"Everything has gone up and I am trying to keep up with all bills, food and everything else. My sons dinners are £15 per week. I would rather make him packed lunch but his school won't allow it." Parent who applied to our charity this month.

Sound familiar? You are not alone.

Across the country, the cost of living has soared and everyone is feeling the pinch. It's a real challenge for many families and everyday we are hearing from parents worried about the rising cost of bills, managing their growing budget and how they can afford everything their children need. Thankfully there are a number of ways to ease the burden of high living expenses, so we've put together a few resources we think can help you.

Useful Guides

Urgent help: If you are in an emergency situation we recommend you use the Turn2Us Emergency Information Guide to get yourself financially stable before returning to this guide. 

Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, shares a helpful survival guide on how to navigate the cost of living crisis including: 
How to claim up to £200 a year towards school uniform costs 
Or receive energy crisis support based on your council tax band
Take a look at the Cost of living crisis survival guide here

Martin Lewis also shares a very useful Budget Planner spreadsheet which helps to assess your spending by plotting your income and expenses.

Free School Meals

Did you know that some parents can access Free School Meals for children in Year 3 upwards. Read on for more details.

In England, if you have children at a state school in Key Stage One (Reception, Year 1 or Year 2), they are entitled to free school meals, regardless of your household income.

In Scotland, if you have children at a state school in any year between Reception and Year 5, they are entitled to free school meals regardless of your household income.

In any part of the UK, from Year 3 onwards, your children could get free lunches (and sometimes milk, breakfast or fruit) at school if you are receiving certain benefits.

Find out more on the government website: gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals

Pupil Premium

Pupil Premium is funding to improve education outcomes for disadvantaged pupils in schools in England. If your child faces challenges such as poor language and communication skills, lack of confidence, and issues with attendance and punctuality, then you could be eligible. 

You can find more information on Pupil Premium here: gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium/pupil-premium

FTCT Grants

Our grants help the children of UK fashion and textile families who are struggling financially and cannot afford to buy essential items for their children, such as clothing, bedding and essential household items. 

To apply for a FTCT grant, our eligibility criteria is as follows:

•         You must work or have previously worked in the UK fashion and textile industry for at least one year, within the last nine years

•         This work must have been paid

•         Sole traders, self-employed or sub contracted staff might also be able to apply

•         Your children must be aged between 0-18 years

If this describes your situation and you would like to apply for a grant, please find out more here.