Sometimes our mental health, or that of our loved ones, can be affected by events and circumstances beyond our control. There are a variety of different organisations that can help. Here are some links you might find useful.


Being a carer can be emotionally and physically demanding – it’s important to look after your own health needs.

What support is available

Our North Somerset Online Directory has details of services that can offer advice, information, practical and emotional support services for carers. Visit our directory for advice on services that can help.

Other services may also be available. If you would like further information, please contact Care Connect and ask to speak to the Carers’ Service at the Single Point of Access.

Care Connect

01275 888 801

Financial support

Caring for someone can cause financial pressure and stress. Please see the GOV.UK for more information on what help and support is available.

Am I entitled to benefits as a carer

To check benefit entitlement eligibility, you can contact the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Citizens Advice Bureau

0808 2787973

Rally Round

Unpaid carers in North Somerset can also access a free online application called Rally Round.

Rally Round lets you set up and invite people to join an online network of support. You can then post tasks and people can offer to help.

Visit their website


Cost of living

Money worries can impact badly on your mental wellbeing. There are many organisations across North Somerset who support households in time of crisis. The Worrying about Money leaflet has a lot of help and advice.Worrying about money final North Somerset leaflet (PDF, 628 KB)

The government can provide:

  • support with your income
  • help with your bills
  • help with childcare costs
  • housing support
  • help with transport costs
  • help finding work

NHS Low Income support scheme

If you have a low income, the NHS Low Income scheme could help you pay for:

  • NHS prescription charges
  • NHS dental treatment charges
  • the cost of sight tests, glasses and contact lenses
  • the cost of travelling to receive NHS treatment
  • NHS wigs and fabric supports (check with your hospital for their arrangements for supplying NHS wigs)
  • How much help you get depends on your weekly income and necessary outgoings, plus any savings or investments you have at the time you apply.Council tax support fundThe government has announced £100m of additional funding to support the most vulnerable households in England.This funding will allow us to deliver additional support to households who are already receiving council tax support (CTS) along with other vulnerable groups. A payment of up to £25 per household will be automatically deducted from 2023/24 council tax bills.There will also be a discretionary fund which will be accessible to financially vulnerable households through an application process in 2023. We will update this webpage with more details when the application process is open.Household Support Fund

    The Household Support Fund initially provided financial support to households struggling with the cost of living over the winter period in 2021.

    The government announced an extension of the scheme in spring 2023 supporting vulnerable households, including pensioners and those with children.

Visit the government Cost of Living support pages for more information.

Government support with childcare costs

If you have children, there is support available to help with childcare costs.

You can find out more on the childcare choices website.

Sure Start Maternity grant

Check if you could get a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child. This is known as a Sure Start Maternity grant.


find out more about the NHS Low Income Scheme on the NHS website

check if you are eligible for the Sure Start Maternity grant

find out about support from the government with their Help For Households

check what benefits and financial support you could be eligible for

know more about Universal Credit and how it could help you

help with the cost of living – easy read pdf [2.31 MB]

Cold weather payment

You may get cold weather payments if you’re getting:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Support for Mortgage Interest

If you’re eligible, you will get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, 0°C or below over seven consecutive days.

Cold weather payments are different to winter fuel payments.

check if you are eligible for cold weather payments on the GOV.UK website

Energy and Heating Advice

Great British Insulation Scheme launched

The government has launched the £1 billion Great British Insulation Scheme to help some families insulate their homes.

Families in lower council tax bands with less energy-efficient homes will be offered upgrades such as roof, loft or cavity wall insulation. Customers will be able to use an online checker for the Great British Insulation Scheme to find out if they are eligible.

Home Upgrade Grant

A separate online checker has also been launched for the Home Upgrade Grant, which will help off-the-gas-grid homes that have an energy performance certificate rating of D to G. The grant provides energy efficiency upgrades and low carbon heating to households in England.

What happens next

Customers using the online tools will then be referred to either their energy supplier, for support from the Energy Company Obligation programme and Great British Insulation Scheme, or their council for the Home Upgrade Grant.

GOV.UK website – apply for support under the Great British Insulation Scheme

GOV.UK website – apply for help under the Home Upgrade Grant (for homes with no gas boiler)

Energy rebate for customers who don’t pay an energy supplier directly

The government has recently announced that customers who don’t pay for their energy directly to their supplier will be eligible for a £400 discount on their fuel bills. This includes

  • care home residents
  • residents of park homes
  • tenants in some private and social rented homes
  • residents of caravans and houseboats on registered sites
  • farmers living in domestic farmhouses
  • off-grid households

The application process is now open and details can be found on the GOV.UK website.

