Cost of living support

There are a wide variety of support schemes and organisations in North Yorkshire which may be able to help or advise if you are struggling to pay for essentials.

The North Yorkshire Local Assistance Fund (NYLAF)

This provides emergency financial support to those unable to meet essential living costs, such as energy bills or food. NYLAF can also make awards in kind, such as supplying basic necessities or household goods such as a fridge. Find out about the Local Assistance Fund.

Warm and Well North Yorkshire

People can also apply for hardship funding, or help with minor repairs to make their homes warmer under this scheme. Contact Warm and Well on 01609 767555 or email Find more information on the Warm and Well North Yorkshire website.

Council tax reduction and support scheme

If you’re on a low income or claim benefits you can apply for a reduction in the council tax you pay. Find more information on our council tax reduction scheme page

There is also a range of national support available on the Help for Households section of the government website and the cost of living support section of the government's website.

Support with energy bills

Households who have not automatically received funding through the Energy Bills Support Scheme can apply for the following alternative schemes to help with their energy bills. 

Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF)

If you do not have a direct relationship with an electricity supplier, this support scheme provides eligible households with a one-off, non-repayable payment of £400. The funding is provided by the government and delivered by local authorities.

Who is eligible?

Eligible households include: 

  • care home residents and others in care facilities/sheltered accommodation (fully or partly-self funded)
  • park home residents, and those living in houseboats and caravans that can provide proof of address
  • social and private tenants who pay for energy through a landlord on a commercial supply
  • homes in a heat network
  • off-grid homes
  • farmhouses that are used for domestic purposes only

How to apply?

You can apply online via the government website.

If you do not have online access, please apply by calling the government contact centre on 0808 1753287 (open 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday).

You can make a claim until 31 May 2023.

If your application is successful, your details will be shared with us and we will make a single payment directly into your bank account.

If you use alternative fuels for heating (Alternative Fuel Payment)

The Alternative Fuels Payment (AFP) is a one-off £200 payment for households that use alternatives to mains gas to heat their homes such as:

  • oil
  • solid fuel
  • biomass
  • bottled gas

How to apply?

Most households will receive this as a credit on their electricity bill from February 2023. If you do not automatically receive this payment you will need to apply online via the GOV.UK website.

If you do not have online access, please apply by calling the government contact centre on 0808 1753943 (open 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday).

You can make a claim until 31 May 2023.


You may receive both the £400 EBSS Alternative Funding and the £200 Alternative Fuel Payment if you meet the eligibility criteria. 

Please be aware of scams. Households will never be asked to apply for these support schemes by email or text.

Update on applications 

The government have informed us that unfortunately they have been unable to send us any new Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding and Alternative Fuel Payment applications made since 1 April 2023.

Once we have been provided with the necessary information from the government to verify and make payments, we will process these claims as soon as possible.

Advice on money, debt or benefit entitlement

Citizen’s Advice North Yorkshire provide free, confidential and impartial advice to help people find a way forward with whatever problems they face, including money and benefits. You can get advice in person, over the phone, on a web chat or by email by contacting Citizen’s Advice North Yorkshire direct.

Libraries are another source of support with books and resources on personal finances, budgeting and debt.

If you are of state pension age, you could be entitled to a pension top up. Many people are missing out on unclaimed pension credits and you may be able to access support, even if you have savings, own your own home or have a private pension. You can find out more on the government's web page about claiming pension credit.

Children and families

Free School Meals

Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are automatically entitled to free school meals, but parents and carers who are eligible for certain financial support may also be able to obtain Free School Meals for children at primary or secondary school. Read more information on qualifying for free school meals and how to apply.

FEAST holiday clubs

For help in the summer holidays, the Holiday Activity and Food programme, known locally as FEAST, will be providing a wide range of activities for children and young people in North Yorkshire. The activities are free to children on benefits-related free school meals and include a hot meal or packed lunch each day. Read more information about  FEAST holiday clubs.

Government funding

Government funding is available to support childcare costs including tax free childcare which is for all working families with children under 12 years old (or under 17 for children with a disability).

  • some two-year-old children are eligible for 15 hours of free childcare, depending on income and the receipt of certain benefits. See if you qualify for 15 hours of free childcare for two-year-olds
  • children are automatically eligible for 15 hours of universal funding for up to 38 weeks per year the term after their third birthday. You do not need to apply for this, but you need to discuss and arrange this with your childcare provider
  • in addition to the universal 15 hours of government funding, some families may be entitled to claim an extra 15 hours of childcare per week, bringing the total to 30 hours. This is known as Extended Entitlement government funding
  • see further information on accessing support with your childcare costs, including tax credit, tax free childcare and government funding
  • libraries offer a range of free events and activities for children and families. Contact your local library to see what is on offer

Healthy Start scheme

If you are more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to NHS support to help you buy healthy food and milk. Find out more about the Healthy Start scheme on the NHS website.

