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.
- 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 email@example.com
- 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 information about the council tax reduction and support scheme and a postcode checker that will take you to your local borough or district council.
- There is also a range of national available on the Help for Households section of the government website and the cost of living support section of the government's website.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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 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 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.
- Twenty towns across the county have a free and secure public wifi network. These networks, which are Friendly Wifi 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 wifi 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.
- 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 districts. 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 on our home efficiency fund 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
- The Trussell Trust runs foodbanks in a number of towns in North Yorkshire. You will generally need a voucher from a local referral agency to access their help. Find out if there is a foodbank near you and how you can get help on the Trussell Trust website.
- You can find foodbanks run by some other organisations on The Independent Food Aid Network website.
- Increasing numbers of communities have set up community fridges to give people access to food which might otherwise go to waste. These are generally open to anyone to use without any need for a referral. The Hubbub Foundation website lists some community fridges and your local Community Support Organisation may have information about other local free fridges or pantries in the area.
- In an article called every mouthful matters in our residents newsletter, NY Now, we have provided some tips on avoiding food waste that could also save you money.
- North Yorkshire Connect is our online directory for North Yorkshire, providing information about the diverse range of community groups and services in the county.
- Many communities will have shared spaces where activities take place and you can improve your wellbeing by getting together with other people. Attending activities or events locally may mean that you can reduce the need to heat your own house for a period of time. Find your nearest community support organisation.
- 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 this winter or would like to register your venue as a Warm Welcome Space find out more on the Warm Welcome Space website. Your local Community Support Organisation will also hold information on locally based activity where you will receive a Warm Welcome.
- details of the support available with housing costs and rent on Ryedale District Council's website
- information on council tax support available on Ryedale District Council's website
- money advice on Ryedale District Council's website
- the POMOC project in Ryedale can help the district’s Eastern European community to access services, including support in filling in documentation and non-financial support during crisis, find out more on the POMOC project page on Ryedale District Council's website
- information on council tax support available on Selby District Council's website
- information on community groups in Selby who may be able to help with cost of living, including details of a uniform bank and community food projects on Selby District Council's website
- Selby District Council works closely with the Yorkshire Energy Doctor website which can provide advice on utility bills and help with other energy-saving information
- information on food projects in Craven, details of who to contact if you are struggling to pay your council tax bill and other support on Craven District Council's website
- details of discretionary support available with rent on Craven District Council's website
- information on community support organisations in the Harrogate area, as well as getting help with rent or council tax in the district on Harrogate Borough Council's website
- if you are of pension age or live in temporary or supported accommodation, you may be able to claim help with housing benefit on Harrogate Borough Council's website
- if you receive some housing benefits or the housing element of Universal Credit and are struggling to pay the remainder of your rent, you may be able to get a temporary, extra rent top-up or assistance with move-on costs to help you move somewhere cheaper on Harrogate Borough Council's website
- if your income has changed, you can apply to have your council tax reduced on Harrogate Borough Council's website. They can also review your monthly payments, spread them across 12 months, or arrange a payment holiday
- if you are a council tenant they can also assist with financial support including Council Tax rebate and Universal Credit as well as give support and ensure the smooth running of your tenancy on Harrogate Borough Council's website
- find seasonal health advice which includes keeping your home warm and the help that’s available to support with heating costs on Richmondshire District Council's website
- help with rent payments on Richmondshire District Council's website
- help with heating your home on Richmondshire District Council's website
- You can find more information on support available to everyone on the government's website.
- Find free guidance from Money Helper.
- Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial need to access welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help. They offer online, by phone and face to face help through their partner organisations. Find out more about Turn2us.