Cost of Living Crisis

MVA aim to respond to issues affecting the VCS and the people they serve - and the Cost of Living is a rising priority for our local communities

Support in Medway

MVA works at the heart of Medway’s communities and in response to Cost of Living pressures, we have been collecting information about the support that is currently available to residents in Medway.

The list of resources is not extensive and this page continues to get updated.

Please note we are not responsible for any third-party websites; however we have tried to search for trusted sources where possible.

Last updated on 26th February 2024.

Support from the Government

Support/ResourceDescriptionWeblink/Telephone Number
Low Income Household Funding informationThis link provides what low income households are expected to receive from
Spring 2023.
UK Government’s Warm Home Discount SchemeThere are different ways to qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme. Please click on the link to find out if you qualifyWeblink
Get Help with savings if you are on a low income (Help to Save)

Help to Save is a type of savings account. It allows certain people
entitled to Working Tax Credit or receiving Universal Credit to get a bonus of 50p for every £1 they save over 4 years.
Help to Save is backed by the government so all savings in the scheme are secure.

End Laptop PovertyEnd Laptop Poverty is a consultancy, but working with Government to distribute donated laptops. The website has details of about a dozen partner charities/CICs across the UK that distribute all sorts of tech in their local area - some only focus on particular groups.Weblink
HM GovernmentGovernment help with childcare costs for parents.
Whether you have toddlers or teens, you could get support.

Support from Medway Council

Support/ResourceDescriptionWeblink/Telephone Number
Medway Council's Help for HouseholdsGuidance and resources from Medway Council (Including information on Council Tax reductions, debt advice, help with childcare costs and food and energy bills).Weblink
Medway CouncilHousehold Support Fund. The Houshold Support Fund provides support to culnerable Medway households. Funded by the UK government, the scheme is for those most in need of support to help with significantly rising living cost.Weblink

Support with Finances

Support/ResourceDescriptionWeblink/Telephone Number
Citizens Advice MedwayProviding free, impartial and confidential advice, including a Money Advice Service, Energy Advice and advice for working out a budget.


Tel: 01634 383 760 (Medway)
Tel: 0800 144 8848 (National)
Family ActionProvides practical, emotional, and financial support to families who are experiencing poverty, disadvantage and social isolation.


Tel: 020 7254 6251 (Head Office)

Home Start MedwayOffers non-judgemental, practical and emotional support to families who have at least one child under the age of five. Our financial fitness champions are trained to support and guide families with money concerns.


Tel: 01634 570717
Salvation ArmyOffering practical help for people without discrimination, with services including budget and debt advice, food banks, and assistance with homelessness.



Tel; 01634 723 310


Tel: 01634 843 689
Dealing with DebtWhile we are in the midst of the cost of living crisis, a concern amongst households is how to avoid debt or if we are in debt how to avoid it spiralling out of control. Step Change is a charity dedicated to assisting people with debt concerns.


Christians Against Poverty National (Medway)Help with debt, with the New Enquires team who will arrange your first appointment with your local Debt Coach.


Tel: 0800 329 0006 (to be connected to a local advisor)
MVA’s Financial Capability SkillsA range of information and support to help you to build your confidence and knowledge to more effectively manage your finances.Weblink
Strood Community Shop

If you're struggling to manage your finances as the cost of living rises, then this could be for you.
We've partnered with HSBC to bring family financial wellbeing training to Strood.

StepChangeEmergency Help If You Have No Money Or Food. StepChange - A cash crisis can happen to anyone. At StepChange Debt Charity, we've got free advice and resources if you urgently need helpWeblink
Citizens Advice
Social Tariffs
A list of social tariff providers with details of each, links to them and advice. Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. Some providers call them ‘essential’ or ‘basic’ broadband. They’re delivered in the same way as normal packages, just at a lower price.Weblink
Citizens Advice
Crisis Hub
In response to the crisis, charities have had to adapt in order to help those in need. The Citizen's Advice Bureau has created a cost of living crisis hub on its website to provide crisis support to those who need it.Weblink
GingerbreadMoney in an emergency - Payday loans aren’t the only option if you need money urgently. You might be able to get a budgeting loan, hardship payment, short term benefit advance or even a grant.Weblink
British Red CrossGet help with money problems | British Red Cross - You can also call our Support line on 0808 196 3651 (10am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 8pm Wednesday).Weblink
Turn2us: Fighting UK PovertyTurn2us: Fighting UK Poverty - Turn2us wants everyone to have financial security. · Check your benefit entitlementWeblink
MoneyhelperHelp if you're struggling to pay your gas or electricity bill - Local help to pay energy billsWeblink
Contact - For families with disabled childrenHelp with household bills - Contact a Family - There are a number of schemes and grants to help you with water, fuel and other utility bills. Find out whether you're eligible and how to apply.Weblink
Crosslight AdviceCrosslight Advice provide face-to-face debt advice together with money education and budgeting support to individuals and families in need.Weblink
MacMillan Cancer SupportFor any questions around cancer, work, money or life - Macmillan is here for you, online and by phone.Weblink
Disability AssistIf you have a child under the age of 16, you may be able to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to help with the extra costs of looking after them.
Disability Assist only supports disabled adults in Kent and is unable to assist children. However, we receive numerous queries from parents so we have collated a list of resources which may be useful for you.

