Cost of Living Crisis: Resource Hub
The cost of living crisis is hitting Pontypridd hard. I’ve collated this list of useful resources for any of my constituents who may be struggling to make ends meet in these really difficult times.
As ever, please contact my office if you need support or guidance.
Paying Your Energy Bills
Citizens’ Advice have really clear, useful webpages listing all benefits, grants and support available to people in Wales if you’re struggling to pay for energy. To read it in full, click here.
This support may include:
- If you pay council tax and are in council tax bands A to D you can get £150 back as an energy rebate – this will be paid during April 2022. If you receive a council tax reduction you may also be eligible.
- If you’re on Pension Credit or low income you may be eligible for the Warm Home Discount scheme, which will give you a £140 voucher towards your bills.
- If you’re born on or before 26 September 1955 you can get an annual Winter Fuel Payment to help pay your energy bills.
Rhondda Cynon Taff (RCT) Council have also developed their own package of relief measures to support vulnerable households struggling with the cost of living crisis, part-funded by the Welsh Government. You can read about this on the RCT website here. These measures are supplementary to the above benefits and grants and include:
- A £100 payment if you live in council tax bands E and F
- A £150 payment if your residence is classed as Exempt Occupied
- A £100 payment if your residence is classed as a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO)
- A £50 family payment if you have one or more children attending school
Citizens’ Advice have information on further support which may be available from your energy supplier, in the form of temporary credit or a payment plan. This depends on how you pay for your energy:
- If you pay for your energy with a prepayment meter, click here.
- if you pay for your energy via a monthly direct debit, click here.
The FuelBank Foundation also have a wealth of further information to help consumers struggling with energy bills.
Martin Lewis’s Money Saving Expert website has collated some useful tips about cutting the cost of keeping warm – many are based on the principle of ‘heating the human, not the home’. These tips could help bring down your bills – read them here.
Putting Food on the Table
- If you’re struggling to afford to eat, foodbanks can help.
- A foodbank can provide an emergency food parcel of three days worth of non-perishable food items, typically including essentials like cereals, pasta, soup, tinned vegetables and UHT milk.
- Two foodbank distributors operate in our local area: Pontypridd Foodbank, and Taff Ely Foodbanks. Both are seeded by the Trussell Trust. If you are not based in my constituency you can find your nearest Trussell Trust foodbank by entering your town or postcode here.
- Trussell Trust foodbanks operate on a referral system: you must obtain a voucher or email referral from local community organisations such as schools, GPs and advice agencies. In the first instance, contact the foodbank, who can signpost you to an appropriate referee. The quickest way to start your referral process is to get in touch with the Foodbank via telephone – see details below.
Location: Riverside Day Centre on Nile Street, Treforest, CF37 1BW.
Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-11am.
Deliveries: If you are mobility impaired and require your food parcel to be delivered, this can be arranged but only if you are in the CF37 postcode.
Contact: 01443 404692 | email@example.com
Website for more information: www.pontypridd.foodbank.org.uk
Taff Ely Foodbanks
Taff Ely foodbanks are based across 8 distribution centres in the area but the main location is: Unit 3, Ely Valley Business Park, Tylagarw, Pontyclun CF72 9DZ.
Contact: 01443 520730 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Website for more information: www.taffely.foodbank.org.uk
Details of all 8 Taff Ely foodbank centres, their locations and opening hours, are as follows:
- Taff Ely Foodbank Warehouse, Pontyclun (CF72 9DZ): Open Monday-Thursday, 10am-12.30pm
- Bethel Baptist Church, Pontyclun (CF72 9AJ): Open Thursdays 10.30am-12.30pm
- Carmel Baptist Church, Llanharan (CF72 9RD): Open Fridays 10.30am-12.30pm
- The Rock Church, Gilfach Goch (CF39 8SH): Open Saturdays 10am-12pm
- Capel Resource Centre, Tonyrefail (CF39 8LW): Open Tuesdays 10.30am-12pm
- Saint Michael and All Angels, Beddau (CF38 2BL): Open Wednesdays 10.30am-12pm
- Salem Baptist Church, Pontypridd (CF38 1PT): Open Saturdays 10.30am-12pm
- Ebeneezer Church, Talbot Green (CF72 8HR): Open Mondays 10.30am-12pm
You are not at fault for the rising costs of living but if you suddenly find the need for expert guidance on how to budget your finances, help is available.
MoneyHelper have a suite of specialist budgeting guides, calculators and tools designed to help you get a handle on your household finances. View them here.
MoneyHelper also have a debt advisor finder tool which can connect you with an appropriate debt advice service if this is a concern. A range of options are available including telephone-based advice and 24/7 internet-based advice. View the finder tool here.
If you’re in distress or are feeling overwhelmed by rising living costs, a confidential advice helpline is available to talk you through your options and signpost you in the right direction: Help Through Hardship has been set up through co-operation between Citizens’ Advice and the Trussell Trust. The helpline is:
0808 208 2138 (Mon-Friday, 9-5, closed on bank holidays)