Helping Carers with the Cost of Living Crisis
We are living through an unprecedented time, with the rapid increase in the cost of energy, food, fuel, and basic essentials continuing to rise, all at the same time.
Lanarkshire Carers know that unpaid carers are among the groups hardest hit by the current cost-of-living crisis in Scotland and that it is putting huge pressure on them. Many people will need extra support, some carers are struggling to make ends meet, cutting back and being greatly worried about living costs and how they will manage in the future.
A survey by Carers Scotland of more than 2,000 unpaid carers in Scotland found that one in four (26%) carers are struggling to make ends meet, with nearly a quarter (24%) cutting back on essentials like food and heating. Nearly 1 in 6 carers (15%) said they were in debt because of caring.
In response to this, Lanarkshire Carers has developed an online resource for carers to find out what support is available locally and nationally to help with the rising costs of living, including other useful ways to save money and reduce costs. This resource page will be updated regularly as and when more information becomes available.
Support from Lanarkshire Carers
Remember carers can always contact Lanarkshire Carers to have a conversation with us about how we can support you in your caring role including the financial impact of caring.
Lanarkshire Carers has a range of support services for carers living in Lanarkshire including direct carer grant funding which may assist carers to:
Take a short break from caring
Help carers who have an unexpected but necessary expense such as the cost of repair/replacement of white goods, equipment and essential items
Help those in financial hardship due to reduced and limited incomes
Access other things that can help reduce isolation and exclusion
Please contact us to find out more about our carer grant funding which is administered by Lanarkshire Carers Short Breaks Bureau. More information on available funding opportunities can be found by visiting our Short Breaks Bureau page.
Carer Training Courses
Lanarkshire Carers Training Programme covers a range of topics to help carers feel confident in their caring role and look after their own health and wellbeing. Our Carer Training Programme provides a range of courses on topics that address issues identified by carers throughout their caring journey. Further information on the courses available can be found by visiting our Carer Training Programme page.
Local Authority Support
Your local authority may be able to help if you need urgent help with things like food, heating and electricity. Check what support is available in North and South Lanarkshire:
Any Cost of Living events taking place across Lanarkshire will be added here as and when more information becomes available.
Scottish Government Support
The Scottish Government has launched a Cost of Living Support Scotland website, where you can access information and advice if you are struggling with things such as:
- Costs of energy, rent, mortgage, council tax and other household bills
- Benefits and work
- Family payments and support, education costs, support with early years and childcare
- Debt and managing your money
- Coping with the impact on your mental health and wellbeing
Citizens Advice Scotland
Citizens Advice Scotland’s website also has a range of information and advice to help with the cost of living crisis:
You can also get in touch with your local Citizens Advice Bureau to speak with someone if you are struggling and need assistance. You can find contact details of your local Citizens Advice Bureau in the link below:
Voluntary Sector Support
Local and National Voluntary organisations can offer a lifeline to many carers struggling and assistance may be available to help you if you are struggling and in financial distress. If you are an unpaid carer living in Lanarkshire, we can assist you with this. Please get in touch to have a conversation with us about what support is available.
- Advice Direct Scotland offers advice on managing your energy account and getting help with your finances
- Age Scotland has guidance on energy and how to reduce your bills
- Home Energy Scotland offers impartial advice on saving energy, keeping warm at home, renewable energy, cutting water waste and more
- Energy Saving Trust Scotland helps you save energy and reduce your bills
- Greener Scotland gives advice on how to save energy, reduce waste, travel smarter and eat greener
- Shelter Scotland offers housing advice to everyone whether you're homeless or you own your home.
- Citizen's Advice Scotland's Money Talk Team offers advice if you’re struggling to make your money last, are worried about your bills or need help managing debt
Other Useful Resources
Money Saving Expert - Cost of Living Survival Kit
To find out ways of reducing your household bills, Money Saving Expert has useful guides available on their website.
OVO Energy Customer Support Package
OVO’s Customer Support Package has been designed to help customers who need it most this winter. The package will be open from 30 October 2023 and will provide eligible customers who are struggling as a result of high energy prices with financial and practical support.
The support package includes free or discounted products and services, like smart thermostats, electric throws and boiler servicing. These will be prioritised for those who need them most, and they ask you to only apply if you’re struggling to pay your bills this winter.
When you apply for support, they will take into account things like household and disposable income and medical needs and for some of their free and discounted products and services, they will also take into account things like the way your home is heated and how many people live at your home.
To find out more, please click here.
Age Scotland Online Energy Workshops
Age Scotland's free online energy workshops enable older people to get a better understanding of their household energy use, supporting them to stay warm and save money on their bills, helping them to be prepared if they experience a powercut, and giving them useful information about the future of heating and transport.
- The Energy Matters workshop covers a range of topics, including energy efficiency, accessing benefits and financial support which could help with energy costs and looking at future options for heating.
- The Preparing for a Powercut workshop covers making an emergency plan, preparing an emergency survival kit and knowing who to turn to, as well as many other useful hints and tips.
- The Future Energy and Heating Options workshop aims to help older people to get a better understanding of what the future of powering and heating our homes will look like.
- The Electric Cars workshop cuts through the jargon to enable you to confidently decide if moving to greener transport is right for you.
All of these workshops are free to attend and will provide useful information for older people and those who support them.
You can take part in their workshops by video using the free Zoom app. All that’s needed is a laptop / computer / tablet / smartphone and an internet connection. If after the workshop you would like advice specific to your situation, they can arrange a phone call with their helpline's energy adviser.
This training is funded by SGN through a new partnership aimed at helping more older people across Scotland get access to the help that is available to them.
A place on each individual workshop can be booked by clicking here.
Scammers continue to target those worried about the rising cost of living with social media adverts and emails. The links in these emails and adverts usually lead to malicious websites which are designed to gather your personal information and, in some cases, your bank details.
How to Avoid being Scammed
- If you receive unsolicited emails or texts offering prizes or deals, do not click on any links or open any attachments and never enter any personal or banking details;
- Check the spelling and grammar in the message. Scam offers or giveaways often contain small mistakes and unusual wording;
- Read the terms and conditions before taking part in any giveaway – many fraudulent prize draws or offers do not list basic terms and conditions such as deadline dates or details on how winners will receive their prize;
- Before taking part in an offer or competition which is supposedly being run by a big brand, look at their official website or social media channels to see if it is genuine.
How to report
In Scotland, report all scams to Advice Direct Scotland by calling 0808 164 6000 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) or online at www.consumeradvice.scot
If you have been the victim of fraud, report it to Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency.
- Suspicious Emails
You can forward suspicious emails to email@example.com and send links from websites which you think are trying to scam the public to the National Cyber Security Centre's scam website reporting service at www.ncsc.gov.uk/section/about-this-website/report-scam-website
- Suspicious Text Messages
If you receive a suspicious text message you can forward it to 7726. The free-of-charge ‘7726’ service enables your provider to investigate and take action if malicious content is found.