Support for charities and individuals struggling with cost-of-living
- Money Advice Hub, managed by Citizen Advice - support for people in Kent who are struggling financially or need support to manage the rising cost of living. The service is completely free and confidential. People can access the service online by visiting www.kentmoneyadvicehub.com (with video call and webchat functions) or by calling the freephone number on 0800 808 5622 by phone from Monday – Friday between 8am – 8pm. It can also be accessed using one of five kiosks installed in community spaces in Gravesham, Cliftonville, Ramsgate, Aylesham and Ashford.
- Help for Households - the government is offering help for households. See what cost of living support you could be eligible for.
- Funded by the UK government, the Household Support Fund Energy Voucher Scheme supports vulnerable Kent households in need of help with significantly rising living costs. Register to become a referrer here. Find out more by emailing email@example.com
- Social Enterprise Kent - find cost-of-living support in your area.
- ReferKent – is an online referral system for organisations supporting Kent residents. It aims to strengthen referrals across Kent for adults and families who may be experiencing financial hardship.
- Family Action Welfare Grants – provides grants for essential personal and household needs to assist families and individuals with low incomes, particularly those living on benefits.
- Smallwood Trust - funding for individual women on low incomes and struggling to make ends meet as well as organisations and projects that directly benefit women.
- Kent County Council's Kent Support and Assistance Service (KSAS) - Support in the form of goods and / or services, for those experiencing serious difficulties managing income due to a crisis or find themselves under exceptional pressures because of an emergency.
- Colyer-Ferguson Charitable Trust - Hardship Awards Scheme Hardship Awards. These small grants of up to £500 have a very quick turnaround - usually within 1-2 weeks - and are designed to support youngsters from 14 to c25 years of age. Included in this, is a provision for educational laptops / IT equipment for those 14-18 year-olds who are struggling with their school work and not expected to achieve 5 good grade GCSEs. These grants are up to a maximum of £350.
- Friends of the Elderly - Friends of the Elderly provides grants to older people over State Pension age, living in England or Wales, who have a low income and savings of less than £4,000. Grants are for items such as home mobility adaptations, and help with unexpected bills and large costs such as utility bills, funeral costs or moving fees.
- Energy Financial Support KCC – Help from Kent County Council if you are experiencing financial difficulty and paying your energy bill is a concern.
- British Gas Energy Trust - Grants are available to their own customers as well as customers of other suppliers, to assist with domestic gas and electricity debts.
- npower Energy Fund - Grants are available to npower customers only and can be used towards the cost of domestic gas and electricity bills or to replace broken white goods such as cookers, fridges, fridge-freezers and washing machines.
- Scottish Power Hardship Fund - Grants are available to Scottish Power customers who are experiencing difficulty paying their bills due to low income or other circumstances, such as illness. Any funds awarded can be used towards clearing debts with the provider by crediting the customer’s ScottishPower energy accounts
- OVO Energy Fund - Grants are available to OVO Energy customers to help clear/pay off any debt on their OVO Energy account. Applicants must have run up a debt on their gas or electricity account of at least £150, have an annual household income of £16,190 or less and have a valid reason affecting your ability to pay.
- E.ON Energy Fund award grants towards energy bills to help reduce fuel poverty.
- The Skinners’ Benevolent Trust - provides immediate-needs crisis grants of up to £275, for individuals and families to purchase essential household items. In West Kent (Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells) and Romney Marsh only.
- Glasspool Charity Trust - small, one-off grants to individuals and families in need of financial support for everyday items to help them set up or remain in their home; improve their well-being and in some cases we provide grants to support training to enable applicants to take up an offer of employment.
- Aviva Community Fund - is supporting communities with financial wellbeing
- Hardware Access Scheme - to supply individuals that meet the criteria with access to digital equipment (initially laptops). The COVID-19 Hardware Access Scheme will 'gift' the device to the intended beneficiary, with no requirements to return the device.
