9 minute read

Help is available

Cost of living rises are affecting everyone in Salford but there is help available.

The Household Support Fund can help people who are struggling to buy food and essentials, pay bills and heat their homes. It’s open to everyone, including people not receiving benefits, but proof of eligibility is required. Applications close on Friday 30 September 2022. Apply at: www.salford.gov.uk/hsf If you need support with your application call 0800 011 3998 or visit your local gateway centre or Broughton Hub.

General help

If you’re not sure where to start please call the Spirit of Salford helpline free on 0800 952 1000 Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm or complete the form on www.salford.gov.uk/spiritofsalford

The helpline can direct you to a wide range of council and other local services covering money, health, mental health, COVID-19 and housing advice or you can contact them directly (please see below for details.)

You can also drop in and ask for help at Eccles Gateway, Barton Lane, Pendleton Gateway, Broadwalk, Swinton Gateway, Chorley Road or Walkden Gateway, Smith Street or Broughton Hub, Rigby Street. The buildings are open Monday to Thursday 8am to 10pm, Friday 8am to 6.30pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm or visit www.salford.gov.uk/gateways

Salford City Council’s Better Off website lets you check your entitlement and apply for benefits, look for jobs and has a wealth of information on budgeting, debt and childcare.

You can also get help at a BetterOff coffee and chat session in the Gateways/Broughton Hub or book a video call. Please visit www.salford.gov.uk/betteroff to find out more about online and face to face support.

Salford Citizens Advice can help with consumer, employment, housing (including problems for private tenants), immigration, legal and family advice, rights to health, social and community care services and support around bereavement. Please visit www.salfordcab.org.uk or call 0808 27 87 802.

Citizens Advice Greater Manchester has an out of hours helpline from 6pm to 9pm, seven days a week. Please call 0161 850 5053.

In an emergency

Salford Assist provides discretionary emergency help with food and fuel vouchers, baby items, white goods, school uniform, household items and will consider any reasonable requests for essential items to keep people warm and healthy as well as signposting to other services to help avoid any future crisis. Proof of eligibility will be requested.

Please visit www.salford.gov.uk/salfordassist or call 0800 694 3695 Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm

On the money

Thousands of pounds of benefits go unclaimed each year so check you are not missing out on money you are entitled to.

For specialist advice about benefit entitlement, to challenge decisions and for appeal tribunal representation contact Salford City Council’s welfare rights team. Call 0800 345 7375 Monday to Friday 10am to 12 noon apart from Bank Holidays or visit www.salford.gov.uk/welfarerights

Salford Credit Union provides affordable loans with no set up or early repayment costs. The credit union encourages regular saving by its members. Visit www.salfordcreditunion.com for more information, call 0161 686 5880 10am to 12 noon Monday to Friday or email info@salfordcreditunion.com

Worried about debts?

There’s no need to pay for debt advice and it’s never too late to take action. Acting quickly may stop things from getting worse.

If you have problem debts or are facing repossession of your home or eviction, please contact Salford City Council’s debt advice service for free, specialist support. Visit www.salford.gov.uk/debtadvice or call 0800 345 7323 Mondays and Wednesdays 1pm to 4pm and Fridays 9.30am to 12.30pm.

Salford Citizen’s Advice can also provide help and for free self-help resources visit National Debtline, Step Change or Money Helper www.nationaldebtline.org or www.stepchange.org or www.moneyhelper.org.uk

If you’ve taken out a cash loan with no paperwork, if you’re being threatened and your debt keeps increasing despite payments, the Stop Loan Sharks government agency can help you get free and prosecute illegal money lenders. You won’t be in trouble, they are there to help you. Visit www.stoploansharks.co.uk or call 0300 555 222.

Paying the bills

If you’re struggling with council tax payments visit www.salford.gov.uk/backontrack for lots of options for help including checking if you are entitled to any discounts or reductions in your council tax bill.

Salford Employ is a free job finding service and also has a link to the latest vacancies. Please visit www.salford.gov.uk/salfordemploy

Fuel costs

If you own your home or rent privately and the property has no gas central heating Connected for Warmth is a government backed scheme to provide a free heating and hot water system, including a gas main connection if needed, to those who qualify.

Private tenants need their landlord’s permission to apply and the landlord would need to contribute to the costs. Visit www.connectedforwarmth.org.uk or call free on 0800 029 4547.

