I am always more than happy to help constituents in need, and requests for support and advice feature heavily in my mailbag.
My team and I can be contacted via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org, by telephone on: 01749 343255, or by post to: 10 Broad Street, First and Second Floor, Wells, BA5 2DN.
While my team and I will do all we can to support anyone who needs it, as an MP I cannot provide constituents with financial advice, and the organisations in this hub are best placed to offer free and independent advice, guidance, and support to help with the cost of living.
Household Support Fund
Funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, and administered by Somerset County Council, the Household Support Fund is designed to provide short-term urgent financial help to those struggling to afford food, energy and water bills, and essential household items.
For more information on how to register for the fund, click here.
Citizen’s Advice publish guidance on grants and benefits you may be entitled to, and provide advice on budgeting, managing debt and bills online. You can find it here. You can also contact Citizen’s Advice directly through their Somerset Adviceline by calling: 0808 27 87 842. The Adviceline is open Monday to Friday, 10am - 4pm.
More localised guidance and support is also available by contacting:
Citizen’s Advice Sedgemoor
Citizen’s Advice Mendip:
Somerset Village and Community Agents
Operated by a local charity, The Community Council for Somerset (CCS), Somerset Village and Community Agents provide confidential, practical and community based advice on managing household finances, saving energy and water, housing issues, and health and wellbeing. They can also organise food parcels and delivery of cooked frozen meals, connect you with local food banks and provide pre-cooked respite meals for carers and the people they care for.
At regular Talking Cafes, local Village Agents in Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge also provide one-to-one support on topics including, finance, housing and health. They also run virtual Talking Café’s at 1pm every Wednesday online here.
You can find your local agent, and details on how to contact them directly, on the CCS website. Alternatively, you can contact CCS via email at: email@example.com or by telephone on: 01823 331222.
For serious mental health concerns, I would urge you to contact Mindline Somerset. Mindline is the urgent hotline to support those experiencing mental health problems here in Somerset, and is monitored twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Professionally trained call handlers will be able to provide you with advice and support you with your mental health whenever you need it.
Mindline can be contacted on 0800 138 1692 or 01823 276892.
Mind – Mental Health Charity
Mind are national charity that works to improve the lives of all people experiencing mental health problems. They also operate independently run and funded local Mind services, which provide therapies, crisis helplines, drop-in centres, employment and training schemes, one-to-one counselling and befriending schemes.
Mind in Somerset:
- Phone: 01823 334906
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.mindinsomerset.org.uk/
- Address: Sussex Lodge, 44 Station Road, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1NS.
Mind in Somerset run local Wellbeing Hubs in Yeovil, Bridgwater and Shepton Mallet. The hubs can be contacted directly via telephone or in person at:
- Yeovil Wellbeing Hub, Yeovil Foyer, Peter Street, Yeovil, BA20 1PN – 01935 474975.
- Bridgwater Wellbeing Hub, Town Hall, High Street, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 3AS – 01278 228269.
- Shepton Mallet Wellbeing Hub, 57C High Street, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 5AQ – 01749 233115.
Wells Job Centre Plus
Job Centres can provide advice and guidance to help find available jobs locally, as well as provide support and assistance with new and existing benefits claims.
The Wells Job Centre Plus can be visited in person at: Chamberlain Street, Wells, BA5 2PQ, or contacted via the telephone at 0800 1690190. The Job Centre is open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.
To find out what benefits you might be entitled to claim, benefits calculators are a useful, free and confidential service that can help you to assess the amount you might be able to receive in state benefits. You can use a benefits calculator online here.
Age UK Somerset
Age UK provide independent, confidential and free welfare benefits service for older people, as well as their families and carers. This service includes help with assessing eligibility for welfare benefits, support with submitting benefits claims, and understanding correspondence you receive from the Department for Work and Pensions. This advice is available to anyone who receives the State Pension.
More information on the support Age UK provides here in Somerset is available on their website here. They can be contacted via email at: email@example.com, or by telephone on: 01823 345610. The telephone helpline is open Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm.
Wessex Water are supporting pensioners in Somerset who receive Pension Credit, or for whom the state pension is their only income, with their water and/or sewerage services. To find out whether you are eligible, and to apply online, visit the Wessex Water website here.
If you receive Pension Credit or if your state pension is your only income, Bristol Water can offer a bill discount of around 20%. They can also offer you different ways to pay your bill, and help out if you're in debt with your water bill. If you are in a low income household, the WaterSure Plus scheme could help reduce your payments. For more information, visit the Bristol Water website here.
Contact utilities companies
If you are struggling to pay your bills, it is vital you contact your supplier. They may be able to help through this challenging time. This includes council tax, as there may be payment plans and support available.