Christmas Grants and other support

What help is out there?

It might seem a long way off but it is less than 100 days to Christmas.

We always see a dramatic increase in people seeking our help in the aftermath of Christmas due to debts accumulated over the holiday.

Christmas

As it can be a difficult time financially for many, we want to be one step ahead and let you know about help available now.

Grants

While most charitable funds do not provide specific grants to help people meet the costs of Christmas, some may consider applications of this nature, depending on your particular circumstances and background.

Others might give grants to help with basic needs, which could free up some of your money to pay for Christmas expenses.

Use the Turn2us Grants Search to find charitable funds that you or your spouse/partner has a connection with.

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has a Christmas Present Appeal that enables them to provide toys and gifts for children, teenagers and older people in need.

These gifts are distributed through their own local networks and via health visitors, social services, and other local agencies.

Crisis

Crisis is a national charity that provides a variety of services for those suffering with homelessness including employment, education, housing and well-being programmes.

At Christmas they open special residential and day centres across London to help people in need.

Samaritans

The Samaritans provide confidential non-judgemental emotional support 24 hours a day.

They can help people who are experiencing feeling of distress or despair.

Local Help

Local social service duty teams may be able to provide emergency help. Contact your local council to find out how to access them.

Local radio stations often have a community desk that can put you in touch with sources of help.

Your local Citizens Advice bureau will be able to provide information, advice, and signposting to services that may be able to help. Use the Find an Adviser tool to find your nearest bureau.

Local schools, churches also often provide help over the Christmas period.

Source: Turn2us

21st century poverty: “I have £3.87 to my name”

“I just feel my son deserves so much better than a mum who can’t even provide”

Amy-Leigh is a mum from Oldbury. Like 14 million others in the UK, she lives in poverty.

In a heart-breaking thread on netmums, Amy-Leigh shared her experience of what it’s like to live in poverty in 21st century Britain.

Amy-Leigh said: “I’m so broke I don’t know what to do. I have £3.87 to my name till Friday next week.

Poverty in the UK

“We have no food in the house, and I need to top up the electric. I’m struggling to feed me and my son.

“I’ve googled food parcels and the nearest one is about seven miles away, and it would cost me £3.60 in bus fare.

“We’ve taken our TV to cash converters and got a tiny bit of money, which went on bills. I can’t ask my parents.

“It’s my niece’s birthday and I can’t afford a card. This is making me feel so ill.

“I feel like a complete failure as it’s my job to take care of my son and I can’t even do that.

“I just feel my son deserves so much better than a mum who can’t even provide. I’m a complete failure.

Amy-Leigh has since found help, got a crisis loan, and contacted a food bank.

However, many haven’t accessed the help available, don’t know it’s there, or are simply too proud to claim.

Use Turn2us resources to find help

If you have to choose between food and bills, use our Benefits Calculator to find out what you are entitled to.

If you have to choose between feeding yourself and feeding your kids, use our Grant Search to check if you are eligible for a grant.

Source: NetMums website Coffee House thread: I’m so broke I don’t know what to do