The Family Fund

The Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants for families raising children and young people with disabilities or who are seriously ill. A range of grants are available which can cover essential items such as fridge, washing machines and clothing, as well as computers and sensory toys. Find out more from The Family Fund.

Healthy Schools and Early Years in North Yorkshire

Healthy Schools and Early Years in North Yorkshire have a range of information, advice and guidance available for parents, including cost saving and waste tips. Find out more on the Healthy Schools and Early Years in North Yorkshire website.

Free Wi-Fi and digital support

  • twenty towns across the county have a free and secure public Wi-Fi network. These networks, which are Friendly Wi-Fi accredited, provide you with unlimited access to the internet. You can see the list of towns in the county offering free internet access and how to connect on our free public Wi-Fi page 
  • our libraries have over 300 computers available to use and the first 60 minutes is free, each day. Find out more about library computers. Libraries also offer free Wi-Fi
  • our Reboot initiative involves distributing unwanted laptops, tablets and other devices which have been donated. To access the scheme you need a referral from a local voluntary sector organisation, a school, the county council’s Early Help or Living Well team, or a faith group. Referrals can be made on the Reboot website. The scheme is designed to help:
    • children to access online school lessons or homework
    • families with no, or limited, access to the internet
    • vulnerable people who may be socially isolated
    • older people to enable them to stay in touch with services, friends and family
  • the Good Things Foundation provide free data and refurbished digital devices to those in need, find out more on the Good Things Foundation website
  • Citizens Online is there to help people get online. If you or someone you know needs support with their digital skills, please call 0808 196 5883
  • the government announced in August 2022 that broadband bills can be reduced for low income households through social tariffs. Run by the Department of Work and Pensions, internet service providers are able to check, with your permission, whether you are in receipt of a relevant benefit and therefore eligible for extra financial support. Please contact your broadband provider to see if they are participating.


You can reduce the cost of commuting and help reduce carbon emissions by signing up to Liftshare for free. The scheme matches up people making the same car journey and allows them to split the cost of their commute by sharing a lift. Find out more on the Liftshare website.

You can also find information about bus passes for disabled people or older people of pensionable age in our bus passes section.

Energy saving

  • the North Yorkshire Home Efficiency Fund is offering a range of fully-funded energy-saving home improvements to eligible homeowners in the Scarborough, Ryedale and Hambleton areas. Properties could receive improvements including insulation, solar panels, air source heat pumps and high heat retention electric storage heaters, depending on property suitability. To qualify, residents must have a household income of £30,000 or less, or receive means-tested benefits. Find out how to apply from our schemes and grants page
  • if you are a resident living in Selby, Craven or Harrogate and would like to know more about energy saving schemes in your area, the City of York Council is managing the North Yorkshire Local Authority Areas’ energy improvement schemes on behalf of Craven, Selby and Harrogate and may have funding available for certain improvements. For more information contact the City of York Council on 01904 552300 or email Further information is available from Better Homes Yorkshire
  • please check if you are eligible for a Warm Homes Discount of £150 over the winter period. Details are available on the warm homes discount scheme on the government website
  • Yorkshire Energy Doctor work with households to try and reduce energy costs and to try and ensure that people can afford to live in a warm home. For more information see the Yorkshire Energy Doctor website
  • there is helpful information on our winter health for older people page including tips for staying warm, more cost efficient and safe ways to heat your home, and details on how to claim winter fuel allowance


Community based support including Warm Welcome Spaces

  • North Yorkshire Connect is our online directory for North Yorkshire, providing information about the diverse range of community groups and services in the county
  • staff or volunteers at your local library will be pleased to see you and you will be able to sit down and read a newspaper or book, use the computers, or find out what is happening in your area. They are good places for young people to do homework or revision. Find out more in our local libraries section
  • you may be eligible for our free home library service if you cannot visit the library or carry books because of ill health or disability, or if you are a carer. Audio books, CDs or DVDs can also be delivered via the service
  • if you are looking for a Warm Welcome Space during winter or would like to register your venue as a Warm Welcome Space find out more on the Warm Welcome Space website

Support for community and voluntary groups

  • Two Ridings Community Foundation have established a Cost of Living Crisis fund to support local community and voluntary groups who are dealing with Cost of Living challenges in their communities. Find out more on the cost of living crisis fund on the Two Ridings website

Further support