Worried about your finances?

You’re not alone. Many people are facing financial difficulties because of the economic downturn associated with Covid-19. Many people who’ve previously always worked are now having to claim benefits in order to make ends meet.

If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of a loss, or drop in household earnings, it is always best to get advice sooner rather than later.

If you are struggling to buy food, or essentials you can contact the Ways to Welfare community support team at www.cumbria.gov.uk/welfare/support.asp They will talk to you about your individual circumstances and suggest the most appropriate course of action to help you resolve the situation.

Citizens Advice can also provide advice about what benefits you may be entitled to and how you can claim them. They can also help with accessing the additional support available to those in receipt of benefits, such as free school meals and support with bills, as well as offering advice on dealing with debt, and any housing problems you may be experiencing. You can contact them through their website: www.citizensadvicecumbria.org.uk.

National Debtline is a charity offering free, independent and confidential debt advice over the phone and online. For more details visit their website: www.nationaldebtline.org or call 0808 808 4000 There are web chat options, email options and advisors are available Monday to Friday from 9am to 8pm.

Cumbria Law Centre may be able to provide advice about employment, housing, debt and benefits. You can call them on 01228 515129 or email reception@cumbria-law.org.uk and you can find out more on their website: www.cumbrialawcentre.org.uk.

Feeling stressed and anxious?

Financial difficulties often cause stress and anxiety. It’s important to remember that it’s normal to feel this way and that help is available.

Togetherall is a service offering free online support to anyone aged 16 and over. To access their 24/7 service you’ll just need to register online with a Cumbrian postcode. Togetherall provides online support, access to an anonymous community and lots of information, as well as courses and resources covering a range of mental health and wellbeing topics, Find out more at: www.togetherall.com.

Kooth is an online service offering free, safe and anonymous support to young people aged 11 to 18. The online Kooth community is there to help you through your problems, big or small. Find out more at: www.kooth.com.

MindLine Cumbria offers support and guidance about mental health over the phone, via text or email.  They’ll listen to your concerns and help empower you to feel more in control of your own mental health, or to support someone else. Find out more at: www.mindlinecumbria.org.

If you need to talk to someone urgently the Samaritans are available 24/7 on 116 123 and at www.samaritans.org.

Worried about someone else?

It can be difficult to know the right thing to say or do – The Samaritans website has information which might help you to support friends and family. www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/if-youre-worried-about-someone-else.