If you’re struggling to pay for food and other daily essentials, you may be able to get help in a number of ways.
If you can’t afford to buy enough food for you or your family, you can get food parcels from a local foodbank. The Besom in Camberley is not a drop-in foodbank – all goods provided are in response to a referral from a local agency such as Citizens Advice, Surrey Heath Borough Council, Front Line, Social Housing groups, NHS health teams, schools, nurseries, local churches and other charities.
The Besom is a charity staffed by volunteers and supported by donations from local churches, and from supermarkets, individuals and the council. Food parcels can be made available over a number of weeks while you work through your situation with your referrer. Emergency ‘one off’ parcels, or household goods starter packs can also be requested.
There are also foodbanks in the Woking and Farnborough areas. You can contact Citizens Advice or other support agencies and services for a foodbank voucher which can then be exchanged for a parcel of 3 days emergency food.
Another option is Healthy Start vouchers for milk, fruit and vegetables and infant formula milk. To get these you must be claiming benefits and be at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4. You can get an application form from your midwife or health visitor or by calling 0345 607 6823.
You might be able to save money by getting a water meter fitted; switching to a cheaper deal for your gas, electricity, broadband, phone or TV; getting cheaper travel; or paying for your prescriptions in advance. You can find more details and other ideas at our national website citizensadvice.org.uk
The best way to check the benefits you should get is use the benefits calculator at turn2us.org.uk or at entitledto.co.uk – and if you’re getting your first Universal Credit payment or an increase from the DWP they may be able to offer you an advance.
It is important to identify and deal with your “priority debts” first – if you don’t pay these you could be evicted, fined or even imprisoned. There’s useful information at our national website and there’s a budgeting tool at tools.nationaldebtline.org/yourbudget/.
We may also be able to help you request assistance from local councils or charities where appropriate
If you need advice or assistance with debt or any of the other options listed above, please contact us.