Torridge District Council have launched a new section to their website designed to offer the latest guidance to families and households who are struggling with the ever rising cost of living in recent months. The “Cost of Living Help” pages can be found on the front page of Torridge Councils’ website and have been collated to bring together, in one place, the growing range of help and guidance available. The content includes information from a whole raft of voluntary, charity, government and business organisations who have been reaching out to support households.
The initiative recognises that the help available covers a vast range of household spending and personal wellbeing guidance, which up until now, some may have missed or not been aware of. These range from grants and payment reduction options, financial top-ups, to food and other free goods as well as practical advice on reducing costs and making sure people are getting the best deals for things like utilities based on their circumstances. As well as council support schemes the guidance pages include links to the many voluntary, not for profit organisations offering help along with the latest county council and government initiatives announced so far. People are being encouraged to check back regularly as the pages will be updated as new schemes are developed and launched.
Updates already on the horizon include the next round of the Devon wide “Household Support Fund”, managed locally by Torridge Council, which will be available in a few weeks’ time. The previous incarnations of the scheme led to applications for money towards buying food, help with housing, energy and water costs and an array of furniture and white goods replacements such as fridges and freezers, which people had been struggling to finance. To date Torridge have dealt with 441 applications for assistance, distributing £229k in funds over three different phases of the scheme.
The support pages also include health and wellbeing links along with examples and warnings of scams that are unfortunately becoming more common as criminals seek to cash in on the desperation of people seeking help, compounding their misery. The links on the council’s web pages will provide a more direct and reliable link to information such as the government energy rebates and other schemes commonly targeted by scammers.
Councillor Ken James – Leader of Torridge District Council said:
“The help pages launched by the Council will hopefully provide much needed signposting and guidance to help support those who currently find themselves in need of help. However, it’s also a guide for everyone else on where they can find information to reduce bills and find the best and cheapest options to help them through current financial pressures such as the rising cost of energy. The help available is growing all the time and the links will be updated to keep in step with these as they emerge in the coming months. We hope this will encourage people to check back regularly to see what new support links have been added.” The support pages can be found at www.torridge.gov.uk/costoflivinghelp