Cost of living: What help is available in the South East?

The Chancellor has hinted there could be further help for families struggling with soaring energy bills in the autumn. At the dispatch box in March, Rishi Sunak announced the Government was doubling the fund to £1billion, to help those struggling the most with energy bills.

Council's in the Meridian region have been allocated more than £112 million of that.


Hampshire County Council has been a grant of £7 million and the Isle of Wight £1.1 million.

At least 50% of the total funding must be allocated to support households with children, with up to 50% of the remaining funding going to other households genuinely in need of support this winter.

The council has launched a scheme called 'Hitting the Cold Spots' which offers help for residents struggling with expensive energy bills.

People living in Hampshrie can call 0800 804 8601.

The service also offers an eligibility checks for the Warm Home Discount and energy efficiency schemes.

There is also support available for debt advice, and temporary heating measures for those who are without heating. Residents can also find information on funding to help with boiler repairs and replacements.


Dorset Council has been awarded £2,294,941 of the HSF.

One-off winter energy vouchers of £200 will be made available to households in receipt of Universal Credit with limited capability for work or, earnings below the free school meals and free prescription threshold. People who need help sourcing food are urged to contact local foodbanks.

Visit the Help and Kindness website for information on local foodbanksOXFORD:

All private rented tenants, landlords and homeowners can call free 0800 1070044 for access to grants (where available) and energy advice to help people heat their homes affordably.For vulnerable residents who need help with accessing food support, household bills, repairs to cooking or heating appliances or other essential items - they can apply for the Household Support Grant (HSG).

KENT:Kent County Council has complied some top tips to help residents save money on rising energy bills.

These include only heating the room you are using, only boiling enough water for the amount you will drink, and switching your appliances off stand-by mode.

The Kent Support and Assistance Service (KSAS) is also available to residents who are having serious difficulties managing your income due to a crisis or if you are facing exceptional pressures because of an emergency.EAST SUSSEX:

East Sussex County Council offers a warm home check service all year round to residents.

People who are struggling with bills, or on a low income and struggling to keep warm at home are urged to contact the service.READING:

The Winter Watch scheme is run by Reading Borough Council and a number of local voluntary and health services.

It aims to ensure residents aren't suffering from cold in their home during the winter months.

Winter Watch is available to Reading residents who are on a low income and either over 60, have very young children, have a disability or health concerns, have never lived independently, or struggle financially.

WEST SUSSEX:West Sussex residents and families facing financial hardship, struggling with energy payments, or need help with home grants and repairs can contact the West Sussex Energy Advice Service and speak to the Home Energy Advisors direct via telephone at 01243 974063The West Sussex Afforable Energy website offers tips for people keeping their energy bills low.