domestic abuse, it's not just about violence. Types of domestic abuse include:

  • physical abuse: hitting, punching, kicking, choking, using weapons
  • sexual abuse: forcing or pressuring someone to have sex (rape), unwanted sexual activity, or groping
  • financial abuse: taking money, controlling someone's finances, not letting someone work
  • emotional abuse or coercive control: repeatedly making someone feel bad or scared, stalking, blackmailing, constantly checking up on someone, playing mind games

If you think you're a victim of domestic abuse, it is not your fault. Help is available - you'll be listened to and believed.

Contact My Sisters Place for support by calling 01642 241864 or visit the My Sisters Place website.

If you need to stay at a refuge to escape domestic abuse, call Changing Lives on 01642 861 788. If you need help out of hours, call 07812 672 818.

Financial abuse

If your partner, ex-partner, or someone you live with, controls your money, this may be financial abuse. This can include someone controlling your income, spending, bank accounts, borrowing, or bills. It also includes taking out loans in your name, or running up debts, for example with your credit card.

Money Advice Plus runs a free helpline for people experiencing financial abuse. You can also find out more on the surviving economic abuse website and the Refuge website.