With the ongoing Cost of Living Crisis, we've compiled a list of places were help and advice can be found, including some free activities for families to enjoy over the summer. This list will be developed over time.
Please note: Lowestoft Town Council does not endorse any specific deal or discount – this page is designed to signpost to advice and provide information about various offers and activities that are available. You should do your own research about your eligibility and their terms and conditions.
Activities | Warm Rooms | General Help | Food Support | Energy Support | Other Utilities Support | Travel | Clothing & School Uniform | Debt Support | Health & Wellbeing Support | Education & Training
Throughout November until March, the "Warm Rooms" Initiative, supported by East Suffolk Council will be running. These offer a variety of places throughout the week where people can gather to enjoy free refreshments and activities in a place that is heated. As local Warm Rooms locations are announced, we will add them to this list.
Other "Warm Spaces" initiatives can be found on The Rural Coffee Caravan website with an interactive map showing locations.
Are you worried about the cost of living crisis and the affect it is having on your food, energy and transport costs? You are not alone; many of us are struggling at this time.
Below is a list of places you can get support and advice, including ways to develop skills. We've also included links to places where you can talk to someone about your worries and improve your wellbeing.
GOVERNMENT COST OF LIVING SUPPORT - to help with the cost of living, HM Government announced support packages. To see what support there is and when it will be coming, please head to their website
HELP FOR HOUSEHOLDS - this website, set up by HM Government, includes information on support that you could get access to. This includes childcare costs, transport costs and finding work.
EASE THE SQUEEZE - East Suffolk Council have compiled a comprehensive list of places you can get or offer help. There are also some roadshows taking place across East Suffolk with two in Lowestoft. More details can be found on the East Suffolk website. As part of this, they have also set up a COST OF LIVING COMMUNITY GRANT FUND to help Volunteer Groups and Community Organisations help individuals and families who are struggling.
ENERGY BILLS SUPPORT SCHEME - As of 29th July 2022, HM Government have announced how the Energy Bills Support Scheme will work. The scheme aims to help ease the affect of rising energy prices with all households receiving a £400 discount on their bills. The BBC have also put together this helpful guide to explain when and how the payments will be made.
BENEFITS CALCULATOR - you can check that you are receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to by using this benefits calculator by www.entitledto.co.uk
SUFFOLK LOCAL WELFARE ASSISTANCE SCHEME (LWAS) - LWAS are designed to help those in financial hardship with a one-off payment. You can now self-refer and apply to the LWAS via the online application form. More details can be found on the Suffolk County Council website.
SUFFOLK INFOLINK - a variety of help can be found via the Suffolk InfoLink directory which offers a wide range of help.
CITIZENS ADVICE - for getting immediate help with bills or shopping, please contact Citizens Advice. There is also other information on how to access other help such as how to apply for the HealthyStart Scheme, School costs and Travel costs.
TURN2US - this independent charity aim to fight UK poverty. Their website offers help, advice and support on a range of topics from back to school support to facing redundancy.
MONEY SAVING EXPERT - the team at Money Saving Expert have some great, independent and up-to-date advice on ways to save money from getting cheaper energy to free food.
MONEY SAVING CENTRAL - a great resource with all the latest deals and freebees, including days out.
BUDGETING FOR WINTER'S ENERGY BILLS - the team from Bloomberg UK have created a helpful graphic to show the cost of running different household appliances according to the energy cap scheduled for October 2022.
TIPS FOR PENSIONERS - Equity Release Warehouse have put together a handy guide for those who receive a pension for surviving the cost of living crisis.
YMCA SHINE FREE HOT MEALS - YMCA Shine are providing free hot meals every Monday and Wednesday up to May 2023. The sessions will take place between 12noon-1:30pm at Imperial House, Bevan Street East, Lowestoft, NR32 2AA. For more information, including the weekly menu, can be found on their Facebook page.
FOOD BANK - for help with food provision, please contact Lowestoft Food Bank
FOOD WASTE - reducing food waste not only helps with the environment but can also keep costs down. FoodSavvy have some excellent advice on how to reduce food waste
Household meal kits for vulnerable households - PINK Orange are supplying food kits for vulnerable households on a referral basis.
COOKING ON A BOOTSTRAP - this blog by author Jack Monroe is a free resource and features a range on tasty meals on a budget. Jack's latest series is for recipes that use one hob and take less than 15minutes to make - cutting down on energy use.
FEED YOUR FAMILY FOR AROUND £20 A WEEK - this independent group have created some simple meal plans for around £20 per week. The meals plans are aimed at a family of 4 with different plans available if you are vegan or want to use a slow cooker or air fryer. All the recipes can be scaled up or down and each plan comes with a shopping list.
