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Cost of living support

This winter, 1 in 5 people are expected not to be able to heat their homes properly, and 1 in 20 will not have enough food. To help, we have put together an extensive list of all of the household support funds provided by the Milton Keynes City Council, the Manchester City Council, and the Rochdale Council.

Milton Keynes City Council Logo

Milton Keynes

Due to this, Milton Keynes City Council has announced their £5.5 million Winter Plan - which aims to help vulnerable people - such as those with disabilities or health conditions. To read their full living help factsheet please click here.

Help with paying your rent and Council Tax

  • Housing Benefit and Council Tax reduction – Make a new claim for Council Tax Reduction or report a change in circumstances

  • Discretionary Council Tax Reduction Scheme – MKC funded to provide additional support to those experiencing financial hardship.

  • Discretionary Housing Payments – An additional payment to individuals on Housing Benefit that are struggling to meet a shortfall in their rent.

  • Working Tenant Support Fund - If you are a working tenant (in a Milton Keynes City Council owned property) in a financial crisis, not entitled to assistance with rental costs, we may be able to provide assistance. Please claim through our Local Welfare Provision to see if you qualify

Additional reduction in council tax

Residents who receive a reduction in the council tax they are asked to pay are now entitled to further reduction of up to £25 for the 2023-24 financial year. We will award this automatically.

Help with essential costs including food and energy

  • Local Welfare Provision – MKC funded to provide essential support in the event of an emergency

  • Food Bank - The provision of food, fuel, and small essential items, mostly in partnership with voluntary and charity groups

  • SOFEA - support with food through community larders, as well as wellbeing support.

  • Household Support Fund - Support with food and energy costs.

NEF WARMTH AND WELLBEING HELPLINE – Freephone 0800 107 0044. Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm

Offering advice to people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. Local people can call National Energy Foundation’s Better Housing Better Health team, who will explain how to get better energy deals, and how to apply for insulation and energy efficiency grants.

Benefits calculator

Not on benefits or need to apply for another benefit

If you are not already receiving a benefit, the first thing you should do is make a new claim. Use the benefit calculator to work out which benefit you should claim.

You can also use this link if you are already receiving a benefit but wish to know if you should claim another benefit, such as Universal Credit.

Other Government support

There are benefits you may be entitled to if your income is low or has gone down.

  • Cost of Living Hub - Find out what support is available to help with the cost of living. This includes income and disability benefits, bills and allowances, childcare, housing and travel.

  • Universal Credit – tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Read more on the GOV.UK Universal Credit web page.

  • Job Seekers Allowance – tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Read more on the GOV.UK Job Seeker’s Allowance web page.

  • Income Support – tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Read more on the GOV.UK Income Support web page.

  • Employment and Support Allowance – tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Read more on the GOV.UK Employment Support web page.

  • Pension Credit – tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Read more on the GOV.UK Pension Credit web page.

  • Tax Credits – tell Her Majesties Revenues & Customs (HMRC). Read more on the GOV.UK Report Changes that Affect your Tax Credits web page. This information was found directly on the Milton Keynes gov website, which can be found by clicking here.

Manchester City Council


All of the following information was found via the Manchester City Council website or the Government website, which can be found by clicking here.

As part of their response to the rising cost of living, the Government is once again funding a Household Support Fund. This can be broken down further as;

If you have children who get Free School Meals:

  • You'll get £55 for each eligible child for the summer holidays in 2023.

  • You'll get £15 every week for each eligible child for the autumn 2023, Christmas 2023, and February 2024 holidays.

  • You'll also get £15 every week for each eligible child for the Easter half term holiday in 2024.

If you're a Care Leaver:

  • You'll get £8 every week for 52 weeks to help you if you're living in your own home, to top up your incomes.

Targeted help

Some residents may get payments from the council even if they get other help from the government.

This includes:

  • £300 for households getting Housing Benefits but no other government benefits and who don't qualify for a Government Cost of Living payment.

  • £250 for large households (five or more people) that get Council Tax Support

  • £250 for households getting Council Tax Support and where at least one person gets a disability benefit, and there are fewer than five people in the household, including at least one dependent child (a child under 20 where the parent still receives Child Benefit payments for them).

  • £150 for households (with fewer than five people) where the applicant or their partner is above the age to qualify for Pension Credit but doesn't receive Pension Credit and their income is less than £10 above what the government says you need for living costs.

Free Childcare

All three and four year olds and some two year olds can get up to 15 hours of free early education and childcare each week for 38 weeks of the year.

