Access cost of living support you’re entitled to
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
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:
Visit one of our community lounges today and connect with the support you need!
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! Locations over the next few months are:
Stoke North Children's Centre- Bishop Road, Chell Heath, ST6 6QW
Mondays, 9 am to 12.30 pm.
- January 2024: Monday 8, 15, 22 and 29 January
- February 2024: Monday 5, 12, 19 and 26 February
Middleport Matters- Newcastle Street, Middleport, ST6 3QY
Fridays, 10 am to 12 pm.
- January 2024: Friday 5, 12, 19 and 26 January
- February 2024: Friday 2, 9, 16 and 23 February
You can also call their advice line on 0808 278 78 76.
To ensure that you are receiving all of the support you should be getting, use our benefits calculator.
Fire Safety Advice
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are urging residents to Be Warm, Be Safe during the colder months.
As the cost of living increases, so too does the need to heat your home cheaply. However, this can bring with it some serious dangers.
And with more people looking to low-cost, unsafe ways to heat their homes this winter comes an increased likelihood of accidental house fires. Follow these top tips to make sure you are staying warm safely and not putting your safety, or that of others at risk:
- Get chimneys swept and use a fireguard
- Keep heaters a safe distance away from other items and materials
- Store fuel, such as logs, away from the heat source
- Use appropriate fuel on open fires/in log burners. Look for the Woodsure “Ready to Burn” logo.
- Camping stoves, BBQs and outdoor heaters should only be used outdoors
- Keep a safe distance from heaters and open fires
- Ensure you have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
- Candles are a big fire risk, LED candles are much safer, or use a torch
- Electric heaters should be plugged into a wall socket – do not use extension leads as they can easily be overloaded and cause a fire
- Run dishwashers, washers and tumble dryers when you are awake, they can cause fires and at night you’ll have less time to react and escape
For more advice visit: Be Warm. Be Safe.
No one in our community should have to face going hungry this Christmas. 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 https://stokeontrent.foodbank.org.uk/give-help.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.
There are also lots of helpful resources on the Government's Help for Households webpage.