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In 2013, the government’s national social fund was stopped. Crisis loans and community care grants were replaced by a new local crisis and prevention fund.
This fund is for emergency payments, primarily for the purpose of essentials such as food, gas and electricity. We also assist with household goods, for people/families that lack the facilities to meet basic living requirements, or who require support to remain in the community.
If you have financial difficulties because of non-payment of benefits, before you apply for an emergency payment you will need to apply to the Department of Work and Pensions for a Short Term Benefit Advance or Budgeting Loan. The Department of Work and Pensions can be contacted on 0845 603 6967.
To apply you must be living within the boundaries of Bristol City Council and have experienced a crisis or an emergency. This might be that you are left with no money for basic living needs such as; food, gas, electricity or you are in desperate need of essential household goods items such as beds, cookers, fridge freezers, and microwaves.
To apply you need to complete an online application form. We are a cashless service meaning payments are made via a pre-payment debit card, to be collected from Bristol city centre on the following working day (where your application has been received by 12pm).
The application process
All applicants/support workers (where completing the form on behalf of a client) must complete an application online using the link below, this enables us to keep our phone lines available for those people who cannot use this method and following up the progress of household goods applications.
If you do need to apply over the telephone please contact us on the below numbers between 8am to 12noon Monday to Friday
- free phone number 0800 923 0101 or
- local rate telephone number 0117 922 4500
Please note that from 1 April 2014 we will no longer be processing paper or the old email application forms.
How do we decide priority?
Priority will be given to people we deem to be in the greatest need based on their personal circumstances and income. Priority households include households such as; those with complex needs, severe mental health or physical disabilities, with disabled children and seeking resettlement back into the community.
If you are a service user or customer at any of the following organisations listed in the document below, your support worker should be able to assist you in completing this form online;
Awards will be given as a pre-payment debit card. Household goods will be delivered to your home and installed free of charge.
Only one award can be made for an emergency payment each year, and only one application for household goods in a two year period.
In most cases emergency payments will be collected from a city centre council building. In cases where applicants cannot collect payments due to personal circumstances we will post this first class to their home address.