We appreciate how tough things are right now with the cost of living, so have met with the local Council to see what support is available during these challenging times. The local Council have some great local initiatives which you may find beneficial, including:
- Food vouchers – this is a scheme we are currently using and allows Advice Centre colleagues to issue supermarket vouchers to students who are in need.
- Food banks – the High Wycombe Community Fridge requires no referral; The High Wycombe Food Hub has basic foods available for free or, for a small charge (discounted for students), can provide a ‘fresher’ alternative; One Can Trust require a referral but offer a delivery service for those who do not wish to or aren’t able to collect.
- Central Aid – Help local people who are in need and/or on a low income with basic essential furniture and white goods.
- Fuel vouchers – for any students on pre-payment meters for gas and electric, they can claim free vouchers for either £20 or £40 of credit.
- Food Cycle – will be launched on Oct/Nov and provides a safe space for isolated individuals to come along, meet others, have a healthy 3 course meal and take away the ingredients and recipe with an aim to reduce loneliness and encourage better cooking habits.
- Bucks Online Directory – provides information on all local support services for any group.
- Food provision – the apps ‘Too good to go’ and ‘Olio’ are free to join and provide food for those in need.
- Bills in arrears – for any students who have fallen into debt through household bills (not overdrafts or credit cards), the Council can process a grant application with Heart of Bucks to get them out of debt before it spirals.
- Helping Hand (https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/housing-and-benefits/support-with-food-bills-and-finances/) For more information on most of the above.
As always, if you're experiencing financial challenges or need support, please get in touch with our friendly Advice Centre team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.