- Connectivity Access Scheme - to supply individuals that meet the criteria with access to connectivity. This is currently with a mobile 4G Router. The way in which a beneficiary can be supplied with a device through the scheme must be by referral from a professional by completing our online form.
- Digital Support Scheme - to provide informal support to individuals (18 years old or over) that would like to improve their digital skills, motivation or confidence. The way in which someone can be provided support requires a referral or self-referral to express interest.
- CAF Charity Resource Hub - have gathered a wide range of experts to provide the resources to navigate the cost-of-living crisis, from governance and planning to attracting new funding.
- Priority Service Register
The Priority Services Register is a free service provided by suppliers and network operators to ensure those in more vulnerable situations receive extra support.
You will need to contact your own energy supplier and network operator but you can first find out more about what it means and who is eligible (includes those at pensionable age, those with a long term health condition or who are disabled, as well as those in a vulnerable position) from Ofgem.
- Register with your local supplier directly. Here are some to get you started but please do check who your suppliers are.
Thames Water - Register online or phone 0800 009 3652
South East Water - Register online or phone 0333 000 2468
UK Power Networks - Register online or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also text help available for those who are deaf or hard of hearing
You may get Cold Weather Payments if you’re getting Pension Credit (along with others benefits, such as Income Support and Universal Credit).
You’ll get £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather (zero degrees or below) between 1 November and 31 March.
If you were born on or before 5 October 1954 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills.
You usually get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically if you are eligible and you get the State Pension or another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).
If you’re eligible but do not get paid automatically, you will need to make a claim.
Some energy suppliers have set up trust funds that may be able to help you pay your fuel bills if you are in financial difficulties.
Charis can be contacted online or on 01733 421021
Useful resources for charities and voluntary groups
- Marketing and communications tips from KCF
- Register for the Kent Business Portal - Kent County Council's electronic tendering site
- Improve you cyber security within your charity - download Kent Police's Cyber Crime Unit information pack and infographic
- Charity Commission - guidance on safeguarding
- Charity Commission - how to report a serious incident at your charity
- Free Organisation Health Check by Stronger Kent Communities to voluntary organisations and community groups with a turnover of under £100k
- Kent Volunteers - new website for volunteering opportunities created by the KM Media Group and the Lord Lieutenant of Kent to allows Kent-based charities, CICs or Community Projects to easily post Volunteering Opportunities. Sign up to start posting your volunteering opportunities.
- Gam Care offer free advice, support and training to organisations who work with women affected by a gambling problem. Contact the South East Outreach Officer, Suzanne Gosney email@example.com for more information.
- Charity Mentors Kent and Medway provide free mentoring to charities and not-for-profit community organisations by senior leaders with strategic management experience. It will typically be focused on the chief executive and is aimed at improving organisations’ strategic vision, effectiveness and efficiency. Contact the co-ordinator Nick Marden at firstname.lastname@example.org
Accessing capital funding
We have compiled a list of trusts, foundations and grant-making bodies who have the capacity to cover capital funding projects. Sub-sections are included where organisations only fund specific purchases, for example a minibus.
Other grant-makers and funders in Kent & Medway
- Lawrence Atwell’s Charity - the fund covers London and Kent, awarding grants of up to £10,000 per annum (with awards up to 3 years open to consideration) to support young people not in employment, education or training – to help them move into meaningful work. Deadline 1st March 2019.
- The Gibbons Family Trust - awards grants to children and young people up to the age of 25, living in the Isle of Thanet in Kent.
- UnLtd is a national charity which provides specialist support for social entrepreneurs at the start of the journey to help them grow as social leaders. It provides comprehensive support with both cash and coaching to help nurture ideas and grow impact. Uniquely, for grant makers, it doesn't matter what stage of development your social venture is at - It can be an idea on paper, or a social venture in practice already. It can also be led by a single person not yet incorporated as Unltd directs its support to venture founders. For start-ups, cash support ranges from £500 up to £15,000 across three separate support packages. From time to time there are other themed and industry specific awards according to partnerships that Unltd develops.
