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Cost of Living Support

With the ongoing Cost of Living Crisis, we've compiled a list of places were help and advice can be found, including some free activities for families to enjoy over the summer. This list will be developed over time.

Summer Holidays Support & Activities:

FOOD

  • Meals for under 16s for £1 in ASDA cafes. Available anytime when the cafe is open, seven days a week from 25th July-4th September. See the full press release with details on their website.
  • Lowestoft FISH (Food In School Holidays) - various venues and times throughout the school holidays. Details and booking available on their Facebook page.
  • Kids eat free locations - various supermarkets and food chains are offering free or reduced meals for children throughout the summer holidays. Full details of where and when you can get these deals are available on the moneysavingcentral website.

HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES

  • Family Fun Games & Activities for 0-11year olds - free activity days for 0-11 year olds taking place in Lowestoft between 10am-12noon. Tuesday 30th August at Uplands Community Centre; Thursday 1st September at Rainbow Nursery. 
  • Family Hub Summer Programme for 0-5 year olds - various locations and times from 25th July - 19th August. These sessions are free.
  • Free Sports Session for Ages 9-16, 26th July-19th August, organised by Suffolk Positive Futures. Events at various locations and times around Lowestoft.
  • Free Holiday activites taking place at Ormiston Denes Academy for 5 weeks for ages 8-16.
  • Waterlane Leisure Centre - grant funded activities for children in receipt of free school meals. Activities are daily from 25th July and open to 5-11yrs. Eligibility checks and booking can be made through the leisure centre. Please note that there is limited availability.
  • Picnic in the Park at Sparrows Nest - Every Thursday between 12noon - 3pm from 28th July - 25th August. Bring a blanket and your family and enjoy an afternoon with Andy the Clown. Attending the event is free with no need to book (although arriving early is encouraged) - food, drinks and ice cream are available to purchase from the cafe/restaurant.
  • Marina Theatre - Jolly Holiday Summer Activities. Free activities for children aged 5-12 in receipt of free school meals (please note that there is a charge if you are not eligible for free school meals).
  • Seagull Theatre - Summer Drama Club - a free summer activity programme for families registered for free school meals (please note that there is a charge if you are not eligible for free school meals).
  • East Anglia Gymnastics - summer holiday camps. Sessions are available to booked which are fully-funded if you are in receipt of free school meals via this link. If you feel are not eligible for free school meals, you can book onto the course via this link (discount codes can apply for multiple bookings)
  • Lowestoft Library - various free events throughout the week for all ages. Please see their website for details.
  • Stars of Lowestoft Trail - from Saturday 23rd July. Lowestoft Vision and Discover Lowestoft are running this trail competition for 2022. Can you find all the stars and uncover the hidden word?
  • Heritage Plaque Trail - Lowestoft has a wealth of heritage which is celebrated with various plaques around the town. This free heritage trail takes in some of the plaques in North Lowestoft.
  • The Ness Augmented Reality - Ness Park has its own augmented reality app which take you through the history of Lowestoft in a fun and interactive way. The app is free to download. You can find out more about the app on our website.
  • Casual Leisure Sport Activities - all leisure facilities managed by Lowestoft Town Council are free to use with some offering "pick-up-and-play" services. There is no need to book to use our Tennis Courts or Putting Greens and there are various other play and sports facilities which are free to use.  Kensington Gardens Bowls Club also offer free games/training on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings.
  • Woodwork Arts Cafe - this cafe on Commercial Road run a variety of free events throughout the week, ranging from support groups to therapy sessions. Please see there website for more details.  Woodwork Arts Cafe are also running a Family Arts & Crafts Holiday Club on Tuesdays to Fridays 10am-12noon for all ages. Cost is £10 per person but there are discounts available for large families on low income.
  • Go Jauntly App - as part of the launch of free wifi in Lowestoft, Go Jauntly have create three walking trails around Lowestoft for you to enjoy. Simply download the free app to enjoy a North Lowestoft Town Trail, a South Lowestoft Town Trail or the Lowestoft Town Trail.

Cost of Living Support & Advice

Support and Advice:

Are you worried about the cost of living crisis and the affect it is having on your food, energy and transport costs? You are not alone; many of us are struggling at this time.

Below is a list of places you can get support and advice, including ways to develop skills.  We've also included links to places where you can talk to someone about your worries and improve your wellbeing.

General Help

GOVERNMENT COST OF LIVING SUPPORT - to help with the cost of living, HM Government announced support packages. To see what support there is and when it will be coming, please head to their website

HELP FOR HOUSEHOLDS - this website, set up by HM Government, includes information on support that you could get access to. This includes childcare costs, transport costs and finding work.

