Last updated 28 July 2022
Support available for Stockport residents this summer
With the cost of living still continuing to rise and the school holidays just around the corner, this time of year can be difficult for Stockport residents.
If you’re struggling financially, there is plenty of support available to help. See below to find out what you’re eligible for, and how to get help and support if you need it.
Holiday Support (Free School Meal) Vouchers
For the period April 2022 – September 2022, families with children in receipt of income-based free school meals, vulnerable 2-year-olds and 3-4 year olds receiving Pupil Premium will receive £60 per eligible child to support with the cost of food during the school holidays. You do not need to apply to receive a voucher as it will be sent automatically via email or post. Summer holiday support vouchers begin to be distributed from 29th July 2022.
Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme
If your child receives income-based free school meals, they should be eligible for a place on the HAF scheme. Providers are available across the borough and offer fun activities and a nutritious meal for all children attending the programme. This summer, you can claim free childcare for 4 days of the week, for 4 hours, 4 weeks of the school holidays.
Go to the council website to find out more.
Help with School Uniform Costs
Children receiving free school meals can access support with secondary school uniform costs for pupils in years 7-11. In Year 7 eligible pupils can apply and receive the compulsory badged uniform. Year 8 to 11 eligible pupils can apply and receive a £40 credit to spend at the nominated school uniform supplier. See more and apply here.
Funded by the household support grant, Stockport Council is distributing vouchers to help residents with rising energy costs. The vouchers are valued between £60 - £105 and are for pensioners and working age households in receipt of council tax support and/or housing benefit. Please note that if you are eligible for a holiday support (free school meal) voucher you will not be eligible for an energy voucher as well.
Vouchers were distributed from 15th July.
Find out more on the dedicated webpage.
If you are in a financial crisis, and cannot pay for essential items, you may be eligible for the household support grant. Depending on your circumstances, you may get bus tickets, meter pre-payments, money to cover up to 5 weeks of living expense or a food bank referral.
Find out more about eligibility and apply for the grant online.
Enhanced food bank offer for the school holidays
Both the Trussell Trust’s Stockport Food Bank and Chelwood Food Bank are providing an enhanced offer for families over the summer holidays. If a family is referred by their school, both organisations will provide them with one food parcel for each week of the school holidays. Visit the Stockport Food Bank website or the Chelwood Food Bank to find out more.
Local Council Tax Support and Discretionary Hardship Payments
These payments are available to households that meet the low-income threshold set by the council. Housing benefit support is also available to some households to help with rent payments. Apply using this link.
Council Tax Energy Rebate and Council Cost of Living Rebate
The majority of eligible households have now received their rebates. The closure date for applications will be 12 noon on Thursday 28th July 2022, after which, any unclaimed rebates will be used to reduce Council Tax liability by the appropriate amount. This will result in a revised Council Tax bill reflecting lower instalments. If this action puts the account in to credit, a refund can be accessed in the usual way as detailed on the bill. Visit the council website.
Government Cost of Living Support Payments
The government is offering support payments to help towards the cost of living if you are on certain benefits. You don’t need to apply for this payment, and will be paid it automatically in the same way you usually get your benefits.
You could get up to 3 different types of payment depending on your circumstances on a particular date or during a particular period:
- a Cost of Living Payment, if you get a qualifying low income benefit or tax credits
- a Disability Cost of Living Payment, if you get a qualifying disability benefit
- a Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, if you’re entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment for winter 2022 to 2023
Check the gov.uk website to find out what benefits qualify and more about eligibility.
Did you know that over 1/3 of eligible Stockport residents don’t claim what they are owed in pension credits? If you are of state pension age, please come forward to check your eligibility for pension credits by calling Stockport Support Hub on 0161 474 1042. If you claim before 18th August, you could be eligible for an additional cost of living support payment as detailed above. Find out more.
Information, Advice and Guidance
You can get independent support and advice through the following channels:
Citizens Advice Stockport (CA) who can offer free, confidential, independent, and impartial advice and information on a range of subjects including money and debt; welfare benefits; housing; employment and relationships and family. Appointments are available by both telephone and face-to-face. For more information or to book an appointment visit their website. Alternatively, there is a freephone in each library setting enabling residents to access CA free of charge. Library staff can also direct refer residents into the CA appointment system. Citizens Advice Stockport can also refer individuals to food banks.
Stockport Council Welfare Rights & Debt Advice. The council provides complex debt advice, help with benefit appeals and home visits alongside a weekly debt advice session at Stockport Job Centre plus targeted welfare rights sessions within mental health support services
Specialist Debt Advice – click here.
Help with benefits appeals – visit this webpage
Home visit support – find out more
Stockport Support Hub. The Hub can help with information and advice or help to connect with other organisations and useful resources. The Hub can also make referrals into any of the services within the Hub including community support, home support, carers support, domestic abuse support, transport support or health and wellbeing support. Visit the website or call 0161 474 1042.
Stockport Homes Money Advice team – Stockport Homes customers can access free, confidential and impartial advice about finances and benefits from the Money Advice team. The service can help with benefits applications, support you with water charges and help if you are looking to apply for a discretionary payment towards rent arrears. Visit their website to get in touch, or call the team on 0161 217 6016.