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Resources and information

The following is a list of links and resources for individuals and organisations seeking practical support due to the impact of the cost of living crisis. We will be updating this list as more information is available – please do share anything that you feel may be useful for us to include by sending an email to: [email protected]

Manchester City Council

Manchester City Council Cost of Living Advice Line – If you are struggling with the increases in food and energy bills and are struggling financially, help is available to support Manchester residents through the cost of living crisis, Manchester City Council's free telephone line offers support with:

  • Benefits and help with your rent
  • Advice about debt and paying bills
  • Food support – help to find community food provision near you   
  • Help to get online – support to access the internet, laptops, phones and data.

The advice line can be accessed via a freephone number 0800 023 2692, 9am-4.30pm Monday to Friday. Language interpretation is available for residents whose first language is not English. Sign video will also be available for residents. You can also text 0786 002 2876. An online form is available for those who do not wish to contact by phone. Support and advice is also available on the Manchester City Council website: www.manchester.gov.uk/helpinghands
Download the Manchester City Council Cost of Living Advice Line flyers in: Arabic | Bengali | Chinese | English | Farsi | Kurdish | Polish | Punjabi | Urdu

Helping getting online and digital, buy cheap laptops, desktops and more – If you need a computer, Manchester City Council have partnered with Community Computers, who refurb devices and sell them at a low price. It's now just £60 for a laptop or desktop - including MS Office, antivirus software and a 12 month warranty. Visit their website here

Help using online services – If you need help getting online, or with anything digital, Manchester City Council's digital inclusion team can help you with data, devices and training. If you want to get online but are struggling to pay for WiFi, Manchester City Council can provide you with a free SIM and dongle so you can have internet in your house for 6-12 months. Email: [email protected] or text 07860 064128.

Free mobile phone SIM card at your local library – Any Manchester resident struggling to pay for internet access can now pick up a free SIM card at their nearest library. The SIM card gives you a phone number and means you can make calls, send text messages and connect to the internet (if you have a smart phone). The free SIM cards come with 20GB of free data per month, unlimited calls and texts for six months. All you have to do is pop into your local library and ask – find one near you: Libraries | Manchester City Council 

Libraries as warm spaces – Do you need somewhere warm? Do you want to save money heating your home this autumn and winter? Pop to your local library. Libraries are warm, welcoming, spaces with comfortable seating where you can stay for as long as you need, for free. In addition to the Warm Hub offer of a warm place and warming hot drink, six of the libraries across the city will offer a selection of play items and games suitable for all ages from 0 - 12+ years for children to play with during their visit – ask at your local library. Find your local library

MLCO neighbourhood winter services guides 

Need information on local support in Manchester this Winter? Download the neighbourhood Winter booklets. These guides are for 2022, the guides for 2023 will be added to our website soon.

We know this Winter will be hard with the cost of living crisis, but there is lots of support out there in Manchester if you do need it. To help local people, Manchester Local Care Organisation’s Integrated Neighbourhood Teams across the city have worked with colleagues at Manchester City Council and the voluntary sector to produce a series of neighbourhood winter service booklets which you can now download. The booklets outline much of the local support that is available. These include food banks, warm hubs, befriending services and other local offers. The booklets complement the citywide support available through Manchester City Council’s free cost of living advice line. Download the booklets below (or contact your local Health Development Coordinator for printed copies):

North Manchester

Ancoats, Beswick, Clayton and Openshaw 

Higher Blackley, Harpurhey and Charlestown 

Cheetham and Crumpsall 

Moston, Newton Heath and Miles Platting

Central Manchester

Hulme, Moss Side and Rusholme 

Gorton and Levenshulme 

Chorlton, Whalley Range and Fallowfield 

Ardwick and Longsight 

South Manchester

Wythenshawe and Northenden 

Didsbury, Chorlton Park and Burnage 

Withington and Old Moat 

GMCA winter wise guide for older people

Voluntary, community and social enterprise sector advice

Citizens Advice can provide support with advice on debts, budgeting, mortgage problems, rent arrears, borrowing money, benefits, as well as other areas of support such as where to access local food banks. Citizens Advice are also holding monthly Cost of Living briefing events

Citizens Advice Manchester and Cadent energy bill support – Citizens Advice Manchester is partnering with Cadent to offer help with energy concerns. The service is free, confidential, independent and impartial and can help you: Check if you’re able to access financial support; Manage energy debt; Save money on your energy bills; Make sure your energy supply is safe; Access new or improved home heating. Contact the energy advisers on 0808 164 4406, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.

