Cost of Living and Health Advice

( Published: 27/09/2023)

Learn more about the NHS Healthy Start Scheme, Winterwise program, and other cost of living advice.

Food Banks and Community Grocers

If you’re struggling to feed yourself or your family, there are food banks across Manchester. Most of them operate on a voucher system, and for this you will need a referral from either your GP, a social worker or health visitor, or Citizens Advice.

Learn more

Manchester Cost of Living Advice Line

If you are struggling with the increases in food and energy bills and are struggling financially, help is now available via a free service for Manchester residents. Learn more.

Help for Households also offer support to help with the cost of living, as well as energy saving tips.

Helping Hands

Helping Hands offers loads of help with the cost of living crisis. For more information please see the above leaflet or visit the website:

Local Help and Support

Information about support and advice in your local area:

Help with Financial Difficulty

Manchester’s web page for those in financial difficulty, providing information on housing/council tax, FSM, and fuel, travel and cash grants, furniture and white goods:

Free SIM with Internet Access

Any Manchester resident (over the age of 18) who is on a low income and struggling to pay for internet access can now get a free SIM loaded with free data:

For those on low incomes, see this guide on cheaper broadband and phone packages by Ofcom.

Help with Internet Use, Digital Inclusion and Use of Computers in Libraries

Manchester City Council are there to help you get on the internet for free. Staff may be able to support you with your internet use. There are times of the week at most libraries where more support is available:

Manchester Money Advice Referral Tool (MART)

GMPA have been working in partnership with Manchester Council, foodbanks, other voluntary groups and statutory organisations, along with people who are currently experiencing poverty, to develop the Manchester Money Advice Referral Tool (MART). MART aims to provide assistance to organisations/professionals who engage with people who are struggling financially.

Healthy Start

With Healthy Start, those who are pregnant and those with children under 4 can get help to buy food and milk. Take a look at the easy read guide above to learn more about how to apply to the NHS Healthy Start Scheme and what you can access.

Winterwise / Warm Spaces

The Greater Manchester Ageing Hub has partnered with national older person’s charity Independent Age to launch Winterwise, a new guide with key information for older people on cost-of-living support with messages focusing on three themes:

  1. Stay warm
    Providing information about the financial support that older people could access to help them with rising energy costs.
  2. Stay safe
    Focusing on home safety advice for older people, including fire safety, how to spot and report scams, and what to do if they fall.
  3. Stay well
    Tips and advice on mental health and wellbeing, eating well and keeping active.

Every library in Manchester is a ‘warm space’, a free, safe place where residents can come in and stay warm all day in a welcoming, inclusive environment. Manchester libraries are packed full of resources and support for all ages. Find a local library and read about their services.

Nearly 3000 registered organisations have opened free, warm, welcoming spaces for the public this winter across the UK. You can use the Warm Welcome Interactive Map to find your nearest warm space, including libraries and other spaces in Manchester and further afield.

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