Financial Hardship

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

Suffolk Advice and Support Service

 

SASS posterSuffolk Advice and Support Service (SASS) is a free phoneline and is available to support vulnerable people in our communities with access to debt and money advice. 

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

You will be asked to indicate what you need help with. 

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

The Local Welfare Assistance Scheme (LWAS) helps those experiencing financial hardship, whereby local organisations across Suffolk can submit an application for support, on behalf of an individual or family. The LWAS can help with household furniture and white goods, fuel vouchers (electricity and gas top-ups), supermarket vouchers, and contributions towards increasing costs during the winter months.

Applications on your behalf can be made by our trusted gateway partner organisations only. Members of the public that wish to apply for this support should contact a gateway partner, who will assess your circumstances and submit an application for you (you cannot directly refer yourself). To find a gateway partner in your area who can support you with an application, such as CAB, district and borough councils, health services, voluntary organisations, please see the full list of our trusted partners.

For further information:

Updated May 2022

How to access support

Support for children during school holidays

Families who are eligible for free school meals will be contacted directly by their school if they are eligible for support for the school holiday periods covering May half term and the Summer Holidays. Further information will be available from your school on what support is being offered.

Where a child is eligible for income related free school meals, families will be contacted directly by their child's school regarding supermarket voucher grants of £15 per week, available to them during the school holiday from May until September 2022.

Where a child is not eligible for free school meals because they are not attending a state funded school, a family can seek support directly from the Local Welfare Assistance Scheme - for more information please click on the drop-down box above.

Proactively contacting SCC service users

Suffolk County Council will be proactively contacting customers that receive support from some SCC services. Letters will be sent out directly to those customers ONLY, offering them financial support towards food, energy, water bills or other essential costs. Customers in receipt of this letter will be asked to complete a short, online form in order to apply for this funding. Applications will be reviewed and customers will be contacted to inform them of the outcome of their application.

Housing Support via District and Borough Councils

If you need further help with housing support, it is recommended that you discuss your circumstances with your local Housing Needs Team so they can help identify what options may be available to you and the support required. Please note, the team are unable to support with mortgage assistance as part of the Household Support Fund. To contact your local housing team, please visit:

Local Welfare Assistance Scheme

You can also find support via our Local Welfare Assistance Scheme

Support will continue to be provided to families and individuals through the existing Local Welfare Assistance Scheme (LWAS). The scheme helps those experiencing financial hardship, whereby local organisations across Suffolk can submit an application for support, on behalf of an individual or family. The LWAS can help with household furniture and white goods, fuel vouchers (electricity and gas top-ups), supermarket vouchers and contributions towards increasing costs.

Applications on your behalf can be made by our trusted gateway partner organisations only. Members of the public that wish to apply for this support should contact a gateway partner, who will assess your circumstances and submit an application for you (you cannot directly refer yourself). To find a gateway partner in your area who can support you with an application, please contact one of our trusted partners.

Please see the drop-down box on Local Welfare Assistance scheme for more information.

 

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 Suffolk InfoLink
    

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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