What is the Cost of Living Fund?

We are seeing a large increase in women requesting support to help with rising costs, such as energy bills, fuel prices, food and basic essentials. We remain committed to respond flexibly to changing priorities and needs, therefore, over the next few months we are focusing on grants that help with these increasing costs.

Each month we aim to award c.£25k in grants up to December 2022 to a total value of c.£200k. We will keep this page updated if we experience higher levels of demand or if there are any changes to the funding amounts and timeframes.

Through our work to date we have seen that collaborative working can have a greater impact on supporting women experiencing poverty. Therefore, in order to reach women who are most affected by the rise in the cost of living, applications can only be made by one of our Cost of Living Fund referral organisations or by women who are already being supported by one of our referral organisations.

Our partners help women access services and advice and the Cost of Living Fund will provide grants alongside their existing support. We are working with referrers to make the application process as accessible as possible including supporting women to apply in their preferred language.  

 

What does the Cost of Living Fund help with?

The Fund supports some of the women who are likely to be disproportionately affected by the rise in the cost of living. Therefore we are prioritising applications from:

  • Women that are single parents
  • Disabled women
  • Women with no recourse to public funds
  • Women who are or who have been affected by domestic violence or abuse
  • Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic women

You can read more about why we will be prioritising applications in this way here in a recent briefing by the Women’s Budget Group.

Our eligibility criteria is:

  • Women aged 18 or above
  • Living in the UK
  • On a low income / not in work and in receipt of all benefits entitled to, or have no recourse to public funds
  • Savings under £2,000 

We use the Joseph Rowntree Foundation minimum income standard for our low income threshold.

Please note we are unable to support women if they are a student (studying 16 hours a week or more) or are living in a residential or nursing home.

Typical uses for the grant might include:

  • Increase in household energy bills
  • Increase in cost of weekly food shop and essentials
  • Other increases to bills through daily living

The average grant size is £750.

 

What is the application process?

In order to reach women who are most affected by the rise in the cost of living, applications can only be made by one of our Cost of Living Fund referral organisations or by women who are already being supported by one of our referral organisations.

If you would like to be considered as a Cost of Living referral organisation, please complete this Expression of Interest form and the grants team will be in contact with you to explain the next steps.

Please note: Our Cost of Living Fund is currently oversubscribed and we have now reached our required number of referrers. We are happy to receive your Expression of Interest Form but you may be placed on a waiting list.

 

If you are in need and not supported by a referral partner, here are a range of links which may help you:

The Turn2Us Grant Search can help you to find funds based on your circumstances or experience.

The Turn2Us Benefits Calculator is a free and confidential tool which will help you to find out what benefits you are entitled to claim.

StepChange can give free debt advice and help with budgeting.

The Lightning Application Portal is a secure online portal which allows you to find and apply for support from multiple providers, quickly and easily.

A quick outline guide of the main points for the various schemes of government support in response to the cost of living crisis from Social Welfare Training. Please be advised that Social Welfare Training do not advise the public. 

We will update this page with further information over the course of the fund.

 

Below is a list of our current referral partners:

BAOBAB WOMENS PROJECT
BERESFORD GROUP STROUD WOMEN'S REFUGE
CAB NEWCASTLE 
CHINESE WOMEN OF PETERBOROUGH
CONNECTING CANTERBURY
COVENTRY CAB
DERRY WELL WOMEN CENTRE 
FALLS WOMEN'S CENTRE

HAYAT WOMENS TRUST
HELEN BAMBER FOUNDATION
HERTS HELP
HESTIA
HOMESTART OXFORD
MONEY ADVICE PLYMOUTH
MONEY MATTERS - GLASGOW
NEXTLINK - BRISTOL 
SERICC
SHAMA WOMENS CENTRE 
SOLACE WOMEN'S AID
SOUTHWEST LANCASHIRE INDEPENDENT ADVICE NETWORK 
TAMESIDE MBC
VICS IN THE COMMUNITY 
WOMEN ACTING IN TODAY'S SOCIETY
WOMEN IN PRISON 
WOMEN'S HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICES CHARITY
WORTHING FOOD FOUNDATION