Many people across Derbyshire continue to face difficult times through the pandemic. We've put together a list of the help and support available this winter.
Parents who are on a low income can receive vouchers for children in December and February.
The Derbyshire Discretionary Fund (DDF) can provide grants or emergency cash payments if you are in urgent need of financial help following a crisis or disaster.
The Community Response Unit can support people who are self-isolating due to coronavirus and have no family or friends to call upon. They can help with shopping, accessing a supermarket priority slot, fetching your prescription or finding someone to have a chat with.
Community food banks and community kitchens operate across the county.
Infant children automatically get free school meals and some older children are entitled too. See if you qualify for free school meals.
Feeding Derbyshire provide residents with a low-cost, hot, nutritious meal cooked by volunteers in a community eating space using surplus supermarket produce. Get top tips on how to reuse the extra food you might have left over on our Love Food Hate Waste page.
Fuel and utilities
Warmer Derby and Derbyshire offer advice about cold homes, energy bills, switching tariff, how to make your home more energy efficient and how to apply for grants for heating systems and insulation. You can contact them by:
If you are over retirement age, you may be entitled to winter fuel payment. Most people will receive this money automatically.
Rural Action Derbyshire operates a community oil buying scheme that provides people who use oil to heat their house with the opportunity to obtain it at a lower price.
The Derbyshire Healthy Home Programme provides help for residents to keep warm and well at home. If you live in Derbyshire and own or privately rent your home and struggle to heat it, and have a health condition made worse by the cold (including heart conditions, breathing issues, mobility issues, type 1 diabetes, suppressed immune system and mental health issues) then Derbyshire Healthy Homes Programme may be able to help with heating system repairs/upgrades, tariff switching advice, fuel debts, health and wellbeing advice. You can contact them by:
Financial support and benefits
You can claim help with your Council Tax bill from your local district and borough council. Each council is making extra help available to people affected by coronavirus who also qualify for Council Tax support. Your local council may be able to assist you further with your bill if there are exceptional reasons for doing so. If you're in arrears you may be able to hold off debt action and negotiate affordable payments directly with your local authority or with the help of an advice service such as Citizens Advice.
If you're worried that you may not be able to pay your rent this can be a big concern. Citizens Advice have information about dealing with rent arrears. Shelter has advice on issues to do with coronavirus including eviction and rent problems. We also have advice on preventing homelessness.
You can use this government calculator to find out how much help with costs you could get towards approved childcare.
Citizens Advice have an online benefits checker that can help you check if you're entitled to any additional support.
You can find advice on mortgage holiday schemes which have been extended.
Parents of newborns can claim child benefit by filling in a Child Benefit Claim form CH2.
Anyone on a low income asked to self-isolate by NHS Track and Trace is eligible for a £500 lump sum if they are employed or self-employed, have a reduced income, and meet other criteria – application is to your local district or borough council.
Derbyshire Welfare Rights Service provide benefits checks and advice over the phone about which benefits to claim and how to claim them, how to challenge decisions, appeals and representation at tribunal hearings. You can contact us by:
Find out more about how to protect yourself, what to do if you've borrowed from a loan shark and how to check a lender is reputable by visiting Stop Loan Sharks or ringing the helpline tel: 0300 555 2222.
Employment and self-employment
The help available with job support and mortgage help was due to change at the beginning of November, but the government has announced that the Job Retention Scheme (furlough scheme) and other measures will now be extended.
The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme also continues, with grants available from November to January and then February to April.
Search our jobs section. We have part-time, relief, temporary and permanent jobs in care work, catering cleaning and caretaking. Experience isn’t always necessary, and training is given.
We're recruiting for care workers on permanent, relief or fixed-term contracts to help older or disabled people stay in their own homes or live in residential care homes across Derbyshire. No qualifications are needed as all training is given. Find out more about becoming a care worker.
You can access free employment support and impartial information, advice and guidance about careers opportunities and learning.
Building better opportunities employment support - support for those with barriers on their first steps towards employment.
Further resource for helpful advice:
Support for employers, businesses and charities
Our coronavirus advice for employers, businesses and charities is also available.
The COVID-19 Emergency Fund aims to support voluntary and community sector organisations with funding to allow them to them to continue to play a key role in the local response to COVID-19.