A collection of resources in response to issues that arise from the rapidly increasing costs-of-living
Resources for the Cost-of-Living Increases
Working closely with Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire Affordable Credit Alliance, and Renfrewshire HSCP we have constructed this collection of resources in response to issues that arise from the rapidly increasing costs-of-living. This page can be used by our members and partners to help signpost to recommended organisations across Renfrewshire.
The information is updated regularly. Please check with each provider that the information is accurate and up to date.
Immediate Financial Crisis
For those in immediate crisis, the Renfrewshire Council website has links to the Scottish Welfare Fund. The Scottish Welfare Fund helps families and people in Scotland who are on low incomes through Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants.
People may be eligible for a grant for the following:
Crisis Grant - to help cover living costs in the case of an emergency or to cover living costs and replace household goods as a result of a disaster such as a fire or flood
Community Care Grant - this is for help to cover the costs of setting up or maintaining a home and support individuals and families facing exceptional pressure
To discuss the qualifying criteria for a Community Care Grant or Crisis Grant, we would recommend getting in touch with either of the following for support:
Renfrewshire Citizen’s Advice on 0141 889 2121 or visit https://www.renfrewshirecab.org.uk/
Advice Works call 0300 300 1238 or email email@example.com to make an appointment
There is further information on both organisations under the 'Financial Support' section below.
Please note, if you are located outwith the Renfrewshire area, check your own local authority website for Scottish Welfare Fund information.
Cost of Living Support Portal
The Scottish Government has launched a new online portal to support everyone in Scotland through the cost of living crisis. The website offers advice on managing debt, claiming benefits, paying bills, and covering healthcare costs for things like dental care and glasses. It also highlights the support available for families, older people, people with disabilities, and carers. Additional resources on supporting mental health and wellbeing are available in the ‘Health and Wellbeing’ section.
Follow this link to explore the website: https://costofliving.campaign.gov.scot/
Fuel and Energy Support
Energy Management Unit | Advocacy & Support
Renfrewshire Council Energy Management Unit can offer help with:
Referral to home energy improvement schemes
Help contacting fuel providers
Fuel debt advice and support
Access to grants and for clearing debt and potential access to fuel vouchers
Further information can be found on the Energy Advice - Renfrewshire Website. Self-referrals and professional referrals can be made.
Telephone: 0300 300 0300
Home Energy Scotland | Energy Workshops - Help Reduce Energy Use
Advisors offer free, impartial advice on energy saving, keeping warm at home, renewable energy, greener travel, cutting water waste and more. Home Energy Scotland’s mission is to help people in Scotland to reduce their bills and help tackle climate change.
Visit the Home Energy Scotland website for more information on all that they offer.
Housing Association Information
If someone you work with is a housing association tenant and they are having trouble with finance for fuel payments and fuel debt, you should contact their housing association directly to discuss energy assistance support and advice.
A full list of Housing Associations in Renfrewshire can be found here on the Renfrewshire Council Housing Associations webpage.
Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau | Energy Advice Service
Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau can offer energy advice in several ways:
Help to understand bills, tariffs and switching
Help with debt owed to your supplier (for example: Negotiating with your supplier and arranging repayment plans)
Accessing supplier & government help such as The Warm Home Discount Scheme
Provide you with tips on how to cut your energy costs
Help you to contact your supplier via our specialist Adviser Only teams located within certain energy companies
Help to locate and access hardship funds to help with energy costs
Telephone: 0141 889 2121
Renfrewshire Foodbank | Urgent Food Provision through Referral
Vouchers can be issued by services for anyone who is in food crisis. They offer free access to food/toiletries/cleaning items/baby items/pet food to anyone in Renfrewshire experiencing food insecurity. In order to get a food parcel, a voucher must be issued by a local agency, these include Advice Works and Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau.
Clients bring their voucher to a foodbank distribution centre where it can be exchanged for three days' supply of emergency food.
If you are in crisis and need a voucher to allow you to pick up a food parcel, please contact one of these agencies.
STAR Project | Community Fridge & Pantry
The Community Fridge and Pantry is a local and dignified shopping experience, built on the ethos of resilience and sustainability, that provides access to affordable, healthy food.
All items are at least 40% cheaper than the cheapest supermarket. You can also take Tupperware containers to save more money.
New pantry hours:
Tuesday from 12-6:30,
Wednesday-Friday from 10-2
You don’t need to call beforehand to access the pantry. Simply show up to the shop during the opening hours and do your shopping.
STAR Project’s Drop-In 12-14 Wallace Street, Paisley
Or message on their Facebook page.
