How to apply
If you have are in immediate crisis and need help with food, gas or electric please ring us on 01782 238888 (Monday to Friday from 8.45 am-5.00pm). You will speak to one of our dedicated benefits advisors and we will try to give you appropriate advice to support you through your current circumstances.
You can use freephones at the following offices:
• Tunstall, 142 High Street, Tunstall, ST6 5TP
• Chell Heath, Cornhill Road, Chell Heath, ST6 6PN
• Hanley, 1 Smithfield,Leonard Coates Way, ST1 4FA
• Abbey Hulton, 71 Abbots Road, Abbey Hulton, ST2 8DU
• Longton, 1 Commerce Street, Longton, ST3 1NW
• Blurton, 111 Finstock Avenue, Blurton, ST3 3JU
• Meir, 737 – 739 Uttoxeter Road, Meir, ST3 5PD
• Fenton, 5 Baker Street, Fenton, ST4 3AF
The social fund can help you if you need emergency help during a crisis, or immediate support to stay in your community. The fund is split into two types of support:
- Crisis Support
- Community Planned Support
Any support that we provide will be in the form of goods or services. We do not give out cash. You will not be expected to repay any awards.
You can apply for crisis support if you don't have enough resources to meet an immediate need that puts your health and wellbeing at risk. For example if you have no food, gas or electric and have no way of paying for these, we may be able to help you.
However the Social Fund will not support you if you have simply overspent or failed to budget. Normally you will be in crisis as a result of a one-off or unexpected event that you couldn't have planned for e.g. a fire or a flood.
What help can we provide?
If you need food we will provide you with food vouchers or a foodbank referral so that you can feed your household during your crisis.
If you need gas or electric, and are on a pre-payment meter, we will provide you with a voucher that you can take to any PayPoint outlet to top up your card or key.
We may also be able to help you with clothing and travel costs in certain circumstances.
Community Planned Support
You can apply for community planned support if you need some extra help to setup, or remain in, a home in the community. This will usually be as part of a wider plan of support that is in place to help you to resettle.
Normally an application for community planned support will be from people who are leaving an institution such as prison or care, or from people who are setting up a home for the first time and don't have any essential items
The social fund cannot help you, if you simply wish to replace a broken or damaged item and haven't budgeted for this circumstance.
What help can we provide?
If you need white goods or kitchen appliances we can provide you with brand new items from our supplier. They will arrange for delivery and installation of the item at a time to suit you. White goods may include: a cooker, fridge, freezer, washing machine, tumble dryer etc.
We may also be able to help you with essential furniture or other household items that you need in order to allow you to settle into your new home such as cutlery, pots and pans and crockery.
How to apply
If you are applying for community planned support, you need to fill out one of our referral forms. You can download a copy at the bottom of this form. You will normally need to be supported in your application by a support worker or professional who is working with you as part of a planned programme of support.
Who can apply?
You must be:
- Aged 16 or over at the time of application
- Living within Stoke-on-Trent
- Have a legal recourse to public funds
We will then look at your circumstances and decide whether you have the financial resources to meet your needs yourself without additional support from the Social Fund
If you need more help or advice about the Social Fund or about other ways that we may be able to help you with your finances please contact us on 01782 232982.