New scheme to deal with cost of living crisis

This month Norfolk County Council announced a £7.7m package of hardship support offering increased flexibility and choice in the way a broader range of households can access help. The new Norfolk Cost of Living Support Scheme will help people who are struggling to pay for food, energy and water bills, and other essentials. The VCSE sector in Norfolk will play a vital role in the new scheme, through the return of the Household Support Fund (HSF). Local authorities have recognised that VCSE organisations are well placed to get support to those facing hardship, by building on the trusted relationships you have with your beneficiaries. A full briefing from Norfolk County Council to VCSE groups can be found here.

The Household Support Fund (HSF) will this time be targeted at supporting older people, adults and children with disabilities and their carers’.  The HSF has been created to provide a straightforward route for frontline Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations to deliver vital and immediate financial help with utilities and other household essentials to the people you support facing hardship around the increasing cost of living. To keep up to date with this and future funding opportunities sign up to the Norfolk Community Foundation newsletter here.

More information about the role of the VCSE sector

Norfolk County Council have said that from their experience of the first phase of the Household Support Fund they learnt that VCSE organisations need to be able to support people’s immediate needs and to be able to quickly refer to the Norfolk Assistance Scheme with a reduced application process. VCSE organisations also were successful at targeted funding at specific groups, through their trusted relationships with their beneficiaries.

The County Council explained that VCSE organisations have a vital role on the new scheme. In particular:

  • £0.45m funding will be given to the Norfolk Community Foundation to support older people, disabled people, carers and other groups not picked up in the wider schemes. VCSE organisations who meet pre-agreed criteria can apply for £50 cash initial support payments for their beneficiaries and also onward referral to Norfolk Assistance Scheme support.
  • £0.9m funding is going to NAS to respond to direct requests and referrals relating to Older People coming from VCSE, District and Anglian water, and £0.5m to support referrals from partners and VCSE organisations for other people, including carers and disabled people. This is for support with utilities, household items and other support delivered on a case-by-case basis.

If you come across anyone who needs help with their everyday living costs, support is available on our website at or by contacting us on 0344 800 8020.

Also on the cost-of-living crisis…

CAN are launching a campaign soon about how the energy price increase is impacting village halls and charities in Norfolk – if you have any experience with this and would be happy to provide more information or be a part of a case study, please email

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