We all need a little support from time to time. With the cost of living rising rapidly, we felt the need to place resources in one place which offers advice and practical help to help you manage your finances and make savings.
Financial Hardship and Grants
If you are struggling, please get in touch with HertsHelp – trained friendly advisors are on hand to offer confidential assistance and can put you in touch with helpful services and support locally.
Hertfordshire’s Money Advice Unit
The Wellfield Trust
The Wellfield Trust can provide one-off grants for people on low incomes, who are in need and who have lived in the parish of Hatfield for six months.
Most people who get grants also receive benefits.
Open Monday to Friday 9am – 2pm
For more information and for an application contact:
T: 01707 251 018 | E: email@example.com
Bounce Back Checklist
IncomeMax, has produced the Bounce Back Checklist that details benefits, grants and organisations that can help, including details of where to get money advice
Money and Pensions Service (MaPS)
- are struggling to keep on top of their bills and payments
- have experienced a reduction in income or squeezed budgets
- are self-employed
- have been or are worried about being made redundant or losing their job
For people who are already missing payments on their bills or credit commitments, then free debt advice services are available via their locator tool
Respite and Convalescent Breaks
The Hertfordshire Convalescent Trust provides respite and convalescent breaks for people who are residents of Hertfordshire, who are on a low income and have a physical or mental illness in the family.
The break needs to be for a short time, and in the UK only. The Trust can’t give grants for anything else.
Typical grants are in the region of £500-700 per family. Grants to individuals will usually be lower.
For eligibility and to apply contact:
T: 07731 403096 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
HertSavers Credit Union
Local Credit Unions, which are not-for-profit savings and loans schemes. For an explanation on what credit unions do and how they help individuals, families, and communities, visit: https://www.abcul.coop/credit-unions/about-credit-unions
For more information about your local credit union visit www.hertsavers.co.uk/
Debt – Independent and Impartial Advice
Citizens Advice Welwyn Hatfield
Citizens Advice Welwyn Hatfield offer free, independent, confidential and impartial advice on your rights and responsibilities.
They provide the advice people need for the problems they face and improve the policies and practices that affect their lives. They value diversity, promote equality and challenge discrimination.
StepChange is a charity that helps thousands of people overcome debt every week. They provide:
- 60 second debt test – answer a few simple questions to find out if you need debt advice, and what your next steps could be
- Online debt advice tool – answer questions about your financial situation to understand what to do next, where to get further support and guidance and how to start to take control of your money
- Guide to the Breathing Space Scheme – this is a guide to the government scheme which could help relieve some of the pressure and stress caused by being in debt
Surviving Economic Abuse
Economic support during the cost-of-living crisis – Surviving Economic Abuse – information and guidance on a range of topics to support victim-survivors of domestic abuse.
Financial Support Line – Surviving Economic Abuse– run by Money Advice Plus in partnership with Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA). It offers specialist advice to anyone experiencing domestic abuse who is in financial difficulty. 0808 1968845 (Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm and 2pm-5pm).
Energy Bills – Reducing Consumption and Additional Help
Advice for cutting energy costs and keeping bills lower
For free, or low-cost changes you can make to lower your energy bills, see:
- Simple Energy Advice
- Simple ways to lower your energy bills at home
- Four cheap ways to save energy at home – A practical guide from the BBC
- Citizens Advice: Grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills
Help with energy bills
Is your Energy Direct Debit high but you’re in credit?
Martin Lewis CBE the Money Saving Expert suggests you look at the “Is my direct debit correct calculator”. By entering your annual estimated usage, it will calculate what your estimated monthly direct debit should be. Then return to your provider and ask them to lower your direct debit. Check out the criteria here
If they refuse, rather than stopping your direct debit and paying on receipt of a bill (which could charge at least 10% more) ask for a variable direct debit. This means, instead of having your usage spread out over the year and paying the standard amount, you give them a meter reading each month and they change the direct debit based on the meter readings and you pay for what you use.
