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Get help with fuel, food or furniture in a crisis

Welfare assistance scheme

We will support vulnerable residents who need help to establish or maintain a home independently in the community, or need emergency help following an unexpected event. Assistance will be provided in the form of food bank vouchers, fuel vouchers, furniture (new and refurbished) and electrical items to assist people in need.

Eligibility criteria

Residency: You should live in the borough of St Helens. If moving from outside the area, you should have previously had strong ties to the borough or be placed here by a recognised agency. 

Age: You must be at least 16 years of age. 

Income: You should be on a low income and normally be in receipt of one of the following qualifying benefits: Income Support; Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance;  income-related Employment and Support Allowance; Guaranteed Pension Credit; or Universal Credit (where net earnings must not exceed the threshold eligibility for free school meals). 

Access to other funding: You should have explored and will be expected to have applied for other available sources of funding before seeking additional assistance under this scheme. 

Savings/loans: The level of savings held by the you and/or your partner and the availability of alternative finance via affordable loans will be considered as part of the assessment process. 

Help in a crisis e.g. fuel or food vouchers

We do not provide crisis loans or cash payments, including where you have lost or spent your money. We will, however, signpost you to other support and welfare services if you are in financial need and there is a serious risk to your health and safety.

1) Please check whether you are entitled to support provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or Job Centre Plus:

  • Short-term benefit advances. If you have made a new benefit claim and are waiting for payment, or have an existing claim where there is a significant change of circumstance that will increase the amount of benefit you receive, you can apply for a short-term benefit advance by calling the DWP's Benefit Enquiry hotline on 0845 608 8526.
  • Budgeting loans are interest-free loans available to help pay for essential items. Please visit for further information.
  • Hardship payments for those who have received a benefit sanction. To claim hardship payments you will need to complete form JSA ESA10JP at your local Job Centre Plus office.

2) If you are seeking support following a disaster and are homeless you should contact our housing team.

3) If you have a designated social worker/support worker, please contact them if there is a serious risk to your health and safety. You can phone our customer services team on 01744 676789 if you need help to contact your social worker.

4) If you have exhausted other options and you consider that there is a serious risk to your health and safety, please complete the crisis application form or contact us on 01744 676666.

Furniture and white goods