Local Welfare Assistance
Hampshire County Council has been given money by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to develop what has been called Local Welfare Assistance. Some may have heard this referred to as Local Welfare Provision.
This money is to be used to develop local help and support for people who are struggling to cope, or who are facing crisis, beyond the remit of current Social and Health Care statutory services support. Each Local Authority is free to use this money in any way it feels would help local people and their communities.
The Coalition Government‘s welfare reforms, designed to support the most vulnerable and help people break the cycle of benefit dependency, will have a significant impact on families in terms of the benefits that are paid, the amounts paid and the process by which they are paid.
Against this background, and that of the continuing difficult economic climate, it is likely that more individuals and families will face periods of financial hardship and short term crisis.
From April 2013, the Department for Work and Pensions, (DWP), is giving local authorities the freedom to develop locally-based assistance which helps support and meet the needs of local people in crisis within their communities. The funding comes to local authorities with no statutory duty.
Hampshire's Local Welfare Assistance (LWA) will build upon the principles of personalisation - providing support that gives residents information, advice and practical solutions to maintain control, dignity and independence over their lives.
This will be achieved by building on the prevention & early intervention services already provided to residents, and use the limited funding available to support, enable and grow the strong network of existing community, voluntary and charitable support organisations that deliver practical information, advice and assistance to help those experiencing periods of short term crisis.
I need financial advice or debt advice
Citizens Advice Bureaux - find your local branch
IncomeMAX - maximise your income and improve your financial situation
Entitled to - calculate your benefits and what you might be entitled to
Turn 2 Us - information about benefits and grants
Adviceguide website - Citizens Advice Bureau information on help with debt
Payplan - debt management plans and advice
Energy issues - gas & electicity
Energy advice - If you are you having problems with·heating your home or·paying your bills contact your energy provider directly
Home Heat Helpline
Tel: 0800 336699
Switch Hampshire - see if you could save money on your energy bills
Age UK Money matters advice
Tel: 0800 169 6565
Money Advice Service - free unbiased, independent advice
United Savings and Loans - your local credit union
U Switch - money saving advice
I need advice on housing or homelessness problems
You don't have to be living on the street to be homeless. You may be legally classed as homeless if you are sleeping on a friend's sofa, staying in a hostel, suffering from overcrowding, or other bad conditions.
Apply for emergency housing - check what help and advice your council can provide if you are homeless or about to lose your home
I need practical support
Fire and emergency support
Besides offering immediate safe shelter, along with clothing, food and shower facilities, the Red Cross also helps with practical necessities such as securing temporary accommodation and contacting insurance companies.
Hampshire County Council is working with local furniture reuse providers to help individuals and families who are struggling to cope and facing times of crisis to be able to access affordable, and sometimes free, furniture, white goods and electrical items. The scheme is called the Hampshire Furniture Reuse Network (HFRN)
Find out more about the HFRN scheme - how it can help people in crisis or how you can get involved by donating goods
Basingstoke - St. Michael's Hospice Furniture Store
Fleet Sandhurst Sue Ryder
Petersfield - Lavant Street Sue Ryder
Portsmouth - Charlotte's Place Sue Ryder
Tidwoth - Station Road Sue Ryder
Food banks operate across Hampshire and each have a referral process in order to access their services. Please visit their websites for further information.
I'm struggling to cope and need to talk to someone
Hampshire Crisis Information and Advice can take the time to work with you to help with any problems you may be experiencing or any concerns you may have.
You can contact Hampshire Crisis Information and Advice:
Tel: 0845 372 5859
Hampshire Crisis Information and Advice will:
- help to support you to get to the bottom of your problem
- develop a plan of action to overcome your problem where necessary
- refer or signpost you to a named expert to deal with your situation or concerns
- enable you to identify help, nationally, county wide or locally through research and investigation tailored to your needs
- act as an advocate on your behalf with other agencies
Hampshire Crisis Information and Advice will not:
- make decisions about whether or not you require goods or services
- be able to give you cash, goods or services
- be able to guarantee that support is available for your specific situation but will do their best to see your particular crisis is resolved or assessed wherever possible