Supporting our city

Access cost of living support you’re entitled to

Help is at hand

We know that the cost of living crisis, fuelled by rising inflation and increasing energy bills, is impacting Stoke-on-Trent residents, businesses and communities.

We are all facing tough financial challenges. If you are struggling, a range of support may be able to help you. The council administers a number of grants, benefits, relief funds and other support.

As we approach winter and face cost of living pressure across our communities, Stoke-on-Trent will come together and support the most vulnerable.

We want to ensure that you receive all of the support and benefits you may be entitled to because #helpisathand.

Further community support can be accessed through VAST, which is a charity dedicated to developing, advancing and promoting the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector in Stoke on Trent and North Staffordshire. On their website they have information on:

  • Welcoming Spaces - a place of connection already established in the community (such as a community centre, library or place of faith), where people can meet up, socialise, and access support, relating to the cost of living.
  • Community Directory 
  • Volunteering 

Help is at hand (Community Lounges)

Community Lounges

Across the city, we have 18 community lounges. These lounges offer welcoming spaces to connect with experts and receive helpful information and guidance on a wide range of topics, including:

  • Financial stability: Get personalised advice on budgeting, managing debt, and accessing benefits.
  • Building your career: Explore employment and training opportunities, receive interview tips, and find career support.
  • Giving back to your community: Discover volunteer opportunities that match your interests and make a difference.
  • Connecting with others: Enjoy family-friendly activities, participate in social events, and build community connections.
  • Promoting mental and emotional wellbeing: Access resources and support for mental health challenges, stress management, and overall wellbeing.
  • Overcoming fuel poverty: Get assistance with energy bills, home efficiency measures, and financial support options.
  • Finding a safe and secure home: Receive guidance on housing options, tenancy rights, and navigating the housing system.
  • Maximising your benefits: Get help claiming and managing your benefits to ensure you receive all the financial support you're entitled to.
  • Getting around effortlessly: Discover accessible transportation options and explore efficient travel solutions.
  • Caring for loved ones: Access support and resources for carers, including training, respite services, and peer support groups.
  • Living independently: Get assistance with daily living needs, find home care options, and learn about independent living resources.

You can find all information on our community lounges and their locations by clicking the link below:

Communities Together website

Visit one of our community lounges today and connect with the support you need!

Help is at hand website money and debt banner

Every resident in Stoke-on-Trent is entitled to a financial MOT. Staffordshire North and Stoke-on-Trent Citizens Advice Bureau are hosting regular surgeries for people to make sure they are receiving all of the benefits that they may be entitled to, no appointment is needed!

You can also call their advice line on 0808 278 78 76.

Stoke City Football Club, bet365 Stadium, Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 4EG
  • Wednesday 3 July 10am-12pm 
  • Wednesday 10 July 10am-12pm 
Middleport Matters, 177-179 Newcastle St, Stoke-on-Trent ST6 3QJ
  • Friday 5 July 9am-12pm 
  • Friday 12 July 9am-12pm 
  • Friday 26 July 9am-12pm 
Smallthorne Methodist Church, Lord Street, Smallthorne, ST6 1NT
  • Wednesday 10 July 11am-12:30pm
  • Wednesday 31 July 11am-12:30pm
Dimensions Leisure Centre, Scotia Rd, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent ST6 4ET
  • Thursday 11 July 1pm-3:30pm
  • Thursday 25 July 1pm-3:30pm

To ensure that you are receiving all of the support you should be getting, use our benefits calculator.

Benefit calculator

Pension Credit

Household support fund

Discretionary housing payments

Council tax hardship relief support

Council tax discount and exemptions

Housing benefit

Income advice

Homelessness/Housing Advice

Severn Trent Big Difference Scheme

Ask Jan Membership for Care Leavers


Help is at hand website energy banner

Beat the Cold supports Stoke-on-Trent residents with home energy advice and can assist with eligibility checks for energy efficiency grant funding, problems with your supplier, and advice on affordably heating your home. You can contact Beat the Cold online or via telephone on 01782 914915.

You may be eligible for grant funding towards home energy efficiency measures such as loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation, and heating upgrades. Please contact our commissioned Energy Advice Service, Beat the Cold, for an eligibility check on 01782 914915.

Beat the cold

Great British Insulation Scheme

Energy Company Obligation (ECO)


Home Energy Saving Tips


• Loft insulation - up to 25% heat loss can be through the roof.

• Cavity wall insulation - up to 35% heat loss can be via uninsulated walls.

• Draughtproof around your doors and windows.

• Use draught excluders against draughty doors to help keep the room warm.  



