I've been noticing the cost of my shopping going up for a while, and we've seen colossal rises in our energy bills.  Earlier in the year I noticed it but didn't spend too much time thinking about it, now I find it all consuming; at home and at work.  How on earth are people going to manage?

The reasons we're facing this crisis are the subject of much debate; Brexit, the war in Ukraine, global pandemic. I hear the arguments on news channels and on social media, people expressing all sorts of different theories about the whys are wherefores and placing blame here, there and everywhere.  I'm beyond thinking about why, what matters now is supporting our most vulnerable groups as they struggle.

According to Sense, a national disability charity, "77% of disabled people do not know how they're going to cope if prices continue to rise"

Many of you are worrying too.  We know because we're starting to get asked more about it, in the centre from our current members and on the phone from those new to Headway Nottingham.  I can't pretend to have a solution, but I do have a desire to try and help in some small way and so Headway Nottingham are trying to pull together some information that may help.

Firstly, we've pulled together the information about the extra "cost of living" payments that certain groups of people are receiving from the government, who is eligible and when to expect them.  Click here to see the factsheet.

We have also pulled information from reputable sources about how we can do small things at home to save energy and reduce our usage, saving us money on our bills. Our "Top Tips for Saving Energy at Home" factsheet is available here.

Along with the cost of living payments for those on particular benefits and the Energy Bills Support Scheme there may be extra help available for you, particularly if you are already in energy debt.  Most of the larger energy suppliers are opening up their own support funds, the Citizens Advice lists some supplier funds here.  We would also recommend that you join the "Priority Services Register", a free support service to help people in vulnerable situations. Energy suppliers and network operators offer it. Each keeps their own register. You need to contact your energy supplier or network operator to get on it.  If they know you are a vulnerable customer, they can do more to support you. Ask your energy supplier for more info.

Local authorities are distributing the Government's Household Support Fund, an extra pot of money made available to help those most in need.  Each borough council has their own rules and processes and you'll need to contact them directly.  You can find your local authority here.

Oh I do know there's a lot of information here.  All this can be a lot to take in and you may find it all a bit overwhelming.  If you are a regular Headway Nottingham attendee, feel free to ask one of our support workers to help you to understand anything you're struggling with.  We will always do our best to try and support you.