With the cost of living continuing to rise, these are extremely difficult and uncertain times for everyone. Trying to get the correct information about which support and services are available to you and what you can access or are entitled to is not always straightforward; this can make the process very stressful and confusing.
Over the past few weeks, we have carried out lots of research, trawled through many websites and contacted lots of organisations for information on services they provide that our Oldhill families can access. Below you will find the information we found as well as things we are running or can help with here at school. We really hope you find it useful.
Whatever your situation, we are here for you, so the most important thing is to not suffer in silence, come and speak to us. Remember we will do everything we can to help.
Please click a button below to scroll down to the section you need
Gas and Electricity
If you are struggling with the cost increase, get in touch with your energy supplier to find out whether they can help you reduce your bill, with things like paying by monthly direct debit or signing up for an online tariff. There are also other things you can do.
You can ask your supplier for:
- A review of your payments and debt repayments
- A reduction in your payments or a payment break
- More time to pay
- Access to hardship funds
Energy bills support scheme
The government will be giving every household in Great Britain £400 off their electricity bill. This is called the Energy Bills Support Scheme. You don’t need to do anything to get the money and you won’t have to pay it back.
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
If you are in receipt of certain benefits or on a low income, CAB can provide emergency top up vouchers to use if you have prepayment meters. We have a CAB surgery here every Friday and you can book an appointment through the school office.
Turn off appliances when not in use to save money
British Gas has compiled a list of devices and how much they cost to keep on standby per year:
- Modem/internet router – £18.89
- Microwave – £16.37
- Games Console – £12.17
- Computer – £11.22
- Shower – £9.80
- Smart speakers/smart home devices – £8.94
- Dishwasher – £6.86
- Tumble dryer – £4.79
- Washing machine – £4.73
- Printer – £3.81
Turning off all devices and appliances when not in use will save money over the year. Read more tips here from The Energy Saving Trust: Quick tips to save energy at home – Energy Saving Trust
Support With Food
My Hope – Food Bank at Oldhill Community School
We have a food bank running at school every Wednesday, 5-7pm in the lower hall. This is free for everyone, just turn up on the day and bring a bag!
Clapton Commons Community Feast
A free monthly community meal with entertainment for over 50s held at Liberty Hall on Clapton Commons. For more info please call: 07932328898
The Good Place Pantry (Northwold Community Centre)
Get £20+ worth of food for just £6.50. Includes: tins, dairy, fresh fruit, vegetables, treats, toiletries and meat. To book your time slot, please visit: www.n16boilerhouse.com/book-now
Partnering with Hackney Council, Carib Eats will bring a new pilot community lunch to our senior residents in the local area. If you or members of your household are aged 50+, join for a DELICIOUS FREE MEAL, and get support to DEVELOP YOUR DIGITAL SKILLS and make the most of your smartphone or tablet. Starting 13th June, on Mondays 12-3 pm at St Thomas Church, 1 Clapton Terrace, E5 9BW. For more info and to book a place call 07958060947.
Food Bank vouchers:
Food Banks, food parcel collection points and hot meals
Click here for a range of places across Hackney that offer food, regular meals and food parcels once you have a food bank voucher: Local Places To Get Free Food | Hackney Foodbank
Help to bring you cost to the supermarket down: Supermarket shopping tips: tools & tricks to slash food bills– MSE (moneysavingexpert.com)
Did you know you could freeze these? https://realfood.tesco.com/curatedlist/things-you-didnt-know-you- could-freeze.html
Recipes for cooking on a budget:
Services are tailored to the individual needs of the family. They work with families who are in isolation or experiencing depression, stress or other mental health issues, financial difficulties, housing issues, legal and immigration problems, parenting issues as well as families who are trying to improve their home circumstances and life chances.
To speak to a Family Support Practitioner, please contact the school office on 0208 806 4130
Apps and websites
Give and get free things, free food from Tesco, borrow and lend household items and shop homemade – all directly from your community.
A free platform for people to give away their unwanted, but reusable items to others. Items include: Appliances, furniture, household items and much more.
A grassroots and entirely non-profit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and thus keeping good stuff out of landfills.
Too Good to Go
The “Too Good to Go” app allows you to buy fresh, quality food for a fraction of the price. You go on the app, and in minutes, you can find a place near you and get a Mystery bag for a bargain. It’s perfect for people with tight budgets looking to save money, but who still miss going to restaurants and cafes.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
The cost of living crisis will raise stress levels – from the looming dread of increased energy bills to the day-to-day struggle of trying to make ends meet. It is important we look after ourselves and take steps to manage our well-being.
Qi Going Sessions for Parents
We will be holding these sessions at school, come and join this gentle and mindful practice that will help you to exercise overall health, lower stress levels and bringing with it a sense of wellbeing. Sessions will take place:
June – Friday 17th, Friday 24th and Tuesday 28th
July – Thursday 7th, Thursday 14th and Wednesday 20th
9.00am – 10.00am, in the lower hall. For more information, speak to Michelle.
WellMind is a free NHS mental health and wellbeing app designed to help you with stress, anxiety and depression. The app includes advice, tips and tools to improve your mental health and boost your wellbeing.
WellMind on the App Store: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/wellmind/id918138339
WellMind on Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=za.co.runninghill.wellmind&hl=en&gl=US
There are times in all our lives when we have difficulties and need some emotional or practical support as individuals, couples or families. Family Action works to tackle some of the most complex and difficult issues facing families today – including financial hardship, mental health problems, social isolation, learning disabilities, domestic abuse or substance misuse and alcohol problems. Read more: What we do – Family Action (family-action.org.uk)
Find Support Services in Hackney:
City and Hackney Wellbeing Network:
Offering high-quality free support to help people prevent the onset of mental health problems and alleviate issues such as stress, anxiety and low mood. http://www.centreforbetterhealth.org.uk/city-and-hackney-wellbeing-network
A further range of services, mainly in Hackney, that can offer support and advice on a wide range of issues relating to mental health either for you, a family member or someone you know: https://hackney.foodbank.org.uk/get-help/additional-support-in-hackney/mental-health/
Increase in Petrol and Diesel
To find the cheapest petrol station in your area: https://www.petrolprices.com/
Advice on how to save on fuel, from the AA: How to drive economically – Eco-driving tips | AA (theaa.com)
Make your car more fuel efficient: Cheap petrol & diesel: Cut prices & improve fuel efficiency | MSE (moneysavingexpert.com)
Free family “learn to ride” cycling lessons – running April to September 2022: https://joyriders.org.uk/newpageadb94f02
Essential Items for Children
Drop-in Bring and Swap clothes
The last Friday of each month At Woodberry Down Children’s Centre, Spring Park Drive 10.30am- 12pm. Call Donna or Durrah on 020 8815 3270 for more information.
Young Planet App
Young Planet is an app that enables parents to put no-longer-used children’s things to good use with new families and away from landfill, for free. https://www.youngplanet.com/
Hackney Family Centre Baby Bank
Can provide clothing and shoes (up to age 5), essential baby equipment — including a safe place to sleep for your baby/child, bedding, a sling, a buggy, feeding and bathing equipment, toys and books, nappies and wipes. Referral required – please contact Family support or Michelle.
Oldhill Uniform Swap Shop: Coming soon, watch this space!