Cost of living crisis: What support is available in Bristol?

Bristol World has today also called on new Prime Minister Liz Truss to help residents through the cost of living crisis

The cost of household bills and mortgage payments for a typical family in Bristol will hit a staggering £1,962 next month, exclusive analysis on behalf of Bristol World shows. This is £318 more per month than a year ago, a 19% rise.

The analysis was based on a family with two adults on average wages and typical bills for Bristol, living in an averagely-priced semi-detached house on a variable mortgage.

Further analysis shows the case study family will be paying a combined £705.83 in utility bills and council tax from next month, after the latest energy price cap hits.

This is £200.50 higher than the same month last year.

What support is available?

There are some forms of support available through Bristol City Council to help residents tackle homelessness, a lack of food or to provide help with fuel bills.

Housing

You could be able to get help if on a low income or not already receiving support for housing.

If on a low income you can can apply for Universal Credit, and get support on applying through the Citizen Service Point, on Temple Street.

If struggling to pay mortgage repayments, the council has a check list of ways to get more help here.

Homelessness support

The Citizen Service Point, on Temple Street, offers face-to-face support and advice from Monday to Friday as well as online services.

This includes advice on what to do if you are, or are about to become, homeless.

Night Shelters across the city offer a safe place to sleep though some only accept people who have been referred there by other agencies.

The Julian Trust and Spring Of Hope (women only) shelter accept self-referrals, meaning you can turn up without help from an agency.

Help with food

Struggling to feed yourself or your family? There are foodbanks and schemes across Bristol to help.

North Bristol, North West Bristol and South and East Bristol Foodbanks can provide free food to residents who are eligible.

Elsewhere, simple recipes for cheap and healthy meals can be found on the Feeding Bristol website.

Looking for work or training

Agency One Front Door offers support in find work while Ways2Work Network has a message board with employment support and training postings.

There is also one-to-one coaching and support on career prospects given by Future Bright.

Help with fuel bills

The Government’s Cold Weather Payment scheme is availableto those on certain benefits.

This scheme outlines that a resident will get a payment if the average temperature in their area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over seven consecutive days.

You will be entitled to £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between November 1 and March 31.

The Cold Homes Energy Efficiency Survey Experts Project is a Bristol-based not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) that carries out surveys to see where your home is losing heat.

Surveys start at £135 but are free to people who:

  • live in buildings that lose a lot of heat, or
  • can’t afford to heat their homes

Bristol City Council also outlines way in which to make your home more energy efficient using methods such as installing double glazing or reducing the amount of gas and electricity used.