Other Local Food and Essentials Provision
Active Communities | Community Pantry, Station Seven
The Pantry at Station is a subsidies food store which helps people and families in our community shop smarter and save money. Membership is open to people living in Johnstone, Linwood and the villages, for a one-off charge of £1. Each shop is just £2.50 with members free to choose from our well stocked shelves. We estimate people will save at least £15 per shopping trip.
Every Wednesday 10am-1pm
Visit their Facebook page to learn more.
Darkwood Crew | Ferguslie Park & Paisley
EBI Unites | Erskine, Bishopton & Inchinnan
Offering food parcel delivery for majority elderly, disabled, isolating, and housebound clients, plus Zero Hero surplus food distribution, available to all.
Food pantry also open (payment of £2.50 for £15 of food).
Food donations accepted on specific days/times.
Visit their Facebook page to learn more.
Food Train Renfrewshire | Shopping Service for Older People
Food Train’s shopping delivery service ensures vulnerable older people have access to fresh and affordable groceries, delivered direct to their home on a weekly basis. The service aims to allow anyone over the age of 65 who has difficulty getting their grocery shopping to enjoy fresh food and a well-balanced diet and to remain in the comfort of their own home in their community without the worry or carrying heavy shopping. Volunteers can unpack and put shopping items away where needed.
The service costs £5 per delivery paid alongside the cost of the groceries. There is a £1 annual membership to pay, which also allows access to other Food Train services when available in the local area.
Telephone: 0141 887 2557
Visit their Facebook page to learn more.
Kairos Women +
Kairos+ offer some food provision on Tuesday, 12.30-2.30pm we host Community Soup, a free soup session with extras to take home.
We also have a free shop with clothes for adults and children plus free period products and contraception.
Our opening hours generally are 9.30-6pm Tuesday, 9.30-5pm Wed-Thur, 9.30-4pm Friday.
Contact details are: 0141 3785078 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lochwinnoch Community Larder
Lochwinnoch Community Larder redistributes surplus food to the local community and surrounding areas, reducing food waste and providing free dignified food provision while helping to build community resilience. We also provide a safe and welcoming space to share a chat and any issues or concerns, helping to reduce isolation.
Monday 12.00 - 13.30
Tuesday 10.00 - 14.00
Thursday 10.00 - 14.00
Saturday 10.30 - 13.00
Lochhead Gardens, Lochhead Ave, Lochwinnoch, PA12 4AW
Visit their Facebook page to learn more.
Renfrewshire Council have partnered with the social enterprise 'Hey Girls' to provide Renfrewshire residents with the option to have period products delivered to your home address. Hey Girls supply environmentally friendly, plastic-free period products. Order online for a 3 month supply delivered to your home by visiting their website.
Or pick up from any library or other OneRen venues. Some other community organisations also hold products, click here to learn more.
For recipe idea videos which are simple to follow and easy to get ingredients for, please visit our Youtube page.
You will find a selection of great videos created by local organisations including Kairos Kitchen and STAR Project and information about healthy, budget friendly, sustainable food recipes created locally.
Advice Works | Free Advice on Debt & Money
If you or someone has benefits issues, are struggling with debt or are having difficulty managing their budget, Advice Works can provide advice. They offer free, confidential and independent advice on money and debt issues including budgeting, negotiating with creditors, and mortgage and rent arrears - as well as checking you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to.
Advice Works also works with various partners on projects such as with Macmillan Cancer providing support to those with a cancer diagnosis, long-term health conditions and Families First supporting families with young children, they also work with INVEST for clients who are looking for employment.
To make an appointment call Advice Works on 0300 300 1238 or email email@example.com.
Broadband | Cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming benefits
Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. Some providers call them ‘essential’ or ‘basic’ broadband.
They’re delivered in the same way as normal packages, just at a lower price. Amid rising living costs, Ofcom is encouraging companies to offer social tariffs to help customers on low incomes.
CEMVO | Financial Capability for Ethnic Minority Groups
The Financial Capability programme will support people from Ethnic Minority Groups with their finances and develop their money management skills. They have local links to the main advice partners so if participants need Money Advice they can support them to do this with trusted partners, in Renfrewshire that is Advice Works and Renfrewshire Citizens Advice. The support is delivered in workshops and on a one to one basis. You can read more about it and refer people to the programme here Financial Capability Programme via their website: CEMVO Scotland.
Telephone: 0141 248 4830
Renfrewshire Affordable Credit Alliance (RACA)
RACA is made up of a variety of organisations in Renfrewshire who have come together to help you and those you work with access fair and affordable forms of credit.