• Energy efficient light bulbs LED Use up to 80% less electricity than an incandescent bulb and could last up to 10 times longer.

• If you’re not in the room for a while turn out the lights



• Turn your thermostat down. Reducing your room temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10% per year.

• Turn your Thermostatic Radiator Values (TRV’s) to 3, this is the equivalent to 20°C, so if a room is warmer than 20°C that radiator will switch off not the heating.

• If you leave doors open then put all the TRV’s on the same number, if you close doors then you can set the TRV’s for each room temp.

• Check your hot water cylinder thermostat is set between 55°C and 60°C

• Heat the rooms which you spend the most time in up to a comfortable temperature


Turn off lights and TV

• Don't leave appliances on standby and remember not to leave laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily - you could save up to £50 a year in energy savings!



• Shut out the dark and keep in the heat, but make sure that you don’t drape your curtains over radiators as this sends heat straight out of your windows.

• Putting curtains on the front and back doors, where appropriate, helps to retain heat and prevent drafts.


Water Wise

• Take a shower – it's faster, cheaper, and more energy efficient than heating a bath.

• Put the plug in – running a hot tap costs money and wastes water.



• Use the right sized pan for the food and the hob ring.

• Keep saucepan lids on to keep in the heat.

• Microwave ovens are often a much more energy efficient way of cooking items than the oven.  

• Make toast in the toaster, not under the grill.



• Run your washing machine on full loads at 30°C where possible.

• Try and do your washing on dry days, so you can hang it outside.

• If you are drying your washing indoors use radiator racks and/or clothes airers, don’t put the washing on the radiators as this will make your boiler work harder and use more energy.

Help is at hand website food banner


No one in our community should have to face going hungry. This year our foodbanks are in desperate need of donations. A simple box of food makes a big difference, with foodbanks helping prevent housing loss, family breakdown and mental health problems. To find your local foodbank visit

We know that anyone can find themselves at crisis point for several different reasons. To provide the most appropriate help for the circumstances of your situation, the foodbank work with local agencies. If they feel you are struggling to put food on the table, they will issue you with a foodbank voucher. The local agencies can also provide long-term support if needed to help address some of the issues behind the reasons for your crisis. 

Our foodbank works with several different agencies, such as Citizens Advice, children’s centres and health visitors. To find out more about the agencies that hold our vouchers and how you can get help, please contact here.

When you visit a referral agency they will take some basic details from you to complete the voucher. This will help them to identify the cause of your crisis and offer practical guidance. It also means they can prepare suitable emergency food for the right number of people. Once you have been issued a voucher, you can exchange this for a minimum of three days of emergency food at your nearest foodbank centre.

If you are a referral agency and would like to become a registered voucher holder for our foodbank, please contact to find out more.

Community pantries

Here are the details of some places you can visit to help you save money on your food shopping bills:

  • Community Grocery at Swan Bank Church - Burslem, ST6 2AA (01782 695511) 

Open Monday to Friday, 9:30am-4:30pm - Sign up for £5 annual membership. You can then get 12 items for £5, 18 items for £7.50 and 24 items for £10—bakery, shelf items, fruit and veg, non-food, freezer and fridge. Find out more here.

  • Community Cupboard - Port Vale Foundation - Car Park C, ST6 1AW

Open Friday 10am-12pm. Choose your own items - 10 items for £5 and 15 items for £7. All sanitary products are free. To find out more contact

  • The Community Can Social Supermarket - Unit 24 Tunstall Indoor Market, Butterfield Place

Open 10:30am-5pm, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Free to join. 10 items for £5 or 15 items for £7.50 - long-life items, cleaning products, baby products and toiletries. Free sanitary products and some free end-of-shelf life products. Find out more here.

  • Your Local Pantry @YMCANS - Campus Shop, YMCANS Harding Road, Stoke-On-Trent, ST1 3AE (01782 222376)

Open Thursday and Friday 12-4pm. £3.50 membership, weekly fee £4.50, for which you can choose at least 10 items of quality food from high street supermarkets. Find out more here.

  • Chell Parish Pantry - Church of the Saviour, Sprink Bank Road, Chell Heath, ST6 6QQ, 01782 838708

Open Thursday 12-2pm. This is a free pantry—there is no charge for the items you choose, plus they offer a warm space with free hot drinks, biscuits and cakes. All are welcome.

Free school meals

School food vouchers for children

Healthy Start

The Bread and Butter Thing


Help is at hand website health banner

ORCHA Health App Library


FREE online workouts

Mental health and wellbeing support


There are also many helpful resources on the Government's Help for Households webpage.