Winter can cause additional pressures on households, especially with the continued rising cost of living. To help with this we have some specific support that is available this winter to help the residents of Barnsley.
If you're struggling to pay your energy bills, the first people to speak to are your energy provider. They may have help and support available to help you with your bills or be able to look at the payments you're making.
If the additional pressures are affecting your mental health and wellbeing then the Samaritans are available day or night, 24 hours a day to listen and offer emotional support to anyone who needs it. Please call 116 123 free from any phone, or you can contact Samaritans online.
A Barnsley welcoming space is somewhere that's open to all, where you can expect a warm and friendly welcome. We have welcoming spaces across the borough, funded by the Household Support Fund from the Department for Work and Pensions.
In the spaces that we’ve funded you'll be able to have a drink, something to eat as well as other activities. There are also other spaces open that you can attend.
For the list of spaces currently funded by the Household Support Fund, please visit our Household Support Fund webpage.
As well as these welcoming spaces, Barnsley Museums and Barnsley Libraries are available for anyone to drop into when needed as warm and safe spaces. They're also running lots of different events and activities during this winter, which you can attend. To see what's on offer from these, please visit:
If you're currently running a Welcoming Space and you haven’t registered it yet, you can register at any time. Please visit Warm Welcome Spaces to register your space and let people know you're there.
Pre-payment meter support scheme
We've a crisis support scheme in place for Barnsley households to provide emergency top-ups for pre-payment gas and electric. This is for households who are in immediate fuel crisis and have no other means of topping up their meter.
To be eligible for this scheme you need to meet the following criteria. You'll also need to provide evidence to show the below:
- have a pre-payment meter
- have less than £6 on your meter
- don't have funds to top up your meter
- haven't received an emergency voucher in the last 30 days from this scheme
How to apply
You can apply by contacting one of the following:
- Citizen’s Advice Barnsley
- Age UK Barnsley - available for older people in Barnsley. Please call 01226 776825 or email email@example.com
- DIAL – available for people with disabilities in Barnsley. Please call Sue or Dave on 01226 240273
- Family Hubs – please contact one of our Family Hubs who will be able to help you. Please visit Family Information Service or call 0800 0345340.
- Single Person Support and Advice Services
- Barnsley College – available for students at Barnsley College. Please visit Student Services for support.
Berneslai Homes tenants
The above scheme is not open to Berneslai Homes tenants as they have their own scheme. If you're a Berneslai Homes tenant and need support you can visit their cost of living support.
Stay well this winter
Anyone can become unwell, if they get too cold, especially if you're under five, over 65, pregnant, or have a long-term health condition. The good news is there are lots of things you can do. There are lots of top tips and information on ways to make sure you, your friends and family can cope with cold weather this winter.
Warm Homes Team
We know that this winter will be difficult for many people, and our Warm Homes team are here to help.
If you’re worried about paying your energy bills or struggling to keep your home warm, we can help by advising you on making your home warmer and cheaper to run.
We can provide:
- Advice on how to improve your home with energy-saving measures.
- Assistance with applications for grants for heating and insulation.
- Information and signposting to other services including DIAL’s Warm Connections, Citizens Advice, Age UK and the Green Doctors.
Our Warm Homes team will be taking their drop-in sessions to our libraries throughout the winter to provide advice and support to help you keep your home warmer this winter.
Winter Fuel Payments
If you were born before 25 September 1957 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.
The amount you get includes a ‘Pensioner Cost of Living Payment’. This is between £150 and £300. You’ll get this extra amount in winter 2023 to 2024. This is in addition to any other Cost of Living Payments you get with your benefit or tax credits.
Most people get the Winter Fuel Payment automatically. If you’re eligible, you’ll get a letter in October or November. If you don't get a letter but you think you’re eligible, check if you need to make a claim.
Warm Home Discount
You could get £150 off your electricity bill for winter 2023 to 2024 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The money is not paid to you - it’s a one-off discount applied to your electricity bill between early October 2023 and 31 March 2024.
You’ll usually get the discount automatically if you’re eligible. If you might be eligible, you’ll get a letter by early January 2024. If you don't get a letter and you think you’re eligible, you must contact the Warm Home Discount Scheme before 29 February 2024.
Cold Weather Payment
You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you’re getting certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest.
You’ll get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days.
You’ll get £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.