These are challenging times for many of us – including lots of people who have never needed help before.  There are some organisations and local community groups who are able to provide immediate help for people who might be struggling, such as through small grant cash payments (that you won’t have to pay back), vouchers to use in local supermarkets or help with essential costs like school uniform for children.

Social Landlords

(such as Melin, Monmouthshire Housing Association or Pobl):

If you are a tenant of a social landlord you might be able to access some immediate financial help, for example through your housing association’s hardship fund.

Contacts for each of the larger housing associations in Monmouthshire are:

Pobl: contact@poblgroup.co.uk 01633 212375

Monmouthshire Housing Association:  0345 677 2277 or moneywise@monmouthshirehousing.co.uk

Melinmoneyadvice@melinhomes.co.uk or 01495 745910

The contact details for the social landlords in Monmouthshire are at the end of this document.

Food banks:

There are four food banks in Monmouthshire, one in each of the main towns.  Food banks can provide food parcels to with enough food to see you and your household through a short crisis, as well as helping you to find the right advice and support to help deal with any underlying problems. 

To speak to someone about receiving a food parcel you can call Monmouthshire Council’s contact centre on 01633 644644.

‘Fare Share’ and ‘Food Sense’

These community run groups help to prevent surplus food from supermarkets going to waste in landfill by connecting the food with people who can use it in their local community.  The food is available free of charge to anyone who can make use of it.

Rogiet Fare Share: rogietcommunityjunction@gmail.com

Monmouth Community Fridge is open seven days a week and opening hours are shown on their Facebook page: Monmouth.fridge@gmail.com  https://www.facebook.com/MonmouthCommunityFridge/

Small local grants:

There are lots of organisations that offer grants to people in particular circumstances who might be struggling – such as veterans, care leavers or people who have worked in particular professions.

Turn2Us has an online search facility to help you find out if you might be able to access any small grants from local or national charities to help tide you over a difficult patch or to help you get back on your feet.

https://grants-search.turn2us.org.uk/

Discretionary Assistance Fund:

This is a ‘last resort’ fund from Welsh Government intended to support people experiencing serious hardship. To provide more help for those households facing significant additional hardship due to the  Coronavirus crisis, Welsh Government has asked the DAF Service Centre personnel to apply greater  flexibility and discretion with regard to the number and frequency of DAF payments that people can claim during this period.

You can apply online for a Discretionary Assistance Fund payment at

www.gov.wales/discretionary-assistancefund-daf/how-apply  or by calling free on 0800 859 5924.

Financial support for unpaid Carers

Carers can apply for a grant of up to £300 to address immediate winter pressures and emergency needs caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.  Examples of eligible items and activities include, but are not limited to:

• Purchase of household items e.g. washing machine, bed or fridge etc.

• Assistance with the purchase of food

• Purchase of technology e.g. laptop, mobile phones, tablets or data

• Entertainment subscriptions e.g. Audible, Amazon Prime, gaming, Netflix etc.

Carers can apply for a grant via the online application form on the Carers’ Trust website: www.ctsew.org.uk/carers-emergency-grants

Support for businesses and the self employed

The economic consequences of the pandemic have been huge, not least for business owners and the self employed.  To help you make sure you are accessing all the financial support that you’re entitled to, there is information on Monmouthshire Council’s web pages here:

https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/business-advice/

and from Business Wales here:

https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/covid-19-support-business

Support for school costs: 

Welsh Government provides a grant for households on low incomes to help with the essential cost of attending school, such as buying uniform or kit to take part in particular activities.  Information is available here:

https://gov.wales/pupil-development-grant-access

COVID-19 Helping Groups:   

All over Monmouthshire local communities have come together to help people who have been struggling because of COVID-19 and the effects of lockdown.  Some of these groups have raised or been donated funds to help people who have found times tough (for example in Chepstow and the surrounding villages Tesco vouchers are available for people who need a helping hand financially for a little while).  To find out about your local group contact partnerships@monmouthshire.gov.uk or phone 01633 644496.