Emergency help with money
If you are struggling to afford the basic household items for your family, the following programmes may be able to help:
Local Support Payments
If you live in Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea or Westminster, and you need help because of an emergency or a crisis, you may be entitled to a Local Support Payment.
You may also qualify if you need help to remain or settle in the community.
The payments are not given to you as cash. They are usually good quality, second hand furniture or white goods (for example, refrigerators or washing machines) or store vouchers for specific goods.
Before you can claim a Local Support Payment you have to:
- be claiming a qualifying benefit, or about to claim one because you are leaving care or an institution such as hospital or prison
- live in one of the boroughs listed above, or have been housed elsewhere by one of those boroughs
- not have too much in savings, and not have had more than two LSPs in the last 12 months
How to apply
If you think that you may be entitled to a payment you can apply online:
Local support form for Westminster residents
You can also apply over the phone on 020 7745 6464
If you do not qualify for a Local Support Payment, the following help and advice service may be useful.
Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)
DHP is a limited fund to help residents whose housing benefit has been restricted, for example because of the Local Housing Allowance caps, or other changes to benefits. DHP is separate to the housing benefit scheme and all awards are made at your council’s discretion. To be eligible, you must be on Housing Benefit and your circumstances must be exceptional. These payments are normally only awarded for a limited period and cannot be relied upon to solve long-term housing difficulties. To apply, contact the Housing Benefit team at your council.
Children in Need Emergency Essentials Funding
The Emergency Essentials Programme is provided as part of the BBC's Children in Need. It provides support to families of children and young people living in poverty, who have a lack of the basic facilities which most of us take for granted, and additional pressures such as domestic violence, disability or poor health in the family.
The programme helps to pay for items that meet the child’s most basic needs. This might be a bed to sleep in, a cooker for them to have a hot meal, essential clothing or other items and services that are critical to the child’s wellbeing.
The programme is delivered by Family Fund Business Services on behalf of the BBC. Access to the funding is by referral only so if you think you might need this help, you should speak to a professional involved in supporting your family. This might be a Children's Centre, social worker, GP or school. Referrals are used to make sure support gets to the most vulnerable families.
For more information on the scheme, please visit the Family Fund website.
Agencies must have registered to be able to make a referral. If they have not already done so, they can apply to be a referrer by clicking here.