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Where can I get help with the cost of living in Surrey

Where can I get help with the cost of living in Surrey
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A round-up of local resources to help with household bills

Living as we are in the recovery stage of a pandemic and with soaring energy prices, we at Paradise Firewood wanted to do something to help. So here is a round-up of cost-of-living crisis resources for our friends and neighbours in Weybridge and the surrounding area.

What should I do if I can’t pay my heating bills?

If you’re having difficulty managing household bills, act sooner, rather than later. The best starting point is to talk with the utility company, but if that is not possible, there are other steps you can take.

Citizens Advice is a charity that gives people the knowledge and confidence to move forward with any problem. This is their page on What to do if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills. Citizens Advice can help you access other services, too, such as debt counselling and foodbanks. If you’d prefer to speak to someone in person, the local branch of Citizens Advice is in Elmbridge, at the Community Hub. There is also a branch in Addlestone, Runnymede and Spelthorne Citizens Advice.

Ofgem is the government department that protects consumers by working towards a fairer, greener energy system. They are a trustworthy source of advice, offering a help with bills guide and a list of schemes and grants to help with home energy.

The government’s energy bills support scheme gives all eligible households a series of discounts totalling £400 on their energy bills from October. In many cases, it will kick in automatically, via your energy supplier. People using a traditional pre-pay metre will get vouchers but smart pre-payment customers will get their credit applied automatically. Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert has more details for pre-pay energy customers.

Christians Against Poverty is a national debt counselling charity. They have a debt centre in Woking at Christ Church, Jubilee Square where you can get free help by appointment.

Another good resource is the national charity Turn2Us, which helps people in financial need to access grants and benefits.

Where can I get help with food shopping in Surrey?

There are several foodbanks near Weybridge where people in crisis can get groceries for free. These include:

You may need a referral to use a foodbank’s services. This would come from a social worker, your GP, Citizen’s Advice, family centres, a health visitor or some local charities. In many cases, you can contact the food bank for advice on getting a referral.

Many churches also run informal foodbanks, or have regular events where they provide food to anyone who asks. Some organisations, such as the Lighthouse in Woking serve a free hot meal once a week. And there is a community fridge at Elmbridge Ecohub that is available to anyone.

Where can parents get help near Weybridge?

Sessions at The Jigsaw Hub at The Lighthouse, Woking offer a safe, warm, fun welcoming place for families to come and spend time. The Lighthouse also offers free pre-loved clothing, toys and equipment for children under eleven.

Family Centres run by Surrey County Council offer services for families and young people and are a good starting point for getting access to services like food banks.

Elmbridge Home-Start gives support at home to families with children. Families are usually referred, but it’s possible to self-refer.

What other help is there in and around Weybridge?

We’d love to provide more resources to support our friends and neighbours, so if you know of any helping organisation that we’ve missed please let us know.


Question and Answer


Can I save money by heating my home with firewood?

There are many efficient wood-fuelled heating options available, and a modern wood stove can allow you to rely less on other fuels for heating your home. Learn more about wood-fuelled heating systems from The Energy Saving Trust.