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. In order to reach women who are most affected by the rise in the cost of living, applications can only be made by women referred to us by our Cost of Living Fund partner 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 partners 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.

For organisations, other than our Cost of Living Fund partners, and individual women in need, 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.

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