Tips to help make ends meet

Calls to 0845 numbers attract a pence per minute charge on top of your phone company's access charge. Please contact the company concerned to find out their charges.

Energy Saving

You can save money on your fuel bills by switching to direct debit and paperless billing. Make sure that you take regular meter readings, if you have received an estimated bill it is well worth checking. Check what prices other energy companies are offering online or call: 0800 404 7908

You could also potentially save money by joining a collective energy site.

Find out how you could save energy in your home by doing a free home energy check. You will receive a detailed report on how you can save on your fuel bills. Fill in the form online or call: 0800 512 012.

Warm Front is a government-funded scheme to make homes warmer and more energy-efficient. To find out if you qualify call: 0800 072 9006.

Insulate your home - Discounted loft and cavity wall insulation is available to all and free insulation is available if you are over 70. For the best deals contact the Energy Advice Centre on 0800 512 012.

Winter Fuel Payment - Everyone over 60 should claim the Winter Fuel Payment. The Winter Fuel Payments helpline is on 0845 915 1515 (text phone 0845 601 5613). You can use this helpline for any queries you have about Winter Fuel Payments, or to find out what is happening if you are expecting a payment and it is late.

Check your entitlements

Contact the Pension Service. They can visit you at home and provide personal advice & identify benefits which over 60s are eligible for 0845 60 60 265 (text phone 0845 60 60 285). Or click on the Department for Work and Pensions website for information on available benefits, such as benefits for people of working age, disabled people and carers, and people with children.

Need debt advice?

Contact the National Debt Line. The helpline that provides free confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems. Tel: 0808 808 4000. Or contact the nearest Citizens Advice Bureau.

StepChange Debt Charity provide free debt help advice and support. Help is available now, anonymously, through their debt help tool - StepChange Debt Remedy

Financial Advice and Getting into Employment

The Benefits section of the Council's website also provides useful contacts for financial advice and getting into employment, including links to services available for Housing Association tenants.

Children and Family Centres

As part of a national initiative, children and family centres have been developed to provide a place that children and families can go for help and advice for a range of services. These include access to:

  • integrated care and education for children under 5 years
  • family support and outreach to parents
  • child and family health services
  • a base for childminders
  • links to Jobcentre Plus

Click on this link to find your nearest Children and Family Centre.

Paying your TV licence

TV Licensing has launched new online and text message services for cash and savings card customers, making it easier than ever before for people to spread the cost of their licence.

Joanna Pearce, TV Licensing spokesperson, said:

"We would always prefer people to buy a licence rather than risk prosecution and a fine, which is why we offer a wide range of payment methods to suit people's lifestyles and budgets. If anyone is having trouble paying for their licence, we would urge them to get in touch with us, either by calling 08457 289 289 or by visiting the TV licensing website."