- Henry Smith Charity – grants to reduce social and economic disadvantage.
- Reaching Communities – voluntary or community organisations for grants over £10,000 for up to five years. Projects and organisations that take action within their communities.
- Arts Council - National Lottery Projects Grants
- Awards For All - National Lottery Awards for All offers funding from £300 to £10,000 to support what matters to people and communities.
- Bromley Trust - Grants of up to £20,000 are available for registered charities that are working in the areas of human rights and prison reform.
- Colyer-Fergusson Charitable Trust - Investing in Communities - grants of up to £15,000 are available to build the capacity of community organisations and local charities working with vulnerable people in Kent in order to help them deliver sustainable, face-to-face service.
- Green Hall Foundation - grants of up to £10,000 are available for registered charities to fund special projects or the purchase of equipment that will benefit their charitable purposes.
- Idlewild Trust - grants of up to £5,000 are available to registered charities in the UK working in the following two areas: The Arts - nurturing young professionals and Conservation – objects and works of art.
- KCC Grants information & Village and Community Hall Grants - Grants are also available for local communities to improve an existing hall or build a new hall.
- Les Mills Fund for Children - Grants of up to £1,000 are available to registered charities and accountable non-profit organisations that do their most to improve the education and physical and emotional wellbeing of children.
- Masonic Charitable Foundation – Later Life Inclusion Grants Programme - Grants are available to local and national charities that are working to reduce loneliness and isolation in later life.
- My Community - gives you the tools and information you need to take action and make your community a better place to live.
- Variety Club - Youth Clubs Grant - grants for equipment is available to affiliated youth clubs in the UK that provide opportunities for improving social skills, team spirit and self- esteem for young people aged from 8 to 18 years.
- William Wates Memorial Trust - grants of around £30,000 are available to not-for-profit organisations and registered charities that enhance the lives of the most disadvantaged young people (aged 5-19) resident in London and the South East.
- Whitehead Monckton
- SASC Housing Fund - enable organisations to purchase housing to accommodate the vulnerable people they support.
- Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund - available grant funding to support improvement projects for village halls.
- Village and Community Hall Grant Scheme - grants of up to £30,000 are available for local communities to improve an existing hall or build a new hall.
- Triangle Trust 1949 Fund - core funding to support specialist carer organisations providing services such as access to information, financial support and respite care to unpaid carers or organisations supporting offenders or ex-offenders with projects working to reduce re-offending.
- European Social Fund – Community Grants Contract – South East LEP
- The Cole Charitable Trust - welcome applications from small and local (as opposed to regional or national) registered charities, or local branches of registered charities.
- Carers Innovation Fund - the Department for Health and Social Care has made £5 million available to improve support for carers.
- Gregg’s Foundation; Local Community Projects Fund – offer grants of up to £2,000 to help organisations based in local communities to deliver activities that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to.
- Percy Bilton Charity - will consider capital funding for the following projects and schemes: disadvantaged/underprivileged young people (persons under 25); people with disabilities (physical or learning disabilities or mental health problems); older people (aged over 60). One off payments for capital expenditure of approximately £2,000 and over (the majority of grants fall within the range of £2,000 to £5,000).
- Ashford Borough Council Community Grants Fund - for voluntary, community or charitable groups or organisations delivering a project or service in the Ashford borough.
Useful contacts for development
- Stronger Kent Communities (SKC) - Cross Kent
- Imago Community
- Red Zebra - East Kent - Ashford, Thanet, Folkestone
- Medway CVS - Medway
- NWK CVS - Dartford, Gravesend, Swanley
- Swale CVS - Swale
- Kent Coast Volunteering - Thanet, Dover area and Folkestone & Hythe
- Canterbury District Volunteer centre
- Ashford Volunteer Centre - Ashford
- NWK Volunteer Centre - Dartford, Gravesend, Swanley
- Medway Volunteer Centre (Hands) - Medway
- Funding for All - Cross Kent
- CLA (Country Land Association) Charitable Trust