When personal circumstances change or are affected by other factors, like the impact of increased cost of living, situations can be created where you are less able to sort out problems that you didn’t have, or were in control of, previously.
You might now need professional help or advice that you have never needed before, if you are, for example:
- caring for someone else
- on a low income
- recently bereaved
- or struggle with your mental wellbeing
Through no fault of your own, you might be:
- struggling to afford your bills
- living in a cold, energy inefficient home
- facing pressure sales tactics from companies
- struggling to understand and act upon information or choices (such as getting the best deal) or lacking the confidence or ability to pursue a query or complaint
- worried and struggling to afford rent/mortgage payments
- living in poor quality or overcrowded accommodation
- threatened with homelessness
- vulnerable to loan sharks/ high cost pay day loan providers
To help you we have compiled a list of local sources of information and advice on a range of topics.
You don’t have to be in crisis, or referred by a specialist to use these, they are all open to the general public and residents of Stafford Borough.
Gas, Electric and Water Bills
You can reduce your energy bills, get help with fuel bill debts, broken or inefficient heating systems with support from Warmer Homes Stafford.
Warmer Homes Stafford or telephone 0800 677 1785
Rent or Mortgage Payments
Speak to your lender directly if you’re struggling with your mortgage payments. Alternatively, you can access a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser or Mortgage Broker at Unbiased.
Homeowners might be able to get help towards interest payments on mortgage or loans you’ve taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home - Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI).
If you’re struggling with your rent, you should speak to your landlord directly.
If you rent a home from Homes Plus (formerly Stafford and Rural Homes) please visit their website to see what help and advice they offer.
If at risk of losing your home Citizens Advice Bureau will assist with housing related debt. Telephone operators can carry out an initial assessment and book appointments for housing advice contact: email@example.com for a call back within 3 days, 07736 929 523 or 07736 924 929.
Housing Options toolkit for advice and information to help prevent homelessness.
Advice for Landlords if your tenant is having difficulty paying the rent.
Access to Food
Local Food Banks information and opening times.
Online forms and tools, including a calculator for Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit - Benefit service.
If you are experiencing problems with tax, and have tried to resolve your issue through HMRC, Tax Aid will provide free advice
Difficulties at work
ACAS is an independent public body who provide free and impartial advice to employers, employees and their representatives.
You can speak to a trained ACAS adviser for free and confidential advice about employment rights and your workplace problem.
Contact: 0300 123 1100 - Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
Staffordshire County Council offer a benefits calculator which will help you find out what benefits you can claim.
Universal Credit help to claim - you can contact a Citizens Advice Bureau adviser through their free Help to Claim phone service, they will assist with registration up to the first payment and complete benefit entitlement checks. Contact: 0800 144 8444.
Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Wellbeing Service: Offer help for any type of emotional problem, or physical symptoms that can cause emotional distress.
- Telephone: 03003030923 or Self Refer: Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Wellbeing Service
Urgent Help: Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust
- Telephone Support, advice and triage: 0808 196 3002
New Era aims to end relationship abuse through a wide range of individual and group support for adults, children and young people for as long as they need it. 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, specialised help is available for all victims of domestic abuse in Staffordshire when they need it most. The service also provides a webchat facility.
Call 0300 303 3778 and speak to someone now.
Staffordshire Women's Aid, 0300 330 5959.
Drugs and alcohol - ReSolv.org or call 01785 817885
Sure Start Maternity Grant - is a one-off payment to help towards the cost of having a child.
- Finding free or affordable legal help - Citizens Advice
- Legal advisors - lawsociety.org.uk (search for legal advisers, sort by location and vocation, ensure the service is free before engaging).
- Citizens Advice consumer help or call 03444 111 444
- Community help if you’re a community group, voluntary organisation or local charity looking for information on behalf of someone else, we will be hosting a series of webinars to provide you with more information on local services and how to refer people for help.
- Councillor Jeremy Pert - Stafford Borough Council
- Sam Taylor and Hayley Smith - Stafford Borough Council
- Martin Peake - Beat the Cold, Warmer Homes Stafford
- Elena Dudley - Citizens Advice Bureau
- Kully Manak - National Careers Service
- Danny Finch - Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust
- Dan Gibbons - Re-Solv
- Esther Bromley - Support Staffordshire
- Sharon Whitchurch - Starfish Health and Wellbeing
- Lucy Gratton - Staffordshire Connects
- Anne Ross - Support Staffordshire
- Lucy Cox - Staffordshire Council of Voluntary Youth Services
- Sarah James - Staffordshire County Council, Doing Our Bit