Suffolk Advice and Support Service

Find out about the different support services for Suffolk residents and information for professionals.

Suffolk Advice and Support Service

Suffolk Advice and Support Service logoSuffolk Advice and Support Service (SASS) is a free phoneline and is available to support vulnerable people in our communities (who do not have a network of family or friends to call upon), to access emergency support, such as:

  • food and medicine deliveries, if you are self-isolating
  • befriending schemes
  • support with basic care needs
  • debt/money advice

The telephone number is freephone 0800 068 3131 and will be staffed from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

You will be asked to indicate what you need help with. Your call will then be routed to an appropriate organisation in your local area who can support you or signpost where appropriate. This may include uploading your details onto the Warm Handover digital platform that member organisations can use to send referrals in a secure way. Read more about the Warm Handover platform below.

Debt/money advice queries will be answered by specialist debt advisors on-hand to assist. 

Any organisations working with people who are facing severe financial hardship due to COVID-19 can refer into the Local Welfare Assistance Scheme.

The Local Welfare Assistance Scheme primarily provides household furniture and white goods, plus fuel (electricity and gas top ups) and supermarket vouchers to address identified need. The Local Welfare Assistance Scheme does not accept applications from members of the public. You must be referred into the scheme by a gateway partner.

Find a gateway partner from the list of organisations who can refer into the Local Welfare Assistance scheme.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a continued increase in the use of food banks across Suffolk. The network has supplied enough food, on average, to feed 3,738 people per week.

From the data collected by the FareShare Scheme we have seen an increase of 238% in the amount of food being given to families across Suffolk over the past 12 months. We predict that demand will increase further as national policies and schemes change.

The independent network of food banks is being supported via the Collaborative Communities Board and have received additional food and non-food items to support their own provision.

Whilst the need to ensure they have sufficient supplies to meet the needs of their local communities is paramount; further work is being developed with the food banks to better understand the dependencies and complexities of food bank usage.

Find a food bank that accepts self referrals.

Suffolk InfoLink provides information about a wide range of organisations across Suffolk.

Information is grouped into four key areas:

  • Help for adults about local advice services and organisations to help you live independently
  • Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health information, advice, and support services
  • Suffolk Local Offer for children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)
  • Families and Community directory of childcare, local groups, organisations, and activities

Visit InfoLink website

The Warm Handover enables fast referrals between support organisations, enabling those finding themselves facing difficulties due to COVID-19 to get access to the support they need quickly.

The Warm Handover is being extended to include more support organisations that are members of the Suffolk Advice and Support Service.

Check out the list of organisations who are signed up to the warm handover scheme.

The Suffolk Information Partnership manages this secure, online referral process to support those in need to help them access services that they may not be able to on their own.

If the individual would like to be referred to another organisation in the Scheme, or the practitioner feels it is in their best interests, their personal details and support needs can be safely and swiftly passed on to other partner organisations who will get in touch with the client to offer support. The process, which means that the client only needs to tell their story once, is underpinned by an Information Sharing Agreement that outlines the responsibilities of each partner and a Privacy Statement.

Please note that the referral form is only for use by organisations and is not for the public. If you wish to refer yourself or a family member to a service offered by the partners in the scheme, please contact the most appropriate organisation listed on the Partners' page.

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