GOV.UK website – help with your energy bills

Alternative Fuel Payment Scheme Expanded

The government announced in mid-April that it has expanded the Alternative Fuel Payment scheme. It will now support households that use:

  • heating oil
  • Liquefied Petroleum Gas
  • biomass
  • other alternative fuels

The government has increased the period of time that applicants can provide evidence of the purchase of alternative fuels. This means those eligible for the £200 Alternative Fuel Payment can now apply using receipts from June 2022 until May 2023. This ensures that households who purchased fuel in bulk ahead of the winter are able to receive the £200 energy bill support.

GOV.UK website – more information about increased flexibility of alternative fuel payments

Priority Service Register

We know that some people need a little extra help, which is why we offer priority support to those who need it.

By registering for a Priority Service Register, you’ll get extra support during a power cut if you need it.

These registers are suitable for elderly, very ill or disabled people, or those who rely on power for medical equipment.

If you don’t know who your energy supplier is find your energy supplier with Ofgem.

Water suppliers also have priority registers. If you are on their register, they can make sure you’re aware of disruptions by either phoning you, a home visit, or perhaps letting your neighbour know so they can make you aware.

support when struggling to pay water bills from Wessex Water and Bristol Water [206.24 KB]

Citizens Advice North Somerset

Citizens Advice North Somerset can offer help and advice if you:

Feeding your family

Food banks

If you’re struggling with not having enough money to buy food, you may be able to get support from a food bank.

We have compiled a list of food banks, community larders, lunch clubs and pantries in the area.

Please note that if you are accessing a food bank, you’ll need a voucher from your doctor, health visitor, social worker, family support worker or Citizens Advice North Somerset. The voucher is then exchanged at the food bank for a food parcel.


Lunch Clubs in North Somerset

Weston-super-Mare Food Banks

Weston Fridge of Free Stuff Website

Weston Food Clubs Website


Healthy Start Scheme – get help to buy food, milk, and formula milk

If you are pregnant or have children under four years old, and you meet the income criteria, you can apply for a pre-loaded chip and pin card to use in food shops.

Healthy Start

Holiday, Activities and Food programme (HAF)

If your child or young person receives benefits-related free school meals and attends a North Somerset school, they may be eligible to attend local holiday activities.

HAF provide healthy food and enriching activities during the school holidays to children who are aged 5 to 16 years old and receive benefits-related free school meals.

Holiday Activities

Find local support that is right for you

North Somerset Together

North Somerset Together is a community hub where you can find information about:

  • how to get help for yourself or someone else
  • cost of living advice and guidance
  • current Covid-19 information
  • support and advice on wellbeing, childcare and free meals for children during the holidays
  • community meeting places
  • public living rooms in your area

North Somerset Together webpage

Help with finding the right financial advice and support for you

If you are unsure about what help is available to you, the Worrying About Money? questionnaire can guide you.

By answering a few simple questions about your current situation anonymously, it will give you contact details of local services that offer free and confidential advice.

Crisis support

Short term financial help

The welfare provision scheme can give you short term financial help in a crisis. The amount of help that can be given will depend on your circumstances.

The welfare provision scheme can give you short term financial help in a crisis. The amount of help that can be given will depend on your circumstances.

The scheme is designed to help if you are unable to meet your short-term needs in a crisis, or where you need help to maintain your independence within the community.


You will only be able to apply twice in any 12-month period.


What the welfare provision scheme covers

The welfare provision scheme could give you financial help for:

  • moving out of institutional care
  • furniture, white goods, beds and household equipment
  • a disaster such as a serious flood or fire in your home
  • gas and electricity
  • food
  • clothing and footwear
  • travel

These are only examples. If your situation is not mentioned it doesn’t mean you won’t get help.

Making a claim

You can make a claim if all of these apply:

  • you are aged at least 16 years of age
  • you are a resident of North Somerset
  • you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit or waiting to hear about a claim for a qualifying benefit such as:
    • Income Support
    • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • income-based Employment Support Allowance
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit
    • Universal Credit
    • Child Benefit
  • you do not have access to money that could be used to meet your needs
  • you are without support, which could result in serious risk to your own or your family’s health and safety
  • you have not received – or are not eligible for – help from other public funds for the same needs

If you want to make a claim, you will now need to apply online. You will need to upload evidence to support your application.

If you are unable to complete the application form online, we do have the facility to arrange an appointment to talk you through the application process. This is only available to qualifying residents who do not have the facility to complete online. To arrange an appointment please phone 01275 885 082 or email

Once your application has been submitted, we will contact when a decision has been made. Please allow 72 hours for this. There is no need to contact us whilst you are waiting for a decision.

Funding for the welfare provision scheme is given every April and is spread equally across the year. This means that the fund is limited. If the funds in the scheme have been used up, we won’t be able to help you – even if you are eligible for an award – until new funding is provided.

Looking at the decision again

You can ask us to reconsider our decision if you’re not happy with the outcome. Your request must be made within five working days of the date we issued our decision.

To ask us to look at the decision again, please email us using the email address on your decision letter.