Help with food and warmth


Posted on21 Dec 2020

With Christmas fast approaching, this month’s update from Martin Bell, Money and Benefits Advisor covers useful help and support that is available during the festive period.

Stay well this winter

As we enter into the winter months and the temperatures are dropping, it is important that we all stay well.  Here are a few tips to staying well this winter:

  • Keep warm. The temperature in your home should be at least 18 degrees. If you need help with fuel bills, support grants may be available contact Martin.
  • Get a flu vaccine. Many people, including those aged over 65, are entitled to a free jab. Your GP will contact you if you are eligible.
  • Eat a healthy diet and try to ensure you have regular meals and warm drinks throughout the day.
  • Keep well stocked up with prescription medicines, especially as the festive season approaches. Ask your pharmacist for advice if you’re unsure what you need.
  • Check on elderly or medically vulnerable neighbours and relatives, particularly in icy weather. This can be done in a Covid safe way, either by telephone or a socially distanced doorstep chat.

Help with food and bills

The City of York Council have a Winter Support Grant available to help those struggling financially as a result of the pandemic.

Has your income been affected by the pandemic? Are you struggling to pay your bills? The Winter Support Grant may be able to help. The grant aims to support you and your family with food and energy bills this winter.

Applications can be made at

For help to apply or for more information on other sources of support please visit or call the Covid Helpline on 01904 551550.

If you live outside of York, you will need to contact your District Council.

If your District Council is unable to help you will need to contact North Yorkshire County Council at

Jobcentre Plus arrangements over the festive period

Jobcentre Plus opening hours are different over the Christmas and New Year period. Further details visit

To find out what date you will receive your payments, visit

Partnership asks for devices to digitally connect residents

New external funding has been secured for a city-wide scheme to digitally connect residents through donated laptops or tablets, and more donations are being requested.

The city-wide partnership running the scheme have secured £29,618 from the Build Back Better Fund. The funding will help ensure devices are fully wiped (certificate provided) and all data removed. Through partner organisations, the funding will ensure the devices will be sent to people who have been identified as in priority need, and who will be given any extra skills to get online and have the benefits of digital connection.

The funding for the scheme have been supported by a partnership including City of York Council, Community Furniture Store, Changing Lives, Age UK York. The partnership’s aim is to help more people be connected, be competent in digital skills, be confident using technology and be able to get all the benefits of being online while choosing not to be excluded.

To find out more visit