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Cost of living support for community groups

Practical information and resources for voluntary and community organisations.

Last updated: 19 December 2022

Next review: 19 December 2023

Community groups are working hard to help as many residents as possible with the cost of living challenges this winter. As a Council, we are committed to working with you to ensure all our communities can benefit from this support.

To support your response to this crisis, we have listed practical tips and resources to help you:

  • Signpost residents to support
  • Refer residents to support
  • Keep informed
  • Access volunteering support and funding

Signpost residents to support

We have developed new resources to help signpost residents to the support they need with the cost of living.

  • Our new Your Crisis, Our Action webpage outlines key support available to help residents and their families with the cost of living challenges.
  • The Winter Spaces Network is a group of community and Council settings across the borough that will be open to the community throughout the winter. Residents can visit community living rooms, kitchens and libraries to keep warm, socialise, enjoy warm food, and access important services.
  • The Wellbeing Directory is a live, interactive map detailing Council and community services within Waltham Forest that offer health and wellbeing support to residents. You can use the directory to identify services and signpost residents. If you would like to feature on the directory you can submit information using our registration form.
  • Our Cost of Doing Business webpage provides help and advice for businesses with the cost of living crisis. Residents can find advice on energy costs, property rental, money and debt, funding and loans, and health and wellbeing.

Refer residents to support

We have created new pathways for community groups to refer residents to support this winter.

  • Citizens Advice Waltham Forest offer a range of free, confident and impartial services including debt advice, benefits, housing, employment and immigration. You can email: admin@citizensadvicewalthamforest.org.uk to request a referral form. 
  • HEET help residents to stay warm with advice on how to save money on fuel bills and provision of free energy efficiency improvements for eligible residents. You can refer people for HEET’s services using the HEET'S online referral form, or by telephone: 0208 520 1900 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 12pm).
  • Winter Check in and Chat Our Check in and Chat service carries out friendly welfare and wellbeing calls to vulnerable residents. If you want to refer a resident to receive a call from the team, please use the Winter Check in request form.

Keep informed

Find out more about cost of living support in Waltham Forest and opportunities for your group to get involved.

  • The Community Participation Network provides an opportunity for community groups and the Council to focus on shared priorities and explore partnership working. 
  • Our Connecting Communities Newsletter includes the latest funding opportunities, new support offers and updates on initiatives in the Council and across the borough. 
  • Watch the Cost of Living webinar for community groups developed by the Council, Citizens Advice Waltham Forest and HEET. 

If you would like to participate in the Community Participation Network or sign up for our newsletter, please email connectingcommunities@walthamforest.gov.uk.

Access volunteering support and funding

You can explore funding and support available to community groups to enhance your cost of living response.

  • Volunteering support from the Legends of the Forest team is available to help groups create and promote new volunteering opportunities. To find out more, visit the Legends of the Forest website.
  • We have a community noticeboard which captures funding and training opportunities within the VCS, as well as information on the cost of living and a wide range of issues. To join our working document please email connectingcommunities@walthamforest.gov.uk.

If you have any queries regarding this support or have any suggested improvements to this page, please email connectingcommunities@walthamforest.gov.uk.