North & West Gloucestershire Citizens Advice helps people to solve their problems, whatever they are, by providing free, confidential and impartial advice, particularly on debt, benefits, employment, housing, family and consumer problems. CAB is also administering part of the Household Support Fund and can help with funding for energy costs, food and wider essentials where appropriate. Find out more on their website: https://gloscab.org.uk/
Support available in your community
On top of the financial and other support available on our Help if you're struggling with living costs page, there are also lots of community groups and local organisations that can help people who are struggling with the cost of living.
Below you will find a list of support available across the district, which will be updated on a regular basis.
Advice and support around finances
Energy and heating
Severn Wye is a local charity working towards a world where natural resources are used sustainably, communities are resilient against inequality and climate change does not threaten our future. Provides a freephone advice line, home visits, and community-based advisors to give residents free, impartial home energy support. You can call the free advice line, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm: 0800 500 3076
Support for families with children
A local charity that provides emotional and practical support to parents with at least one child under 5 years old who are facing challenges and stresses of family life, including a wide range of difficulties such as isolation, low self-esteem, physical and mental health issues. The emphasis is on parents helping parents in this increasingly pressured society.
Email: [email protected] Tel: 07584 472025
We are a local group of volunteers who care enormously about our community.
Any family in financial crisis can access essential baby items as well as some types of baby equipment, donated by the public and businesses. Forest Baby Bank is also administering part of the Household Support Fund and can help with funding for energy costs and wider essentials for families where appropriate.
Call us on 07789 465127 from Monday to Friday between 9am-11am.
Support for mental health and wellbeing
We have a community wellbeing team here at Forest of Dean District Council who can offer a range of support such as the Healthy Lifestyles Exercise Referral Scheme, classes, gym membership and more.
See our wellbeing pages here for more information.
Guideposts is a UK charity supporting people with learning disabilities, complex mental health needs and dementia. Through their work they ensure that people can be connected to their community and live the best life possible – regardless of circumstances: https://guideposts.org.uk/services/area/gloucestershire/ You can also call: 01452 529697.
Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS) is a county-wide service designed to reduce the level of domestic abuse and improve the safety of victims and their families. They can help support victims of domestic abuse which may increase with the stresses of financial problems.
They have a 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247.
Contact: [email protected] 01452 726570 Open 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday.
Help with feeding yourself and your family
"We will feed anyone who needs us no matter who you are or what walk of life you come from, it doesn’t matter if you are a single person, a couple or a family we are here for you."
To access agencies who can refer you to the foodbank see the webpage here. You must have been referred before visiting one of the distribution centres:
Tuesdays 1.00pm - 3.00pm
Address: Regents Hall, Bath Place, Lydney.
Thursdays 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Address: The Forest Community Church, Parragate Road, Cinderford
Wednesdays 10.00am – 12 noon
Address: The Salvation Army, Broadwell
The Lord's Larder Foodbank, which now services the Forest of Dean, Newent, Leadon Vale and West of Severn areas, was conceived to provide short-term access to basic food and toiletries. The Larder, which is run and maintained entirely by volunteers, works with agencies within the county, we aim to target aid where there is a genuine need and have adopted a Voucher System which enables us to do this most effectively. Alongside this, we also use an Emergency Pack System in certain circumstances.
Telephone: 01531 821641 (St. Mary's Church Office) or Emergency Mobile: 07944 590520
Email: [email protected]
Help for the elderly and their carers
Online resources and guides to help you find the information and support you need about all aspects of later life including on dementia and carers' support. They also work with people ensuring they are are claiming any financial support they are entitled to such as attendance allowance, helping to fill forms in, help to support older people in their homes and provide activities and events for people to go to.
Contact: 01452 422660 - [email protected]
Providing a personal and confidential service and advice on everything from Blue Badge applications, carer's allowance, attendance allowance, disability allowance etc. in the comfort of your own home to help you with these and many more issues.
With the constant changes in benefits, it can be a very daunting process to go through the necessary processes to be able claim, and know what you are entitled to. One of the most vital services that Lydcare provides is to assist people in this process.
For further information or to obtain any of the services provided please contact our office on 01594 860143.
Further online advice
Gloucestershire County Council have an online support hub with a wealth of local information including on money, food, energy, warm spaces, transport/travel and mental health and wellbeing: https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/support-hub/
They also have a list if warm spaces and ‘Warm and Welcome’ allowing residents to access free warm and welcoming spaces within libraries: https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/your-community/support-hub/warm-spaces/
The Your Circle website is an online directory of support services available in Gloucestershire to help you find your way around care and support and connect with people, places and activities: www.yourcircle.org.uk
If you run a local support group and would like to add it to the list please email [email protected]