ENERGY BILLS SUPPORT SCHEME - As of 29th July 2022, HM Government have announced how the Energy Bills Support Scheme will work. The scheme aims to help ease the affect of rising energy prices with all households receiving a £400 discount on their bills. The BBC have also put together this helpful guide to explain when and how the payments will be made.

BENEFITS CALCULATOR - you can check that you are receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to by using this benefits calculator by www.entitledto.co.uk

SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL - a variety of help is available from Suffolk County Council, including housing and food support. Please go to their website for details.

CITIZENS ADVICE - for getting immediate help with bills or shopping, please contact Citizens Advice.  There is also other information on how to access other help such as how to apply for the HealthyStart Scheme, School costs and Travel costs.

TURN2US - this independent charity aim to fight UK poverty. Their website offers help, advice and support on a range of topics from back to school support to facing redundancy.

MONEY SAVING EXPERT - the team at Money Saving Expert have some great, independent and up-to-date advice on ways to save money from getting cheaper energy to free food.

MONEY SAVING CENTRAL -  a great resource with all the latest deals and freebees, including days out.

Food Support

FOOD BANK - for help with food provision, please contact Lowestoft Food Bank

FOOD WASTE - reducing food waste not only helps with the environment but can also keep costs down. FoodSavvy have some excellent advice on how to reduce food waste

Household meal kits for vulnerable households - PINK Orange are supplying food kits for vulnerable households on a referral basis. 

COOKING ON A BOOTSTRAP - this blog by author Jack Monroe is a free resource and features a range on tasty meals on a budget.  Jack's latest series is for recipes that use one hob and take less than 15minutes to make - cutting down on energy use.

Energy Support

ENERGY HELP SCHEMES, GRANTS AND BENEFITS - you may be eligible to support from an energy help scheme, grant or benefit depending upon your circumstance.  Uswitch have created a helpful tool to highlight the different support you can get and how to check if you are eligible.

ENERGY SAVING TRUST - with energy bills rising, the Energy Saving Trust have put together this advice to help reduce your energy bill.

WARM HOMES HEALTHY PEOPLE - this initiative, run by East Suffolk Council, helps people make changes to their home to make it cheaper to heat and more energy efficient. The initiative can help with installing insulation, boiler repairs and signposting to emergency fuel payments.

Other Utilities

WATER BILLS - if you are struggling with water bills and are a Essex & Suffolk Water customer, they have set up a page with helpful information on how you can access support.  Other water providers offer a similar help provision.

BROADBAND - USwitch have put together a resource to show the different deals available on broadband contracts. These are accessible if you are in receivership of benefits.

OFGEM - you may be able to qualify for cheaper phone, broadband or pay-TV services. All the details can be found on the OFGEM website.

Health & Wellbeing Support

PERIOD POVERTY - East Suffolk Council is committed to helping end period poverty and the stigma attached to it, working with existing schemes such as Free Period in Waveney and Pride and period in Suffolk Libraries. More details on schemes and locations can be found on their website.

WELLBEING SERVICE - thinking about the cost of living crisis can have an adverse affect on mental health. Inspire Suffolk run a free wellbeing service for 10-25 year olds.

MENTAL HEALTH & MONEY - Mental Health & Money Advice offer free, independent advice to help you understand, mandage and improve your mental health and money issues

EDUCATION & TRAINING

Realise Futures are running a variety of free courses to aid with training and education, ranging from Digital Skills to money management. More details can be found in their brochure.

The Prince's Trust are a national charity who offer free services for young people looking at starting a business, developing skills or getting into employment. Some grant funding is also available through them. To find out more, visit their website.

Inspire Suffolk have a wide range of support, activities and training on offer, including:

Developing Skills in Health and Social Care (DSGSC) - this is a project that provides fully-funded training to staff working in the health and social care sector across Norfolk and Suffolk.  The project can provide everything from learning new skills to mentoring. Please look at their website for more details.

Apprenticeships - becoming an apprentice is a great way of earning money whilst also learning new skills and training.  There are many apprenticeship places on offer locally which offer different career pathways. Please note that apprenticeships are only open to 16+ year olds. For more details on apprenticeships, please go to the Apprenticeships Suffolk website.

LifeSkills Lowestoft - LifeSkills offers a range of courses, traineeships and mentoring for young people. The Lowestoft Centre offers an alternative to College education within its small setting and there are a range of bursaries on offer to all students. The centre is currently running a "Refer a friend" initiative where you can refer someone you know to a course and receive £50 after a set number of attendances (this offer is per friend so, if you invite 4 friends, you get £200!). Please look at their website and Facebook page for more details.