Shropshire Council

Welfare and wellbeing

Winter can be a time of worry for individuals and families who are struggling to find money to pay essential bills and other outgoings. With the ending of the government’s furlough scheme, and the increase in benefits being withdrawn plus the increases in food and fuel costs, many of Shropshire’s residents could well be facing financial difficulty this winter. This can be particularly worrying if you’ve never found yourself in this position before. We're here to help.

We can offer both financial and wellbeing support to help households who are having difficulty meeting their essential bills and essential outgoings over the winter months.

Support funds and services

Household Support Fund

If you're one of the 3,600 households who have received a letter from us advising that you're eligible for a one-off payment of £115 to help with essential costs this winter, don’t delay. Complete the form as soon as possible so you don’t miss out. Those eligible are in receipt of universal credit (at a level that's below the threshold for free school meals or free prescriptions) and council tax support.

To receive this support residents will need to complete a short online application form to verify their identity and provide their bank details for payment. Each letter contains a unique identifier which needs to be provided to verify their application.

Welfare Support Team - local welfare provision

Local welfare provision, including the council’s Local Support and Prevention Fund (LSPF), is funding managed by local authorities to help families under exceptional pressure. It can be used to help keep families together, help people to settle or remain in the community and to help vulnerable people who struggle to meet the cost of their essential living costs or who have an unexpected crisis. 

All awards made are non-repayable and some may be made up of awards in kind such as food parcels, furniture or fuel credits. All requests will be considered on an individual basis with due account given to the vulnerability and personal circumstances of each customer.

Find out more

Winter support service

We're working alongside the British Red Cross, Age UK Shropshire Telford and Wrekin and the wider Wellbeing and Independence Partnership to ensure that residents have easy access to support where needed this winter. The service can offer assessment and ongoing support to people identified as needing help, including:

  • Transport returning home from hospital
  • Settling people in at home following discharge from hospital
  • Fitting of low-level equipment such as key safes and pendant alarms
  • Collecting and delivering medications
  • Shopping and delivery
  • Wellbeing home visits
  • Companionship for isolated or lonely people

The service can’t offer a crisis response or personal care, but it will work with health and care organisations to ensure people get the support they need through appropriate referral.

Find out more

Website: Welfare and wellbeing | Shropshire Council
Email: customerfirst@shropshire.gov.uk
Tel: 0345 678 9012 (Monday to Friday - 9:00am to 5:00pm)

Welfare Support Team

We can offer financial help for our residents' welfare and wellbeing, and for those households who are having difficulty meeting their essential bills and essential outgoings over the winter months.

If you, or someone you know, is having difficulty with bills, keeping warm, or if there's a risk to the home, please get in touch with our Welfare Support Team. You don’t have to be getting benefits to be able to apply for help.

Our friendly advisers will fill in the application for you and might also be able to point you in the direction of other useful help and advice. After that, a specialist adviser will deal with your request and will gather or ask for any other information we may need to help us to make our decision.  

Find out more

Website: Welfare and wellbeing | Shropshire Council
Email: customerfirst@shropshire.gov.uk
Tel: 0345 678 9078  (Monday to Friday - 8:45am to 5:00pm) select option 2 to get through to our application line. 

Food support

Free school meals

If your child attends a Shropshire Council-maintained school or an academy school you may be able to claim benefits-related free school meals.   

Benefits-related free school meals are available to pupils in receipt of, or whose parents are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits:

  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of pension credit
  • Child tax credit (provided you’re not also entitled to working tax credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working tax credit run-on - paid for the four weeks after you stop qualifying for working tax credit
  • Universal credit - provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent universal credit assessment periods

To make an application please visit our webpage for further details.

Find out more

Food banks and furniture schemes

Food banks are community organisations that can help if you can’t afford the food and other day to day essentials you need. There are many foodbanks across Shropshire and you’ll usually need to get a referral to a food bank before you can use it.

Furniture schemes are social enterprises and charities who collect donated furniture and redistribute it to people in need. They provide essential household items to people on low incomes.

