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Help for Households

There are services available if you need support with your household costs, including accessing free or low cost food supplies.

Do you know of a resource that could support people with the cost of living and it is not listed here? Tell us about it.

Household Support Fund

Funded by the Department for Work and Pensions on behalf of the UK government, the Household Support Fund scheme supports vulnerable Kent households in need of help with significantly rising living costs.

You can either refer yourself to the scheme or refer someone as a professional.

Applications will close on Thursday 14 September 2023 or when the allocated funds are used up.

Visit the Household Support Fund website

Nourish Community Food Bank

Nourish community food bank delivers three days’ emergency food and supplies to people in crisis. Their food parcels provide short-term relief at a difficult time.

They work on a referral-only basis. To be referred please contact your care provider, Tonbridge CAB or Tunbridge Wells CAB.

Nourish Community Foodbank website

Find a food bank

Use Kent County Council's postcode search to find food banks near you.

KCC - Find a food bank

Cost of Living Payment

Households on means tested benefits, including Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Tax Credits, will receive a payment of £650 this year, paid automatically in two instalments.

Cost of Living Payment on GOV.UK

Winter Fuel Payment

In the winter months pensioners can get between £100 and £300 to help pay heating bills. This winter, they will also receive an extra one-off £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, which will be paid as an automatic top-up to the Winter Fuel Payment.

Check if you’re eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment

Southern Water

Southern Water is providing a £98m package of support for customers to combat the cost-of-living crisis, which is disproportionately hitting the most vulnerable households hardest, across Sussex, Kent, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Anyone who is not on an existing discount tariff but thinks they may be entitled to discounts on their bills can complete an online form on the Southern Water website.

What if I can’t pay my bill?

RSPCA support for your pets

If you're a pet owner who's struggling to cope with the cost of food or healthcare for your pet, you may welcome the advice and support from the RSPCA.

RSPCA website - The cost of living crisis

Home essentials in a crisis

Kent Support and Assistance Service (KSAS) may be able to help you if you have experienced an unforeseen, short-term crisis or if you are facing exceptional pressures because of an emergency.

Home essentials in a crisis on KCC website

Council Tax Support

Council Tax Support will help to pay your Council Tax if you are on a low income. It is different to the Council Tax discounts and exemptions.

Check if you are eligible

Help with childcare costs

Subsidised Childcare Places

St George's Childcare offer subsidised childcare places for families in need in the local area. They support vulnerable children and parents who need time and space to get back on their feet. We help families who are in crisis due to domestic violence, mental health issues, physical illness and financial hardship.

Places are limited and allocated on a case by case basis, in discussion with families. They accept referrals from care providers, and also self-referrals. To contact St George's, please email the Childcare Managers at

St George's Childcare

Connectivity Access Scheme

The Connectivity Access Scheme has been established to supply individuals that meet the criteria with access to connectivity. This is currently with a mobile 4G Router. The beneficiary must be referred by a professional using Digital Kent's online form. Beneficiaries cannot self-refer, to minimise abuse of the scheme.

Connectivity Access Scheme at Digital Kent

Cheaper broadband and phone packages

The government has worked with a range of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to deliver low-cost broadband and phone service packages, called social tariffs, for those on low incomes.

Social tariffs are available for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits, with some providers offering deals from £15 a month.

Visit Ofcom website

Paddock Wood Community Advice Centre

PWCAC provides a free, confidential, and impartial advice service.  They can give advice and support on debt and money, employment, housing and homelessness, mental health support and welfare benefits matters.

Opening hours: Open Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 1:30pm and offer face-to-face appointments as well as a drop-in service.

Paddock Wood Community Advice Centre website

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is able to offer emotional, spiritual and practical support for the local community.

They provide referrals to foodbanks and other groups. They are also able to accept referrals from agencies for people in the local community who require practical assistance for items such as furniture, white goods, bedding, clothing etc.

They run a weekly sale (Thursday) with good quality clothes at very low prices 50p-£2.

Finally, they run a lunch club on Wednesday and Thursday at 12:30 for £5 per day.

The Salvation Army - Tunbridge Wells website

Hawkhurst Community Fridge

Hawkhurst Community Fridge are a team of volunteers who are Food Safety Level 2 trained and ensure that food is fit for human consumption. All the food is freely available to anyone in the community.

This is a sharing project with the objectives of reducing food waste and CO₂ emissions while including residents and stores to take part in sharing and caring for one another.

Opening hours:
Monday-Sunday 9.30-4.00 outside The Green Shop, Rye Road, Hawkhurst, TN18 4EP

Find out more at the Hawkhurst Community Fridge website

The Paddock Wood Foodbank - The Community Storehouse

The Community Storehouse is Paddock Wood’s food bank, enabling those who have to share with those who don’t have.

Find out more at The Community Storehouse website

The Community Larder

You are invited to come and choose from a selection of fresh fruit and veg, chilled meats, bakery, chocolate, tins and more. You will leave with a bag of groceries for a recommended donation of £2. Please bring your own bags.

Please email for any further information:

Opening hours:
Tuesdays from 1pm—2:30pm
at Tunbridge Wells Baptist Church

Book your space

Money Advice Hub

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau is supporting people who are struggling financially or need support to manage the rising cost of living through its new Money Advice Hub. The service is completely free and confidential.

You can access the service online (with video call and web-chat functions) or by calling the freephone number on 0800 808 5622 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm).

Visit the Money Advice Hub