Support with Accessing Food/Other Support

Support/ResourceDescriptionWeblink/Telephone Number
Medway FoodbankThey can provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to them in crisis.


Tel: 01634 757 057
Gillingham Street AngelsUsually have free food available Monday-Saturday 9am – 1pm


Tel: 01634 855 608
Hygiene Bank MedwayCollecting donations of hygiene & cleaning essentials and working with local community and schools partners to distribute the products to those in poverty or needing support across the Medway Towns.Weblink
Brompton Community StoreUsually have free food available Monday – Friday 9.30am – 3pm.Tel: 01634 844711
Charity Of Thomas StevensFunds from a charitable trust are used to buy food and fuel for the poor who have lived in the Parish of Cuxton for a minimum of two years.Email:
Gillingham Sick Poor FundTo provide assistance to the poor, sick and needy of the ancient parish of Gillingham.Email:
Cliffe And Cliffe Woods Community TrustProvides grants or items to relieve hardship or distress in the Parish of Cliffe-at-Hoo.Tel: 01634 220422
High Halstow Relief In Need CharityTo provide relief to residents in the Parish of High Halstow who are in need or hardship, by making grants of money or goods and services.


Tel: 01634 250 258
Instone LimitedThe relief of poverty, need, hardship or distress of residents of Medway and Kent.

Tel: 07920290061

Strood Relief In Need CharityCan provide grants, items or services to relieve the needs of elderly residents of the ancient parish of Strood who are suffering hardship or distress.

01634 719 377

Gillingham Street Angels
School Uniform Bank
School Uniform Bank | Gillingham Street Angels - Our mission is to support our local community with a free school uniform clothing bank swap shopWeblink
Gillingham Street Angels
We have now become members of the FREE water refill scheme so you can get a free tap water refill, bring your own water bottle to any of the below sites to refill, for more information on the refill scheme please click HERE
Gillingham Street Angels - Welcome to our Free water refill information page
Meal Right Now5 Smart, Simple Ways to Save Money on Meat Right NowWeblink
Healthy Start
Get help to buy food and milk (Healthy Start) - Can I use my Healthy Start card to withdraw money from an ATM or request cashback? I do not want to buy milk, fruit, or vegetablesWeblink
British Heart Foundation10 simple ways to eat well and save money - With many of us currently feeling a financial pinch, saving money on our food shop can make a real difference. Read our dietitian's tips for shopping and cooking healthily for less.Weblink
FareShareFareShare Kent redistributes surplus food to charities and community organisations working with disadvantaged people across the region.Weblink
ShelterEmergency grants, loans and money helpWeblink
AdvicenowSocial fund payments - Advicenow - I'm broke and need emergency support ... If you've been struck by disaster or have run out of money and can't afford essentials like food or heating,Weblink
Family Food BankMedway FFB - Family Food BankWeblink
Cross Light AdviceWeblink
Second Chance MedwayWorking in the Community for the Community providing;
Crisis Support including; Domestic Violence, MH, Benefits, Debt & Budgeting Skills, Grants and a Food Aid Project.
Hands of Hope FoundationFood support in MedwayWeblink
The Hope Centre, RochesterFood support in MedwayWeblink
Time for the HomelessFood support in MedwayWeblink
Christ Church LutonFood support in MedwayWeblink
Nigerian Community Association Kent and MedwayFood support in Medway for NigeriansWeblink
Open House Project - BodhicharyaWe offer soup, sandwiches, drinks and biscuits to up to 70 guests and usually have takeaway bags and clothes to give away.
The project is open to guests between 2pm and 4pm every Saturday and for longer periods over Christmas.
One Big Family - MedwayOur soup kitchen seeks to help anyone who needs hot, nutritious food & a helping hand. With a friendly atmosphere, and plenty of hot food, drinks, clothing, toiletries and bedding available.
We offer three weekly delivery of food parcels and essentials to people in need who are referred by other agencies (eg Social services, accommodation providers, DWP etc).

Warm Spaces in Medway

We will add details for any further ‘warm spaces’ as they become available. If you are aware of one not listed here, please feel free to email us at

Support/ResourceDescriptionWeblink/Telephone Number
Medway Council

Medway Council is currently working with warm welcome which supports organisations to open their doors to provide warm spaces. For more information click on the first link.

