Support for people with low incomes

A low income is where you have less money coming in than you need, to pay for your living costs, housing and bills. This article tells you more about services in Newcastle that can help you manage your money and avoid getting into debt.


Bank accounts

If your credit rating is low or your don’t have a credit history you will struggle to access bank accounts. Here’s a list of high street bank accounts that may be easier for you to use.


Benefits

You may be eligible for some benefits and our Welfare benefits article takes you through what is available and who can give you support to access them. You can get Welfare benefits advice from a local independent service. They can help guide you through the application process and explain how some benefits may impact upon another:


Crisis or emergency support

if you can’t afford to buy food, heat your home, pay your mortgage or rent, the following are available to support you:


Food banks and free meals


Housing costs

You may need help with housing costs.  There are a number of routes to support:


Affordable household items and credit

When you need to purchase a new item or white goods there are some cheaper ways to make these purchases:


Living costs


Cost of living help and support

Cost of living support website from Newcastle City Council has information about where to get help and support with housing, energy, debt, benefits, money, council tax, school and learning costs

Cost of Living Helpline at Newcastle City Council freephone for help and support. You can complete their online form to ask for help or call the free helpline 0800 170 7001 They can signpost you to local help and support including:

  • emergency food parcels
  • winter wellbeing hubs: warm spaces in the local community where you can spend time and enjoy facilities such as Wi-Fi, hot drinks or food

Read more on InformationNOW about Cost of living support

Wellbeing Hubs

Wellbeing Hubs are warm welcoming place to spend time in Newcastle. Local venues, such as libraries and community centres, offer a range of support such as hot drinks, free Wi-Fi, place to charge your devices, information, advice and more.

Visit Newcastle.gov.uk to find what support is available at a hub near you.

Read more about Cost of living help and support on InformationNOW and Keeping warm and well in winter.


Healthy Start Scheme

The NHS Healthy Start Scheme is for people who are more than 10 weeks pregnant, or have children under the age of 4, who receive certain benefits. You get a free prepaid card that’s topped up every 4 weeks to buy: milk, fruit and vegetables.

You can also collect free vitamins from locations listed here. You can use the card in shops that accept Mastercard payments and sell at least one of these Healthy Start foods.

Find out if you are eligible and how to apply on the NHS Healthy Start Website.


Employment

You may want to change jobs or you may have been made redundant or become unemployed. There are services that can support you and details are in our Looking for Work article.


Local employment support available

Newcastle Futures help people to build their confidence and find work. They work with partners such as:

  • Leonard Cheshire and JET which supports people from BAME communities and asylum seekers.
  • The Wise Group runs Wise Steps which supports people on low income or with a disability or who may be in crisis, including those who are homeless or in debt.
  • Newcastle Futures  supports YHN tenants who want to join the job market. through North of Tyne Working homes initiative
  • Tyne Online helps you find a job and think about your next career move
  • Crisis helps homeless job seekers
  • Workers Educational Association offers a range of courses including job seeking modules
  • Redundancy support is available from a union  such as Unison or USDAWS or through the ACAS service
  • The Wise Group offers mentoring support, employment, skills, and energy advice.

Travel support for unemployed people

There are a number of small pots of funding to help with travel to interviews from those listed above.


Managing debt

Managing Debt can be a problem at any time or age. There are many factors that can lead to debt problems, including retirement, illness, disability, divorce, bereavement and poverty. Pay priority debts and get support.  The following are priority debts and should be dealt with immediately:


Loan Sharks

Stop Loan Sharks offers you the chance to report illegal money lending confidentially


NHS low income scheme

The NHS Business Services Authority support people on a low income with prescriptions, dental charges, sight tests and glasses and other healthcare expenses. Follow the links to apply on their website.


Make sure you’re claiming any benefits you’re entitled to

If you’re entitled to welfare benefits make sure that you’re claiming the full amount that you’re entitled to. A local independent advice service can help guide you through the process such as:

There are more benefit advice services in Newcastle. Read the ‘Where to get benefit advice booklet.


Short breaks and holidays

Tourism for All UK support people with a disability and older people to find sources of finance towards the cost of a holiday for people on low income


Other support available

  • North East Law Centre support people on low incomes from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances.
  • CityLife line offers support if you are unwell or self-isolating during the pandemic

Last updated: December 20, 2023