Our communities are facing a cost-of-living crisis.


Raising funds to support local people in poverty 

Our communities are facing a cost-of-living crisis.

Inflation is at a 40-year high and the cost of household essentials like food, energy and fuel have rocketed. Energy bills increased by over 50% in April 2022 and by January 2023 it’s estimated that the average household could be paying over £4,200 a year for energy alone, plunging almost half of the population into fuel poverty.

As everyday costs rapidly outpace wage and benefit growth, many of our neighbours are struggling to cope and are facing extremely tough times ahead.

There are over 43,000 people in Somerset who receive Universal Credit, many of whom are living in working poverty, defined as when a working person’s income, after housing costs, is less than 60% of the national average. A recent survey from The Trussell Trust of 1,500 Universal Credit recipients in February 2022 found that:

  • half are either already behind on their bills or are facing a constant struggle to keep up with them
  • one in three had been unable to afford adequate food, meaning they had more than one day in the last month where they didn’t eat at all, or only had one meal.

Our local charities are already doing life-saving work for people living in poverty.  Many are also facing the huge challenges of increased costs to carry out their work, soaring demand and fewer donations from the public.

We are launching the Somerset Cost-of-Living Crisis Appeal to raise vital funds so that local people living in poverty can get the support they need, when they need it most.

Donations will fund crucial local work such as debt advice, food banks, mental health support, help for people with disabilities or older people, and homelessness organisations.

No one should have to choose between feeding themselves or their children. No one should have to choose between heating and eating. No one should be plunged into insurmountable debt to pay for basic living costs.

If you can afford to, please donate to our Somerset Cost-of-Living Crisis Appeal today to help us provide funding to vital local charities supporting local people in poverty.

Justin Sargent

Chief Executive

Donate now






Free, local support to help with the cost-of-living crisis


Citizens Advice Somerset helps people resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing free, independent and confidential advice. They have produced a Cost of Living Increase Guide and there’s a helpful page on their website here which includes information on grants and benefits to help you pay your energy bills.

Community Council for Somerset will put you in touch with your Village and Community Agent who provide confidential, practical community-based solutions for people in Somerset.

Somerset County Council’s Household Support Fund is designed to provide short-term urgent financial help to Somerset residents who are struggling to afford household essentials such as food, bills and other household items including beds and white goods.

Disability Grants has a directory of grants for people with disabilities.

Mind in Somerset can help if you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed by the cost-of-living crisis.

Turn2us has a directory of grants for individuals as well as a helpful Benefits Calculator so you can check if you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to.


Funding for charities from the Somerset Cost-of-Living Crisis Appeal

We will be gathering insight from across the local voluntary sector on the challenges our charities are facing and using this to inform how we use the funding from the appeal.

We will publish more information on the funds available from the appeal in the coming weeks. You can stay up to date by subscribing to our e-newsletter or by following us on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

In the meantime, you can find information on the funds you can apply for from our Main Grants programme, The Somerset Fund, and other funds we manage here.