Cost of Living Support

Following the Cost of Living Fair I held this November, you can find information below on all the support that is available both locally and nationally this Winter.

If you have any questions, please contact me on 01635 551070 or

Citizens Advice West Berkshire: 

West Berkshire Council:

Sovereign Network Group (formerly Sovereign Housing): 


Newbury Community Resource Centre: 

  • Apply to their Essential Household Goods Support Scheme for assistance with items such as furniture, white goods, bedding and kitchen items.
  •  (01635-43933)
  • Further information is available by emailing
  • Christmas Toy Appeal: vouchers available for eligible families by calling 01635-571703

Age UK: 

  • Services, advice and support to people over 50, their family, friends and carers.
  •  (0118- 959-4242)
  • Further advice, guidance and factsheets available on debt, money management, banking and family legal affairs: (0800-169-65-65)

Fair Close Centre: 

  • Lunch discounts available to eligible households.
  • Newtown Road, Newbury (07496-587904)

British Telecom:

Lloyds Bank: 

  • Lloyds Bank Academy available to everyone (you do not need to be a customer) and providing advice on financial, digital and employability skills

Thames Water:

  •  (0800-009-3652)
  • Water Help - low-income households may qualify for a 50% discount of their bill.
  • Water Sure – households on a water meter who find it hard to save water (if they are a large family or have a water-dependent medical condition) may qualify to have their bill capped.
  • Payment matching – if a household owes over £120, Thames Water may match the money you pay towards it.
  • Payment plans – short and long-term plans available.
  • Priority services – (0800-980-8800). Extra care and support for eligible customers.

British Gas:


UK Government

Autumn Statement Announcements:

  • Universal Credit and other benefits – increase by 6.7%, in line with inflation in September.
  • State Pension – increase by 8.5% to £221.20 a week, reinstating the commitment to the Triple Lock.
  • National Living Wage – increase by 9.8% to £11.44, with the age threshold lowered from 23 to 21 years old.
  • Pension Credit – increase by 8.5% for those eligible (of State Pension age and on a low income).
  • Local Housing Allowance Rate – raised to 30th percentile of local market rents.


The Chancellor delivers his Budget for Growth

The Chancellor has delivered his Budget, setting out the Government's economic priorities and policies for the forthcoming year.

In the Budget the Chancellor announced significant additional cost of living support, including:

The £200 Alternative Fuel Payment goes live

Households using alternative fuels such as heating oil or LPG, and are not connected to the mains gas grid, can now apply for the £200 Alternative Fuel Payment.

More help for households!

The online portal for applications to the Government’s £400 Alternative Funding Scheme has now opened.

This is for households living off the electricity grid in properties such as park homes and houseboats who did not receive the payment automatically off their energy bills.

Could you be entitled to Pension Credit?

Laura is launching a campaign across West Berkshire to increase uptake of Pension Credit, a Government support measure that can see the average pensioner receive an additional £3,300 per year.