The council has confirmed a series of initiatives to support residents during the cost of living crisis, connecting them with the support and guidance they need.

New directory of cost of living support

Working with partners across town, the council has launched a new support directory, warrington.gov.uk/cost-living-support, which aims to make it easier for people who are facing difficulties due to the rising cost of living to get the right help, including:

  • Benefits available and how to claim them
  • Food support
  • Financial support
  • Help with energy bills
  • Childcare support
  • Practical support

The directory brings multiple different community schemes already available into one place, where people can search for and find offers of local support.

Funding for voluntary and community sector schemes

The council is also providing a pot of grant funding to voluntary, community and not-for-profit groups and partners across Warrington to take forward a number of initiatives, to support people struggling with the cost of living crisis.

The funding, which will be available to established community and not-for-profit groups who currently operate in Warrington to bid for, will support schemes including:

  • Providing support to vulnerable residents to stay safe at home this winter
  • Providing support to maximise household budgets and provide money saving tips where possible
  • Offering advice and support within accessible community venues, giving additional benefit of providing a warm space and helping address issues of social isolation
  • Offering guidance around improving energy efficiency.

Organisations who successfully bid for funding will be supported by the council and other key partners to reach out to those in need. The online application form will be shared with third sector partners for them to consider putting forward funding bids.

Warrington Borough Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Sarah Hall, said: “The cost of living crisis is causing real hardship and anxiety for many Warrington residents and is likely to affect people’s health and wellbeing.

“We have launched the new directory – effectively Warrington’s ‘Yellow Pages’ of cost of living support - to give Warrington residents struggling with the cost of living crisis access to as much help as possible to get through the next few months, as the weather gets colder and bills increase.

“The directory will also highlight the various community spaces across the town which are available during their opening hours. Our libraries for example will have staff on hand to help people get online, enabling people without internet access at home to complete online applications for benefits and grants.

“We also know that people who are struggling financially are more at risk of being targeted by loan sharks, for example, so I would urge people to use the directory to browse financial support. I was fortunate to attend the recent launch of Warrington’s latest credit union – Unify, based at Warrington Foodbank at Golden Square Shopping Centre – and I know the amazing work that local community organisations do to support our residents.

“I would urge anyone struggling or feeling anxious about the cost of living to visit the support directory and look at what support is available to them.

“I know how well our voluntary and community organisations support our residents through local schemes and the Council wants to support them to continue to do that. In the meantime, I will continue to push for better, more effective support nationally for those currently facing real hardship brought about by the current cost of living crisis.”

Household support funding

The council is also continuing to work hard to allocate every penny of available support funding to Warrington residents. Between March and September 2022, the council handed out over £1.4million in government Household Support Funding, including:

  • £580,000 to families in need, supporting 6,680 children across 3,544 families in receipt of benefits
  • £481,000 to older people in need, supporting 4,710 people in receipt of Council Tax Support or Guaranteed Pension Credit benefits
  • £370,000 to 4,339 working age residents in receipt of either Council Tax Support or Housing Benefit

The council will also be paying a further £1.4 million between October 2022 and March 2023.

You can review your benefits online at warrington.gov.uk/review-your-benefits