ASDA CAFE - Asda Cafe are running a number of deals to help with the cost of meals. These include Kids East for £1, free Ella's baby food pouches, free water refills and a hot soup, roll and unlimited hot drinks for £1 for the over 60s during November and December.
MEAL RECIPES FOR £1 - BBC Good Food have put together a collection of dinners that can be made for less than £1 per portion.
ENERGY HELP SCHEMES, GRANTS AND BENEFITS - you may be eligible to support from an energy help scheme, grant or benefit depending upon your circumstance. Uswitch have created a helpful tool to highlight the different support you can get and how to check if you are eligible.
ENERGY SAVING TRUST - with energy bills rising, the Energy Saving Trust have put together this advice to help reduce your energy bill.
WARM HOMES HEALTHY PEOPLE - this initiative, run by East Suffolk Council, helps people make changes to their home to make it cheaper to heat and more energy efficient. The initiative can help with installing insulation, boiler repairs and signposting to emergency fuel payments.
WATER BILLS - if you are struggling with water bills and are a Essex & Suffolk Water customer, they have set up a page with helpful information on how you can access support. Other water providers offer a similar help provision.
BROADBAND - USwitch have put together a resource to show the different deals available on broadband contracts. These are accessible if you are in receivership of benefits.
OFGEM - you may be able to qualify for cheaper phone, broadband or pay-TV services. All the details can be found on the OFGEM website.
BUZZABOUT - this is a new local, bookable bus service for people who live in the villages north of Lowestoft. The bus service is currently running at cut-price until July 2023 and can take you to the exact location that you require. Please note that the service only runs on a Monday and a Thursday, 8:30am-4:30pm. To book, pleasecall 01986 896 896
SINGLE FARE CAP - From 1st January 2023 - 31st March 2023, the UK Government are supporting a scheme to cap a single fare ticket on any bus at £2.
Love Your Clothes - this national campaign is raising awareness for sustainable clothing by encouraging repairing, recycling and passing on unwanted clothing. By caring for your clothes, you can save money and help with the environment.
Lowestoft Uniform Bank - this charity give free school uniforms for families in Lowestoft. They are based at St Mark's Church, Oulton Broad, in association with Lowestoft Rising. If you have a request for uniform, they have a Google form that you can fill in.
NATIONAL DEBTLINE - this charity gives free and independent debt advice both over the phone (0808 808 4000) and online.
STEP CHANGE - this charity that offers free, flexible debt advice that is based on a comprehensive assessment of your situation.
MONEY ADVISER NETWORK - here you will find free, confidential and independent debt advice. This service can direct you to a debt advisor straight away via the telephone or you can get support online.
BUSINESS DEBTLINE - this charity provides free debt advice for self-employed people for their personal and business debts. They can also offer help with effective business budgeting, cash-flow management, increasing income and dealing with business-specific debts and creditors.
EFFECT ON THE NATION'S MENTAL HEALTH - the cost of living crisis is having an effect on the nation's mental health. Rehab Recovery have put together a short article and infographic looking into this with information from a variety of sources.
PERIOD POVERTY - East Suffolk Council is committed to helping end period poverty and the stigma attached to it, working with existing schemes such as Free Period in Waveney and Pride and period in Suffolk Libraries. More details on schemes and locations can be found on their website.
WELLBEING SERVICE - thinking about the cost of living crisis can have an adverse affect on mental health. Inspire Suffolk run a free wellbeing service for 10-25 year olds.
MENTAL HEALTH & MONEY - Mental Health & Money Advice offer free, independent advice to help you understand, manage and improve your mental health and money issues
Homeschooling Support - if you are homeschooling, a new support group is starting up at Lowestoft Library every first Monday of the month between 9:30am-11:30am. The first session is on Monday 5th September.
Realise Futures are running a variety of free courses to aid with training and education, ranging from Digital Skills to money management. More details can be found in their brochure.
The Prince's Trust are a national charity who offer free services for young people looking at starting a business, developing skills or getting into employment. Some grant funding is also available through them. To find out more, visit their website.
Inspire Suffolk have a wide range of support, activities and training on offer, including:
Developing Skills in Health and Social Care (DSGSC) - this is a project that provides fully-funded training to staff working in the health and social care sector across Norfolk and Suffolk. The project can provide everything from learning new skills to mentoring. Please look at their website for more details.
Apprenticeships - becoming an apprentice is a great way of earning money whilst also learning new skills and training. There are many apprenticeship places on offer locally which offer different career pathways. Please note that apprenticeships are only open to 16+ year olds. For more details on apprenticeships, please go to the Apprenticeships Suffolk website.
Volunteer Suffolk - Volunteering can be a great way to develop skills. Volunteer Suffolk has a lot of tips and advice on how to get into volunteering programmes and some useful contacts.