Visit Warm Salford www.salford.gov.uk/warmsalford for more help with fuel costs. This includes help with arrears, switching from costly pre-payment meters to credit meters, energy efficiency tips and details of grant schemes for better home insulation or replacing old boilers.

Food costs

In emergency, please contact Salford Assist which can provide food vouchers or Citizens Advice Salford for a referral to a food bank.

Salford’s food charities have formed the Salford Foodshare Network and set up 12 food clubs across the city.

Each food club sets its own rules on membership, but they are generally open to people in low paid work or receiving certain benefits. Members can buy around £15 worth of food for up to £3 once a week. Some also offer help with school uniforms, access to Salford Credit Union and health promotion.

Contact Salford Citizen’s Advice on 07494498703 or 07494498678 (they can call you back) or email: healthyholidays@citizensadvicesalford.org.uk for food club information.

Check if your child is entitled to free school meals by visiting www.salford.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals or see how much your family could save by avoiding food waste with www.lovefoodhatewaste.com It could be up to £60 a month for a family of four.

Pregnant women and people with children under four can get help to buy milk, infant formula, fruit, vegetables and pulses and free vitamins (subject to eligibility). Please ask your midwife or health visitor or call the Healthy Start helpline on 0345 607 6823 or visit www.healthystart.nhs.uk Help with applications is also available from Citizens Advice Salford.

New applicants will receive pre-paid cards which are replacing paper vouchers. People already receiving paper vouchers will be contacted about re-applying for the new, digital scheme.

Other help

Free internet access is available at all Salford Gateway buildings and libraries. If you need help getting online and boosting your digital skills please ask at the Gateways/Broughton Hub or libraries or visit digitalinclusion.salford.gov.uk

Salford City Council offers a fixed price, fair funeral service for Salford residents without any compromise on the quality of service provided. Please visit www.salford.gov.uk/funeral

For help with school uniforms, children’s toys, books, bedding, baby equipment and toiletries ask a professional (teacher, social worker, health visitor, midwife or support worker) or Salford Citizen’s Advice to refer you to Wood Street Mission, Salford Baby Bank or Visit from the Stork.

Age UK Salford’s hospital aftercare team offers free help and support to over 55s coming out of hospital who do not have a formal care package and who live alone without close family nearby. Criteria apply and all staff are police checked. Contact them on 0161 206 4607 or email: Salford.aftercare@srft.nhs.uk

Housing advice

Salford City Council has a range of housing advice from finding a home to claiming housing benefit. There are also discretionary housing payments which you may be able to claim to help with rent arrears and affordable services to help you carry out minor repairs or to better insulate your property. Please visit www.salford.gov.uk/housing

Free fun

Salford has 60 parks and green spaces and 16 outdoor gyms with free events all year round and you can join a friends’ group to help keep them looking great and make new friends. Visit www.salford.gov.uk/parks to find out more.

You can walk or cycle for miles along Salford’s former railway lines. Visit www.salford.gov.uk/looplines or visit the Bridgewater Canal. Take a picnic and some food for the ducks, geese and swans.

Transport for Manchester has walking and cycling maps for Salford and Greater Manchester, tips on road safety and information on cycling courses and minor repairs workshops. Visit https://beeactive.tfgm.com

Join your local library to borrow books in person or online, read magazines online and enjoy a range of events. Babies aged four to 12 months get a free Bookstart pack. Ask your health visitor or any Salford library.

Salford Museum and Art Gallery and Ordsall Hall are both free to visit and have a range of events (charges may apply for events)

Salford residents can visit RHS Garden Bridgewater in Worsley free on Tuesdays. Booking and proof of residency is required. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/ bridgewater/articles/visiting-the-garden

Visit The Lowry at Salford Quays for free to see L.S. Lowry paintings and regularly changing exhibitions.

Easter fun

If your child is aged four to 16 and receives free school meals, they can sign up for the free Easter holidays activities programme from Monday 4 April to Thursday 7 April. All activities include lunch and range from baking and cooking to arts and crafts, sports, music and more. Sessions are available throughout the city. Visit www.salford.gov.uk/easterfun for details.

Make your money go further

Salford Community Leisure has a range of membership packages and pay and play for non-members salfordcommunityleisure.co.uk/

If you’re a Salford resident, you can get discounted tickets for The Lowry theatre through the Our Lowry scheme and some are just £10. Offers are sent by email or text (for last minute bookings).

To sign up email our@thelowry.com with your name, address, postcode and mobile phone number or call them on 0333 208 6000 or visit thelowry.com/support-us/memberships/our-lowry