For organisations looking to engage in this please see the email address for the relevant department at Medway Council.
Online directory of national ‘warm spaces'A ‘Warm Space’ is a free, warm, welcoming, and safe space, which members of the community can access if they are in need.Weblink
Local Warm SpaceSt Justus Church, Rochester - Warm Welcome Space (Tuesdays, 103.0-14.00 - Free 'Brew, Soup, Bread')

The Fairway, Rochester, ME1 2LT

Tel: 01634 818353
Local Warm SpaceMHS Homes provide a series of warm spaces.For a list of schemes and
opening times please call
01634 565333 or

Support with Heating Your Home

Support/ResourceDescriptionWeblink/Telephone Number
OFGEMThis guide will help you find energy grants and schemes that can reduce your bills. Ofgem’s rules mean suppliers must offer payment plans you can afford and you can ask for ‘emergency credit’ if you use a prepay meter and can’t top up.Weblink
Medway Council’s Keep Warm & Well LeafletA free download providing tips and recipes for keeping warm.Weblink
Energy Saving TrustAiming to help you save money on your bills at the same time as reducing your carbon footprint.Weblink
Top 10 tips - Energy Saving TrustTheir top ten ‘quick wins’ for reducing your energy use.Weblink
Money Saving ExpertEnergy Saving Tips that everyone can take from, this website regularly gets updated.Weblink
Age UKAdvice for reducing energy use.Weblink

Support with Mental Wellbeing

Support/ResourceDescriptionWeblink/Telephone Number
Kent & Medway NHS & Social Care Partnership TrustInformation on local support and services available for people experiencing mental health difficulties.Weblink
Samaritans - Medway

Medway Samaritans provide support to people in Medway, with local call handlers.

Please Note: Whilst call handlers are local, if they are busy, you may get a call handler from outside the area.


Tel: 0330 094 5717
MindWhen you're living with a mental health problem, or supporting someone who is, having access to the right information is vital.


To Contact North Kent Mind:

01322 291380
Sway Money & Mental Health Advice ServiceThe Money and Mental Health Service (supported by the Suicide Prevention Programme and delivered by Citizens Advice) is delivering impressive financial and mental wellbeing outcomes for the clients they support.


If you know someone who
has both financial and mental
health concerns please email:
The financial impact of depression and griefDepression and grief affect many areas of your life and this includes your finances. We take a look at how to make sure your money situation doesn't add to your worries when you're going through such a difficult time.Weblink

Support for Specific Communities

Support/ResourceDescriptionWeblink/Telephone Number
Age UK MedwayProvides a range of support and care services for older people in the Medway area. Committed to providing high quality services enabling older people to live safely and independently in their own home.



Tel: 01634 572616
Carers FirstCarers First support adult and young carers to access information and resources, advocacy.


Medway Diversity ForumA membership organisation for ethnic minority groups in Medway that provides access to information and resources, training, governance and organising cultural/cohesion events


Home Start MedwayProviding guidance and support for families with a child under 5.


Tel: 01634 570717
Mutual Aid Road RepsVolunteers have reached out beyond their front doors to help bridge the gap of isolation with simple kindness and friendship and have provided invaluable information to every home in Medway.


Tel: 01634 907045

Additional Support

Support/ResourceDescriptionWeblink/Telephone Number

This link highlights support on the National level, with links to help with Energy Bills, Household Costs and links to support on discounts and offers.Weblink

If you are or were a member of the armed forces, The Royal British Legion is giving out Cost of living Grants. This link provides all of the information on their website on how to claim.Weblink

The Cost of Living Crisis is a new opportunity for fraudsters and scam artists. The Co-Operative Bank has come out with a list of common threats to be aware of. Click on the link to find out more.Weblink

Hardship Fund from MHS Homes, they provide a one off grant between £20 to £400. This is only available to MHS homes and Heart of Medway Customers.Weblink

During the Cost of Living Crisis, it is predicted unfortunately that Domestic Violence will increase. Please see the link to how TSB Bank and other banks are helping victims of Domestic Abuse with regards to their bank accounts and other ways to assist.Weblink

The Kent Community Foundation has launched a grant where professionals can nominate an individual or family who are suffering through financial hardship. If you know someone who needs to be nominated, please click on the link.

PLEASE NOTE – Grants are not always provided and your nominee may not receive the funds.

Social tariffs for broadband are discounted deals offered by various broadband providers to support households on low income or in financial hardship.

KCC provide details about social tariffs to help people access cheaper deals and possibly save eligible households around £150 per year.

If you are a VCS organisation, we have a dedicated page of resources that may help you and your organisation - click here to visit this page.

Keep an eye on our events listing page found here, as there may be some local support events that could be useful to you. If you have something to add to the events page as well, please submit an event.
VCS Emergencies PartnershipThis cost-of-living insights bulletin focuses on the how rising costs are affecting health outcomes, detailing the individual and systemic problems faced by those disproportionately impactedWeblink
Medway Voluntary Action are here to help organisations in Medway, now more than ever. We have a series of supporting measures such as Funding and Governance Club and even a one on one support service with organisations, please contact or on 01634 812 850.