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Cost of living grants - pilot scheme

We’ve been hearing from groups that they’ve had enquiries from, or just know of, people struggling with day-to-day costs. With the current cost of living crisis, some groups have asked about offering grants to help with these costs.

But our current Health and Wellbeing grants don’t cover daily living costs. The process is focused on more specialised items, and isn’t designed for everyday items.

We‘ve worked with our Gwynedd Group to co-produce a framework to deliver small, one-off grants towards essential cost of living needs. And they secured some local authority funding specifically to help people with the cost of living.

We’re now piloting this approach with a small number of groups across all nations.

The groups will be testing:

  • Offering pilot grants of up to £350 towards needs — including household bills, food and clothes, and white goods.

  • The short application form. We need less information than we do for Health and Wellbeing grants. We won’t need a letter of support, just confirmation the applicant has been diagnosed with MS.

  • The process, including paying grants directly to applicants. With a maximum of £350, these grants are lower risk than Health and Wellbeing grants. And with the type of need we want to help with, it’s not practical to pay a supplier.

The pilot will run until at least the end of August. We may extend it depending on the number of applications the groups receive, to make sure we have enough to review. We’ll evaluate to see how it’s worked and what impact it’s had. And, from that, we’ll consider whether it’s something we can roll out to all groups.

We’ll have updates as the pilot goes on, so please keep an eye on the volunteer e-newsletter.

To hear more and ask any questions, sign up to attend our Grants Get-together on Monday 3 July at 2pm.