Macmillan has expanded its benefits advice partnership with Citizens Advice to now include Stockport, Trafford and Rochdale. You can make a referral here

GM Poverty Action Money Advice Referral Tools – For many frontline organisations helping people dealing with poverty, information on where to refer people for appropriate support and advice is not always easy to find. The Money Advice Referral Tools (MARTs) aims to help these organisations and professionals by simplifying the process and putting the key information at their fingertips.

The Growth Company run Max Your Money – Support for people who are unemployed or who run a business.

Energy Support And Advice UK have a Facebook Community group to educate, support and advise as many people as possible. 

Cheetham Hill Advice Centre provide free advice to people who live in Manchester, telephone: 0161 740 8999, email: [email protected] or text 0782 349 5307. Advice includes benefits, housing and debt and the service is available in over ten languages.

TURN2US Benefits calculator helps you find out what benefits you are entitled to claim.

Step Change debt charity offer free debt advice online and support with debt solutions.

PayPlan provide free debt advice, help with contacting people you owe money to, and help to arrange lower payments to make things more affordable.

MoneyHelper service – Contact the MoneyHelper service for free and impartial money advice by telephone on 0800 448 0826 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm) or via WhatsApp (+44 7701 342 744) MoneyHelper also provides free impartial advice about dealing with debt and loansresources to support budgeting and savings, a Debt Advice Locator tool to find the right support services for you, and help with big life decisions about money with the family and care easy-to-understand guides.

Greater Manchester Poverty Action has  a map of food provision and other cost of living resources. The Trussell Trust also has a Find a Food Bank map

National/other resources
Scope Disability Energy Support

Mustard Tree offer a food club and affordable furniture

Church of England Warm Spaces in Manchester – A list of warm spaces provided by the Church of England across Manchester

Unite Utilities – If you are having trouble paying your water bill, you can contact United Utilities 

In Kind Direct redistribute consumer products donated by companies, like toilet roll, shampoo, laundry and cleaning supplies, warm clothing, hats, gloves, children’s gifts, toys, books, small electrical appliances and make-up, to local charities, community groups, foodbanks, schools and CICs. You can sign up today for free here

Ofcom have a list of cheaper broadband and phone packages for those claiming benefits. 

Gov.uk Government Help for Households information

The Directory of Social Change have created a useful cost of living links and external resources page

Charity Excellence: Cost Of Living Crisis Charity Toolbox - 10 Planning Templates

Disability and Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Repair (Depher) provides vulnerable people with access affordable and vital emergency works. It relies on public donations to cover all labour and materials, provides free services during winter months and discounted services during summer.

Stop Loan Sharks investigates and prosecutes illegal money lenders and provides support for borrowers in the UK. 

Independent Age can offer support and advice on money, housing, health and wellbeing. You can call their helpline on 0800 319 6789 or through their webpage. They are also delivering free training for GM frontline workers explaining Pension Credit and Attendance Allowance so that we can support our older community to apply.

Charity Excellence: Charity Energy Saving Ideas At Work And Home To Help You Manage The Cost Of Living Crisis

Money saving tips from Metro Moneywise Credit Union – With inflation hitting a 40 year high, the cost of living crisis is deepening, Metro Moneywise Credit Union have been looking at ways they can help. Taking the time to manage your money better can really pay off, helping you save £100s a year as well as giving your peace of mind and making you feel better about life in general.

National Energy Action home energy checklist – follow these steps to help you manage your energy bills and keep your home warm.

Manchester Carers Centre deliver a range of FREE, high quality support services for unpaid Carers in our City. These services include, practical help, community drop-ins, respite breaks, social activities, access to grants and training, and a dedicated Young Adult Carers Service for 16-25 year old Carers.

Carers Manchester is a group of organisations, working together to provide support and improve services for Manchester’s unpaid carers. Their Contact Point helpline 0161 543 8000 is open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm (except bank holidays) and 10am-6pm on Wednesdays. Website: www.carersmanchester.org.uk

Citrus Energy is a social enterprise that exists to help domestic and commercial energy consumers make genuine savings on gas and electricity costs through our truly impartial advice and recommendations.

A Recipe Video Food Bank Resource Sheet (page one and page two) has been developed by Open Kitchen in partnership with Onward Homes. Within the sheet, you will find the link to access the videos and pdf sheets that support them. The resource provides ideas and inspiration for Emergency Food Providers and groups supporting communities living with food insecurity.

A guide to inflation and the effects on the VCSE sector by Bro Bono Economics

Northwards tenants can access support through a money advisor who can give advice and support on benefits, debt Contact the money matters team

Charity Finance Group Cost of living hub – Charity Finance Group are sharing a selection of free resources for charity finance professionals on our cost of living hub, it provides ideas, strategies and tools you need to work through the cost of living crisis.