Help for those on a low income or those who need help accessing free or low-cost food can be found on the Shropshire Larder website.

Find out more

Help for those on a low income or those who need help accessing free or low cost food can be found on the Shropshire Larder website.

Fuel support and advice

We offer a range of support and advice to help those in fuel poverty or facing other financial worries.

Keep Shropshire Warm service

Our Keep Shropshire Warm team is a partnership between the council and the Shrewsbury-based charity Marches Energy Agency (MEA). The service can provide free and impartial energy advice to those who are struggling with energy costs this winter, in particularly as a result of the pandemic.

The team can support people who are in arrears with their energy supplier and can help with arranging repayment plans and, if eligible, discretionary payments towards the debt. Keep Shropshire Warm can also refer residents to grant programmes to help improve heating and insulation to further reduce their energy bills and the likelihood of energy-related debt in future.

Residents who require help and support can contact the Keep Shropshire Warm team.

Find out more

Simple Energy Advice

Simple Energy Advice provides information on behalf of the government’s Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.

It includes advice about home energy efficiency, online tools and resources and available financial assistance.

Find out more

  • Website
  • Tel: 0800 444202 (Monday to Friday - 8am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday - 8am to 5pm)

Help with water bills

Severn Trent have a number of schemes that can help you with your bills.

Find out more

Financial support and advice

Benefits information

Find out more about what benefits you can claim including those from your local authority, such as:

Find out more

Citizens Advice Shropshire

Shropshire Citizen’s Advice can also offer advice for those concerned about their finances and ability to pay household bills and other day to day costs.

Citizens Advice Shropshire (CAS) provide free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone and campaign to improve the policies that affect people’s lives. CAS also provide specialist services including:

  • Shropshire Information Advice and Support Service (IASS) acts as a first point of contact for parents and carers of children and for young people aged up to 25 who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or related health and social care needs
  • Pension Wise is a free and impartial government guidance service about the different ways you can take money from your pension
  • Our debt team provides specialist advice on managing your money and dealing with your debts

Find out more

  • Website 
  • Tel: Adviceline on 0808 278 7894 (Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm) Text phone:18001 0800 144 8884
  • Tel: Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133

Age UK Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin

Age UK Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin can also offer advice for those of state pension age. During this challenging time their highly trained benefits advisors are continuing to offer information and advice on all aspects of welfare benefits. The charity can maximise income by checking benefit entitlement and assisting with applications. 

Find out more

Social prescribing

Social prescribing is a non-medical programme designed to help people with a wide range of social, emotional or practical needs. This may include those who may be:

  • Caring for someone who cannot manage without this help
  • Living with a long-term health condition
  • Wanting to change their lifestyle, eg giving up smoking or losing weight
  • Feeling worried or anxious
  • Feeling lonely or socially isolated

Social prescribing offers people time with a trained advisor to find solutions together, and is available in all GP practices in Shropshire. Ask your GP practice to be referred to the service.

Find out more

Support for homeless people

We offer support and help whether you're homeless or worried about becoming homeless. We'll give you advice based on your own circumstances. There are lots of services to help you stay in your current home. If that's not an option, we can help you to find a different home. 

You can use our self-serve tool for personalised advice.

We also provide advice, help and support to anyone who is rough sleeping. If you're sleeping rough or know someone who is you can contact the Housing Options team for help. Anyone sleeping rough is offered overnight accommodation during severe weather. This is usually when the temperature falls to zero degrees or below.

We work closely with the Shrewsbury Ark, a day centre for homeless people which is situated at 10 Castle Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY1 2DJ (opposite the train station). You can visit their website for more information.

Find out more

  • Website
  • Email: housingoptions@shropshire.gov.uk
  • Tel: 0345 678 9005 (Monday to Friday - 8:45am to 5pm)

If you have concerns about an adult sleeping rough, visit Streetlink to report your concern, or ring 0345 678 9005.

Local information during bad weather 

Visit the adverse weather section on our website.