The Sefton Support Hub is a digital One Stop Shop for residents to find help, advice and guidance, as well as financial and social support.
Sefton Council, along with its partners, continue to put communities, residents and businesses first. Below is a useful guide to what support services may be available to you and how you may be able to access them.
From emergency financial support to COVID-19 advice and to tips and resources for living a healthier lifestyle, the Sefton Support Hub is here for you.
Cost of Living
Sefton Council, along with its partners, continues to put communities, residents and businesses first. Information to help combat the rise in costs of living is available from Sefton Council and partners. Find out more on how you can get support on cost of living
A Cost of Living leaflet is also available providing information regarding support available.
Energy Bills Support Scheme- Alternative Fund
The Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF) is providing support of £400 for energy bills for households in England, Scotland, and Wales without a direct relationship to a domestic electricity supplier. This support is provided by His Majesty’s Government and is delivered by local authorities. The scheme is now open to all eligible households across Great Britain until 31 May 2023.
Subject to applications meeting the eligibility criteria, people who will be able to receive support under EBSS AF include:
• care home residents and others in care facilities/sheltered accommodation (wholly or partly self-funded)
• park home residents, houseboats and caravans that can provide proof of address
• social and private tenants who pay for energy through a landlord on a commercial supply
• homes on a heat network/private wire
• off-grid homes
• farmhouses used for wholly domestic purposes
How to apply
If you are eligible for EBSS AF, you will need to fill out a short online form via the Government website. Applications are made directly to His Majesty’s Government, not to or via Local Authorities. If you do not have online access, you can apply via a contact centre on 08081753287 where a representative will guide you through the application process.
Once you have applied, your application will be processed and verified. After this if your application is successful, your details will be shared with local authorities, who will deliver the one-off, non-repayable support. The payment will be made directly into your bank account in a single instalment.
ELAS (Emergency Limited Assistance)
Are you facing severe hardship, have suffered a disaster or are in an emergency financial situation? Sefton's Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme (ELAS) is available to support local residents to help them meet one-off needs.
If you need urgent help with the costs of food, winter coats, gas, electricity or emergency travel and do not have money to get them we may be able to provide assistance.
To find out more, visit our ELAS webpage
Help finding a job
As Sefton Council's job brokerage service, Sefton@Work has been working alongside other Council departments, residents and local employers since 2003, offering a range of free and confidential services designed to get local residents back into employment.
If you are a resident looking for work, or an employer looking to recruit new staff, our free service is designed to assist you.
To find out more, visit the Sefton@Work website
Help for Households
Households across the whole of the UK will get a cash payment from July to ease cost-of-living pressures.
Qualifying low income households will receive £650 in two instalments. The first instalments will start to be paid directly into bank accounts from the 14 July. The second instalment of £324 will be paid in the autumn.
To find out more about this scheme and other financial support, visit our Cost of Living webpages
Council Tax Support
If you are on a low income you may be eligible to receive Council Tax Reduction. Details of the scheme and the online application process is in the link below.
If you are already in receipt of Council Tax Reduction, you may be able to request an Exceptional Hardship Fund payment due to unusual or extreme circumstances.
To request a payment, complete the online request an Exceptional Hardship Fund payment form
Fuel Poverty and Affordable Warmth
There are many reasons why people can find it hard to pay their fuel bills and these often become more pressing when the weather gets colder.
You might hear this referred to as 'fuel poverty'.
If you think you are living in fuel poverty or know someone who is, there are things you can do if you are worried about keeping warm and paying your bills.
To find out more, visit the Sefton Directory Affordable Warmth webpages
Rent and Housing
Sefton Council may be able to, in some cases, support residents facing difficulties paying rent.
This support is called a Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP). It is most commonly used for people affected by any national Welfare Reform changes.
To find out more, visit our Discretionary Housing Payments webpage.
There are a number of community-led foodbank networks which are in place across the borough of Sefton. Sefton Council also operates a foodbank drop-off point at both Bootle Town Hall and Southport Town Hall.
For more information, read our Foodbanks and Food Pantries webpage
Pregnancy Nutritional Support (Healthy Start)
If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods and vitamins. This important means-tested scheme provides vouchers to spend with local retailers.
Pregnant women and children over one and under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week. Children under one year old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week. To find out more please call 0345 607 6823 or visit the NHS Healthy Start website
Broadband and Online Help
There are a number of offers available from Broadband/Phone providers to help people get online. Depending on your circumstances you may be eligible for a social tariff, which is a cheaper package available to some customers.
To learn more, visit the Ofcom website
Uswitch provide a useful guide on broadband deals for low income families. The guide outlines what social tariff broadband deals are, what tariffs are available, with detail on what each deal includes and whether you are eligible for the deal.
Help with TV licence costs
A Simple Payment Plan to help people pay for their TV licence is available for households facing financial difficulty.
People who qualify for the Simple Payment Plan can choose from either a fortnightly or monthly payment plan that spreads the cost of a TV Licence over 12 months.
This means you can make smaller payments more often, which can help when managing your finances.
For more information, visit our Help with TV license costs webpage
Social tariffs: Cheaper broadband and phone packages
Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. Some providers call them ‘essential’ or ‘basic’ broadband.
They’re delivered in the same way as normal packages, just at a lower price. Amid rising living costs, Ofcom is encouraging companies to offer social tariffs to help customers on low incomes.