Emergency support


Is there specific help available for people experiencing difficulties with the cost of living?

See further information about the Household Support Fund (HSF) and how to apply for it.

Local and national charities can also provide emergency support for those affected by the cost-of-living crisis. 


People who are unable to afford food, heat their homes or afford fuel bills are experiencing serious hardship. 

A few quick questions can help you to understand if they are getting everything they are entitled to. These are the kinds of things that can help determine if people are getting the right money and support:

  • Are they able to work?  
  • Are they taking care of someone? 
  • Are they experiencing ill health or living with a disability?

All these things change the amount of money they are entitled to. 

Many people who are struggling are missing benefits that could increase their household income.

If a member of the public needs emergency support with food how can I help?

  • Emergency food parcels are available via food banks through a referral system. 
  • People can access food support via the Household Support Fund which also directs to Food Hubs. 
  • People can access affordable food from food hubs that operate on a membership basis and offer wrap-around support.
  • For more information on your nearest food hub and foodbank please visit the Council’s interactive map.
  • To access an emergency food hub parcel via the HSF, please call 08085 834333.
  • To access food bank food parcels, please call Coventry Foodbank on 024 7699 3770.

Are there any other options?

Is there anything else I can check if someone is experiencing issues with food?

Free School Meals

School-age children might be entitled to free school meals. For more information, please visit the free school meals webpage to find out if a child is eligible or please call 024 7683 3773. People who have no recourse to public funds can also be eligible for Free School Meals, but this process involves applying to your school.

Healthy Start Vouchers - Get help to buy food and milk

If a person is more than 10 weeks pregnant or has a child under 4, the ‘Healthy Start’ scheme may help:

  • buy healthy foods like milk or fruit
  • get free vitamins

Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) Programme

During the school holidays, children who are entitled to free school meals can access free food and a wide range of activities across Coventry.  It’s all free for eligible children and young people. 

Every HAF-funded activity includes:

  • Positive activities (enriching and physical).
  • A nutritional meal/food (normally hot).

For further information about eligibility and to book sessions please visit the Holiday Activities and Food Programme webpage or talk to your nearest Family Hub.

Fuel and energy

What should I do if someone is worried about heating their home and the cost of their electricity and gas?

  • Talk to your landlord, especially if you are in a social tenancy (e.g. Citizen, Midland Heart, etc) and ask them what support they have available for fuel support and emergency fuel provision this winter.
  • Contact your energy supplier if you are struggling to pay your energy bill as soon as you are able. Ask them about the Priority Services Register, emergency energy, changing tariffs or additional entitlements.

Are there any other options for advice and support?

Contact the Coventry Citizens Advice ‘Power Up’ project

The Power Up project aims to help people out of fuel poverty by offering energy advice, help with managing fuel debt, energy saving and ways to reducing energy bills by switching suppliers or finding a better tariff. Please call 02476 253 190 or 0800 144 88 48, or email WPD@coventrycab.org.uk

National Energy Action

The Coventry HEAT team provides FREE help, support and advice on keeping your home warm and healthy. They can give you bespoke, confidential advice over the phone or visit you in your home, working holistically to help deliver solutions to the often multiple problems faced by individuals and households.

Call 0800 304 7159 for Energy Advice, Monday to Friday 10.00 am-12.00 noon, or 0800 138 8218 for benefits advice

For further information please visit https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/

People in Coventry can also apply for fuel vouchers via the Household Support Fund.

What further support is available to improve the energy efficiency of my home?

Funding and Grants

  • Act on Energy: Keeping Coventry Warm provides funding for:
    • External wall insulation
    • Cavity wall insulation
    • First time gas central heating
    • Broken boiler replacement
    • Inefficient gas boiler
    • Loft insulation
    • Upgrade or repair of electric storage heaters available to households who are owner-occupiers or private renters who meet the health, income, and savings criteria.
  • For advice about energy efficiency please visit
  • Act on Energy – Quick tips to save you money
  • Warm Home West Midlands: Energy saving advice, energy saving measures, income maximisation advice. Contact number: 0808 196 8298.
  • The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government energy efficiency scheme in Great Britain to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. It can provide funding for insulation and broken or inefficient heating systems. Available for people who claim some household benefits.
  • Warm Welcome Spaces: Many venues across Coventry are providing warm welcome spaces open to everyone who may need it.

If a member of the public needs help to reduce their fuel/water bills, and manage their fuel/water debts, how can I help?

For advice about energy efficiency 

For advice on managing money effectively, please visit money helper or money saving expert.

For local independent advice on how to manage debts, including fuel debts, please contact:

To see what support is available to help with the cost of living and how to save money with our energy-saving tips, please visit the Government’s Help for Households.

The Severn Trent Water ‘Big Difference Scheme’ can offer a reduction in water bills to any Severn Trent Water customer with a low income. The Big Difference Scheme will assess the household income when someone applies. Contact Severn Trent Water on 0345 7500 500.

Internet connection

If someone cannot afford to connect to the internet there is help available.

Free sim cards pre-loaded with up to 6 months of data can be gifted to any adult over the age 18 who needs help staying connected to the internet.

National Databank distribution points include:

  • Customer Services Centre, Broadgate House.
  • Any of the 8 community family hubs.
  • Central Library and community libraries at Stoke, Tile Hill, Bell Green and Foleshill.
  • Moat House Community Trust.

Alternatively, residents can email the team at covconnectsdigital@coventry.gov.uk