We have come together to champion fair and honest finance and ensure everyone, no matter their income level, has better options that help reduce the risk of them falling into problem debt.
The website has detail on opening bank accounts, improving credit scores and has information on ethical providers of credit such as credit unions and Community Developed Finance Initiatives (CDFI’s) and non-cash alternatives to help vulnerable people access household goods in emergencies.
Contact RACA if you are a practitioner, work with volunteers or run a group supporting vulnerable people to book a session on affordable credit with our Affordable Credit Officer where we can talk about fairer ways to borrow money when in need and illegal money lending prevention.
Telephone: 0141 887 7707
Renfrewshire Citizens Advice (CAB)
Renfrewshire CAB is a local, independent charity which provides free, impartial and confidential advice, advocacy support and information to give you the tools needed to sort out issues or problems. They offer support and information with a range of issues such as benefits including a full benefit check, money and debt advice, advice on employment and housing, work and family advice, legal advice and consumer advice.
Call 0141 889 2121 or book an appointment online at www.renfrewshirecab.org.uk.
Renfrewshire Credit Unions
There are five credit unions covering Renfrewshire, all independent of each other and of varying membership sizes. Credit unions are savings and loans co-operatives or mutual organisations – meaning it is owned by their members and benefits their members. Credit unions offer a range of products related to saving and borrowing so take a look at the variety of financial support they each offer.
You can join a credit union under a common bond of either living working or studying within a boundary. We have listed this information below.
If you are looking to save for your future or looking to access ethical, affordable finance then Renfrewshire's Credit Union has all the detail in one place: Credit Unions in Renfrewshire | My Credit Union Renfrewshire.
- Gleniffer Credit Union - To join Gleniffer Credit Union, you need to live or work in the PA1, PA2 or PA3 postcode areas.
18 Skye Crescent, Glenburn, Paisley, PA2 8El
Telephone: 0141 583 4905
- Johnstone Credit Union - To join Johnstone Credit Union, you need to live in Renfrewshire.
26 Church Street, Johnstone, PA5 8DU
Telephone: 01505 327148
- Right Way Credit Union - To join Right Way Credit Union you need to have a PA, G, ML or KA postcode.
41 High St, Paisley PA1 2AH
Telephone: 0141 889 7442
- Scotwest Credit Union - To join Scotwest Credit Union their common bond is for people who live or work in the West of Scotland, Stirling, Perth & Kinross, Dumfries & Galloway or Highlands.
They are based at 13 Elmbank Street, Glasgow G2 4PB but all membership services can be made online or using their handy app.
Telephone: 0141 227 2390
Social Security Scotland | Benefits & Eligibility
Before contacting Social Security Scotland, if someone needs help with finances then contact can be made to Advice Works or Renfrewshire Citizens Advice for support (details above).
Social Security Scotland benefits require the completion of an application, and the range of benefits available can be found here: Social Security Scotland - Benefits.
Support for Tenants
If someone you work with is a Council tenant and is having difficulty paying rent or other bills, please contact Renfrewshire Council’s Housing Department during office hours. They can help tenants to sustain their tenancy and offer other support like foodbank vouchers, and referral onto other agencies such as Energy Management Unit and Advice Works as appropriate.
Telephone: 0300 300 0222
Email (area dependent):
If someone you work with is a Housing Association tenant and is having difficulty paying rent or other bills, it can be useful to contact the Housing Association for support. Most have teams who can help people with benefits and other support such as around energy bills and foodbank vouchers. A full list of Housing Associations in Renfrewshire can be found here on the Renfrewshire Council Housing Associations webpage.
If you are working with someone who is a private tenant, there is some helpful information on the Renfrewshire Council website that can be accessed by clicking here. If they are in an emergency situation with rent arrears, eviction, food or energy, Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau (details above) may be able to help. The Bureau also have a legal advice service.
VoiceAbility | Advocacy & Involvement
Provide support and advocate for people with disabilities or support needs to apply for Social Security Scotland benefits only and they will work alongside the services such as Advice Works and Citizens Advice. Please see the website link for more information: VoiceAbility | Support to access benefits in Scotland.
The website is translatable and there is an option for 'read aloud'. You will also find videos to support accessibility.
Young Scot | Coping with the Cost Crisis
Young Scot provide information for young people in Scotland aged 11 to 26 years old and they have created this page due to the increasing costs of living and to support issues particular relating to young people. It links to helping with saving money, terms used to explain living costs, savings which can be made by young people and many more links to supports and information. They will continue to update the page and is a good resource to share with the young people you work with.