Household Support Fund

The Household Support Fund, funded through the Department of Work and Pensions, has been extended and will be available to help households in need until September 2024.

We are using the funding to support a wide range of low-income households, including families with children of all ages, pensioners, care leavers and disabled people. Support includes with food, help with energy bills and wider essential costs.

Find out more about who is eligible and how to apply for the Household Support Fund.

The funding is part of the government's response to support vulnerable households most affected by increases in the cost of living.

Find out if you are eligible for any extra support provided by the government.

Support for households with individuals that use 'high energy' use medical equipment

Funding is available to support households with individuals, whether children or adults, that are reliant on high energy consuming medical equipment to meet their health needs. This includes equipment such as, ventilators, dialysis machines, oxygen concentrators or feeding pumps.

There is financial support for those that are most affected by the cost of living and by the use of such equipment resulting in higher energy bills. This can be particularly impactful during the winter months, posing a heightened risk of fuel poverty for individuals relying on these essential medical devices.

You may be eligible for financial support towards heating or energy bills. You can make a self-referral or be referred by a health professional, support worker, social prescriber or social worker, in order to be considered for the one-off £250 payment.

If your application is successful, the payment will be made within 14 days from the referral being received.

To apply for funding please complete the online application form. You will need to provide evidence of the health condition and medical device used in the home, and a bank statement to verify your details.

Support for people with long term respiratory conditions

Funding is available to assist households with patients with long term respiratory conditions who are experiencing financial difficulties and living in cold homes. The objective is to work collaboratively with health partners to identify vulnerable patients that are struggling with energy costs. People with respiratory conditions tend to be at greater risk of poor health and more vulnerable to the colder weather. They may need to spend more on their fuel bills in order to keep warm over the winter months and if they are not able to their health conditions can be exacerbated.

You may be eligible for:

  • Financial support towards energy bills
  • An energy support pack, tailored to each customer made up of: a small electric throw, LED light bulbs, radiator reflector panels and draught proofing tape
  • Advice on how to reduce energy bills

If you think you may be eligible, please contact your health professional, who can complete a referral.
Referrals can be made by professionals, for example, GPs, District Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Health Visitors, Midwives, Respiratory leads and Advanced Clinical Practitioners, social prescribers, social workers, fire service.

Support for families

Food vouchers for children entitled to free school meals

Food vouchers will be provided for free school meal/pupil premium children during the school holidays.

The vouchers are based on a minimum of £15 per week for each week of the holidays and schools are organising this direct with families who are entitled.

If you are on a low income your child may be eligible for free school meals, find out more and how to apply on our free school meals page.

Support for households with children under 5 years

Funding is available to assist families with one or more children under the age of five, facing financial difficulties. The support provided would be a one-off emergency payment voucher of £75 per household, which can be redeemed at a supermarket. If you are in need of essentials and do not have access to any other funds, this will enable you to buy food or wider essential items for your children.

To be referred for the payment voucher, please contact your health visitor, local children's centre, your child's pre-school or nursery setting, your midwife, social prescribers or CAB.

If you have accessed a voucher, you will also have the option to receive a financial 'health check' with an experienced Citizens Advice Bureau CAB advisor. The advisor can make sure that you are maximising your income, and offer support with welfare benefits, housing advice, or debt and related matters.

Support for families with school-aged children

Funding will be allocated to a number of schools to support pupils that are not eligible for free school meals with a one-off supermarket voucher that can be used to buy food and other essential items relating to children and young people.

For more information email

WoW (for all seasons) free events and activities for all the family

Through our WoW for all seasons grant, organisations across Herefordshire are holding fun and free activities during the winter and spring months! This is to support the social, emotional, and physical wellbeing of families during the cost of living crisis, by enabling them to access free activities.

All events include free hot food and drink. Families will be able to access information and advice to support them around the cost of living. To find out where events are running, visit Talk Community's WOW for all seasons activities page.

Support from voluntary and community organisations

Local organisations are available to support local people who are struggling to pay essential bills as a result of the cost of living increases.

If you are in financial distress or hardship due to the cost of unaffordable essentials including energy bills, food and white goods, these organisations can help with advice services and benefits checks.

For more information see Talk Community's Money on Your Mind.

Support for pensioners on a low income

Funding is available for supermarket vouchers to support you if you are of pensionable age and on a low income.

You are eligible if you are a pensioner receiving Housing Benefit and Council Tax Relief but not Pension Credit and have a gross income of less than £21,000 (single person) or £28,000 (couple) and are not in receipt of means tested benefits.

If you are a pensioner receiving Pension Credit you may be eligible for support if you have not already received support through the Household Support Fund.

Find out more on the Age UK Hereford and localities website.

Support for care leavers

Funding is available to help those young people aged between 18 -25, who have left care and are living independently. The support can help pay for energy costs during the winter period and some household items that can help reduce the cost of energy bills. Applications to use the fund will be made by the Personal Advisors for the young people. If you are a care leaver and in need of support, please contact your PA or

Where to get extra help

If you're struggling to make ends meet, visit:

Talk Community's Money on Your Mind website

Money on Your Mind provides lots of advice and guidance, including links to organisations that may be able to help you.

If you can't find what you're looking for there, email

Citizens Advice Herefordshire also offer lots of support and advice. You can call them on 0344 826 9685 between 10am - 3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

In an emergency

In an emergency, contact our Emergency Welfare Support service, which offers the following support for eligible people:

  • Quality, second-hand goods, wherever possible via direct referrals to suppliers
  • Food or vouchers
  • Referrals to support organisations