Got a smart meter? Access your smart meter data on your smartphone with Loop
Are you having problems with your smart meter not connecting due to a weak wifi connection? Are you unable to keep track of your energy usage and spend?
The Loop app connects to your meters, analyses your energy data, shows ways you can reduce your usage and it will also show your cost.
Loop is available through your smartphone FREE through Google Play and ISO. It takes less than 10 minutes to set up and a few days to configure.
GoCompare’s Energy Appliance Calculator
Ever wondered whether it’s cheaper to run a gas or electric oven? Or how about an electric blanket for 3 hours versus turning the heating on for 30 minutes? Well now you can find out.
To see how much something costs to run, use the energy calculator to pick the appliances you want to compare and select how long they’ll be in use for.
Help with water bills
Every water company has a social tariff scheme which can help reduce your bills if you’re on a low income. Who is eligible for help and the level of support varies depending on your water company.
You can also ask them for support with:
- Trialing a water meter
- Debt Support Schemes
- Financial Hardship Funds
- Payment breaks
- Flexible payment plans
- Water Direct – using benefit payments
Take the My Water Footprint Quiz
Affinity Water has a great quiz which helps you find how much water you will use annually and provides helpful tips on how you can reduce your water consumptions.
It will also give you important facts on how your reduction helps the environment. Get your children involved so they will be mindful next time they leave the tap running.
Reduce your usage and start saving with a water meter
If you live in a busy household it worth considering having a water meter instals so you can be in control of your water bill.
You’ll be able to see how much water you use and if you use less water you are also likely to save on your energy bills!
Find out more and apply for a water meter
WaterSure Tariff caps your charges, so additional water usage is not chargeable.
If you meet the eligible criteria you may be able to apple to for the WaterSure scheme.
- in receipt of a qualifying benefit
- 3 or more children under the age of 19 living in the property who are in full-time education or approved training
- an occupant with a medical condition who needs to use a considerable about of water.
Free gadgets to help you save water
From little attachments for your shower to inserts for your lav, the boroughs supply Affinity Water, has invested in water-saving devices, so you don’t have to.
Take the quick quiz and they’ll find and send you the device that suits your needs for free!
Phones, Telecoms and Internet
Cheaper broadband and phone packages
Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. Some providers call them ‘essential’ or ‘basic’ broadband.
They’re delivered in the same way as normal packages, just at a lower price.
Amid rising living costs, Ofcom is encouraging companies to offer social tariffs to help customers on low incomes.
First, check if your current provider offers a social tariff and take look at the table listing current available tariffs. You can apply for most tariffs online, or call your provider and ask to switch.
If your provider doesn’t offer a social tariff, you can switch to one that does. Your provider might let you leave your current contract without paying a penalty fee. Read Ofcom’s guide to switching broadband to find out more.
Help With Food
To receive help from the Hatfield Foodbank, you will need a Foodbank Voucher issued by one of their referring agencies. Hatfield Foodbacnk will then be in the position to provide you with the most appropriate help for your circumstances.
The local agency can also provide long term support if needed to help address some of the issues behind the reasons for your crisis.
Call: 07504627359 | E: email@example.com
New Zion Christian Fellowship Food Bank
Each week we see around 30-35 people who have been given food vouchers by their care professional and we provide a free emergency food parcel to help them, whilst in difficult circumstances.
The Foodbank is open on Wednesdays, between 9-11am
For agencies and organisations who work with those in need and would like vouchers, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Christchurch Baptist in W.G.C is an alternative collection point)
Codicote Foodbank to help Bridge the Food Gap in our local communities – Codicote, Welwyn, Knebworth, surrounding villages and areas
Open on Wednesday 18:00 – 19:00
For more information and referrals please call T: 07507295627 | E: email@example.com
Knebworth Food Bank
Knebworth’s Foodbank is located in the Porta Cabin by the Post office on Knebworth High Street.
They are only able to cater to neighbouring Welwyn residents leading up to Knebworth
Open Saturdays 9-11am
Baby Bank Herts
Baby Bank Herts brings vital help to local vulnerable families facing poverty.