If you work, your three or four year old could get another 15 hours of childcare (making it 30 free hours). You apply for this separately. To apply for Funded Early Learning, please visit this website;

Food Banks

If you're struggling to feed yourself or your family, there are foodbanks across Manchester.

Most of them operate on a voucher system, and for this you will need a referral from either your GP, a social worker or health visitor, or Citizens Advice.

But there are both referral and non-referral foodbanks. Find your nearest online at or

You can find a lot more support and information via the Manchester City Councils website; in regards to help with the cost of living crisis.

If you need to apply for this Household Support Fund, please apply online via this website;

Rochdale Council


Due to funding being made available by the Department for Work and Pensions, Rochdale Borough Council is investing a further £4.6 million to help during the cost of living crisis. Feel free to call them directly if you'd like more information on 01706 923685 - this is open Monday to Friday, from 9am-5pm.

Household Support Fund Access financial support on food, household items, energy costs, nappies, baby food, sanitary products and more, by clicking here:

Help with energy bills, food banks, and money

Help with energy bills, housing benefits, food banks, childcare costs, and more, by clicking here:

Food Banks and Food Clubs

Find your local foodbank or join a food club today; You need a voucher to use a food bank. You can get a voucher from your doctor, health visitor, social worker, local citizens advice or charity organisation. Your local food bank can provide emergency food for at least 3 days.

Here's a list of some of the foodbanks in Rochdale borough:

  • Rochdale Foodbank - located on South Parade, Rochdale OL16 1LR and Wesley Street, Smallbridge OL12 9RW.

  • Heywood Foodbank - located in Heywood Baptist Church, Rochdale Road, Heywood OL10 1LE.

  • Middleton Central Foodbank - located in Middleton Shopping Centre, Limetrees Road, Middleton M24 4EL.

It costs £1 to join a club for a year. You can then buy food bags which cost £3.50 but contain £15 of food and collect them from one of the following children's centres. If you're pregnant or have a child under the age of 4, you may qualify for help to buy basic foods as part of The Healthy Start scheme.

Auntie Irene's Pantry Open: every Wednesday, 6pm-7pm and every Sunday, 12 noon-2pm Phone: 07870 172142 Address: 8 St James Street, Milnrow, Rochdale OL16 3JT

Kashmir Youth Project (KYP) Community Pantry Visit the KYP website Address: Belfield Road, Rochdale OL16 2UP

Rochdale Association Football Club - Dave vs Hunger Food Pantry Visit the Rochdale AFC website Address: Crown Oil Arena, Sandy Lane, Rochdale OL11 5DR

Help with housing costs and reducing energy bills

  • Help with your water bill - information to help you reduce your water bill including trialling a water meter, debt support schemes, flexible payment plans, the WaterSure scheme and payment breaks.

  • Help with the cost of energy bills - GOV.UK - millions of the most vulnerable households will get financial support with the cost of living and their energy bills.

  • Energywork Green Doctors - Groundworks offers free service to help you with your bills, offers advice around energy-saving measures, installs energy efficiency measures, repairs heating systems and more.

  • Warm Home Discount scheme ​​- if you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, or if you're on a low income, you could get a discount on your electricity bill this winter.

  • Winter Fuel Payment - if you were born before 26 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills.

  • Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills - advice from Citizens Advice.

  • Read about energy-saving tips from Community Integrated Care - it's one of the UK’s largest and most successful social care charities and has produced information on how to save energy.

  • Cold Weather Payment - if you're claiming certain benefits, you may be able to get a Cold Weather Payment.

Help with childcare costs

Childcare can be expensive but help is available:

  • Free childcare for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds - up to 15 hours per week for eligible 2-year-olds and all 3 and 4-year-olds.

  • Childcare Choices - calculate and find new ways to help with childcare costs.

  • Universal Credit help - you may be able to claim back up to 85 per cent of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit.

  • Childcare vouchers - offered by some employers to help with childcare costs.

  • Work Preparation Support - can help with childcare costs when moving from benefits to a job. There's help for both parents and carers.

Tax Credits help

Tax Credits may help you with childcare costs.

  • Child Tax Credit- you may be able to claim if you're responsible for children under the age of 20.

  • Childcare and tax credits - you could get extra tax credits to help pay for some of your childcare costs while you’re working.

  • Work out your weekly childcare costs - use the Tax Credits claim form.

  • Check if you are eligible for Tax Credits and get an estimate of how much you may get - to help with childcare costs.

  • Working Tax Credit - you could get Working Tax Credit if either you’re aged from 16 to 24 and have a child or a qualifying disability or you’re 25 or over, with or without children.


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