They work with referral agencies including: charities, foodbanks, schools, childrens centres , social services, the local council, women’s refuge, agencies which provide support for victims of modern slavery, domestic violence charities, midwifery and nursing teams.
They aim to respond within 48 hours but for urgent requests, such as emergency food provision vouchers or formula milk, please call M: 07447988160.
Welwyn Garden City Food Rescue Hub
Our community has the opportunity to shop and do their bit for their planet and to reduce food waste.
Everyone can visit to rescue best before food such as fruit, vegetable, bread and store cupboard items that would otherwise be destined for landfill. They welcome donation for what you take.
Open every Tuesday 9:30 – 11am at Attimore Hall P H, Ridgeway, Welwyn Garden City, AL7 2AD
The mobile phone app OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. This could be food nearing its sell-by date in local stores, spare home-grown vegetables, bread from your baker, or the groceries in your fridge when you go away. For your convenience, OLIO can also be used for non-food household items, too.
Pets In Need Herts
Pets In Need is a non-profit community group based in Hertfordshire. PIN is a free animal food bank
For more information and to visit please call:
T: 07867 236138 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
ALFS (Animal Larder Food and Shelter)
ALFS, Animal Larder Food and Shelter, is a free foodbank providing food parcels and accessories for families with pets, plus they will help with fostering or rehoming.
If you need support or can donate please contact:
T: 07714 999581 | E: email@example.com
Loyalty & Rewards
Have all your cards in one place with Stocard
Signing up to a reward scheme for your regular shops can save you money but the cards can take up so much space in your wallet that you leave them behind. There are Apps available like Stocard which enable you to scan your loyalty cards into your phone so you have them readily available.
If your savvy with your Apple or Google pay Stoccard will only be another click away
Womens_Aid_cost_of_living_survivor_survey_July_22.pdf (womensaid.org.uk) – Cost of Living and the impact on survivors of domestic abuse research.
Mind Hertfordshire Network
Mind in Mid Herts has a collaborative, positive and holistic approach to promoting mental wellbeing. We support individuals who are suffering or who have suffered from mental and emotional distress. This is achieved by following the Recovery Model which enables individuals to make well informed life choices. This way of working underpins all aspects of work within the organisation
If you need help immediately please call: 0300 123 3393
Welwyn Hatfield Warm Hubs
Churches in Welwyn Garden City
During these winter months, there are a number of Warm Hubs in our churches that you can visit during the week in order to save on energy and meet other people.
For more updates, please visit: www.facebook.com/churchesinwgc
Jimmy Mac Warm Space
It is a warm environment to chat with others and no charge to visit. We welcome people with or without disabilities. We have a lounge area with comfortable chairs, and social activities such as prize bingo, quizes dancing and film shows.
- Tues to Thurs – 9am to 4pm
- Fri to Sun – 9am to 2pm.
Jimmy Macs Activity Centre for Retired and disabled, The Hive, 3 McDonald Court, High View, Hatfield, Welwyn Hatfield, AL10 8HR
One YMCA Family Support Service Warm Space at Creswick
For families with children aged 0-11 years.
An opportunity to stay warm and connect with other families. No need to book just come along. (15 families capacity)
We will be offering hot drinks and food such as toast and soup.
Activities, Games, quiet cosy corner for children, tables for older siblings to do homework and for parents to sit and relax.
Sir John Newsom Way, Welwyn Garden City, Welwyn Hatfield, AL7 4FL
Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City Library
Libraries are open to all and offer a wide range of activities from simply reading a book, to using a computer/tablet or even taking part in one of many activities, such as story time or a tea/coffee and chat.
All staff and volunteers will welcome you to the library and if you would like to know what’s going on or if you require any support from another service, they can do their best to help you find what you would like.
Hatfield – White Lion Square, 26-32 Town Centre, Hatfield, Welwyn Hatfield, AL10 0LD
Welwyn Garden City – Campus West, Welwyn Garden City, Welwyn Hatfield, AL8 6AJ