Support coping with rising living costs

Stay warm and well this winter


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£  Money

Emergency grants

Benefits from Social Security Scotland

Find out about the benefits available and how to apply

  • Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment – one off payment of up to £642.35 from 24 weeks in pregnancy up until a baby turns 6 months for families who get certain benefits.
  • Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment – one off payment of £267.65 when a child is between two and three years and six months for families who get certain benefits.
  • Best Start Grant School Age Payment – one off payment of £267.65 when a child would normally start primary one for families who get certain benefits.
  • Best Start Foods – a pre-paid card from pregnancy up to when a child turns three for families on certain benefits to help buy healthy food.
  • Carer’s Allowance Supplement – an automatic payment made twice a year to people who get Carer’s Allowance through the DWP on certain dates each year.
  • Funeral Support Payment – money towards the costs of a funeral at a difficult time like this for people on certain benefits who are responsible for paying for a funeral.
  • Job Start Payment – £267.65 for 16 to 24 year olds who have been on certain benefits for six months or more to help with the costs of starting a job.
  • Young Carer Grant – an annual payment of more than £326.65 for people 16, 17 or 18 who care for people who get a disability benefit from the DWP for an average of 16 hours a week or more.
  • Child Winter Heating Assistance - a £214.10 payment to help families of a child on the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance for Children to heat their homes.
  • Scottish Child Payment - a new, unique to Scotland, benefit that will give qualifying parents and carers £80 every four weeks to help towards the costs of looking after each child under 6. It is planned to be fully rolled out to children under the age of 16 by the end of 2022.
  • Child Disability Payment - a payment providing extra money to help with the costs of caring for a child with a disability or ill-health condition. It replaces Disability Living Allowance for children in Scotland that was previously delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions.
  • Adult Disability Payment - a payment providing extra money to help people who have a long-term illness or a disability that affects their everyday life. It replaces Personal Independence Payment people in Scotland previously delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Help paying for childcare

Advice on benefits, housing, employment

A combined rent freeze and moratorium on evictions to help people through the cost crisis has been announced by the Scottish Government.

Read more about the rent freeze and other measures

Free bus travel

You could be eligible for free or discounted travel to get around Scotland if you are:

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is:

  • for students from low-income families, who are in full-time education after the statutory school leaving age.
  • for students attending full time and part time non-advanced college education
  • a means tested weekly allowance based on school attendance.

£30 per week, paid fortnightly into the student's bank account. Payments are only made when students have 100% weekly attendance.

Free school meals and clothing grants

We provide children from low income families with free school meals and money to help towards buying school clothes. Young people over the age of 16 staying on at school and living on their own can also apply.

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Fuel

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Food and clothes

If you cannot afford food: families with children 0-18

  • Dalkeith Storehouse - You must be referred - 0131 271 3414
  • Newbattle Storehouse -  You must be referred - 0131 271 3414
  • Penicuik North Kirk - You must be referred - 0131 271 3414

If you cannot afford food: all ages (food banks)

  • Gorebridge (Trussel Trust) – You must be referred, call - 0131 270 7500
    Gorebridge Church, Hunterfield Road.  Monday – Friday 10.00am-2.00pm
    07789 173 276 (referrers only)
     
  • Penicuik (Food Fact Friends) - You must be referred, call - 0131 270 7500
    Community Hub, 42 John Street, Penicuik. Monday and Friday 10.30am - 3.00pm
    07507 697109 foodfactsfriends@gmail.com (referrers only)
     
  • Community Food Pantry (MAEDT) – For residents of Mayfield and Easthouses.
    Sign up to become a member and then shop there for £3.50 a week, getting around £15 worth of groceries – 0131 663 5317
    14-15 Bogwood Road, Mayfield, EH22 5DG
     
  • Food Train – (age 65+) 0800 13 88 220 (FREE) - www.eatwellagewell.org.uk
    Monday, Wednesday & Thursday 9am-4pm - information and advice to stay well nourished.     

If you can afford food but need help to get it

  • Check if there are any online shopping slots or get someone to click and collect for you
  • Local business might be able to deliver
  • Call the Red Cross helpline 0808 196 3651. It's free and confidential and open 10am-6pm
  • Call the council 9am and 5pm Mondays to Thursdays and 9am and 3.30pm on Fridays: 0131 270 8894 
  • If you are unable to call the council or Red Cross email CLL@midlothian.gov.uk 
  • Twitter: @MidHelp (9am-5pm weekdays)  

For help with clothing:

  • Sweet Dignity is a local community recycling project providing clothing for all ages, home and baby goods.

 

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Housing

A combined rent freeze and moratorium on evictions to help people through the cost crisis has been announced by the Scottish Government.

Read more about the rent freeze and other measures

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Mental health

  • Breathing Space – 0800 83 85 87 (Free)
    Confidential support if you are feeling low, anxious, low or depressed.
  • Samaritans – 116 123 (Free)
    Confidential listening line if you need someone to talk to.
  • MYPAS (age 12 to 21) - 0131 454 0757 enquiries@mypas.co.uk
  • NHS Lothian Child/youth mental health
    Resources to help young people cope with such stress and uncertainty at this time
  • CAPS is an independent advocacy service for people with mental health and/or drug and alcohol issues                                                                                                                                                                                   

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Staying connected

Chatting with someone

  • Red Cross coronavirus helpline  0808 196 3651
    Friendship calls available 10am-6pm daily or help and advice about getting food and medication.
  • Red Cross Connecting With You: For over 18s if you are lonely call 03003033077 or email connecting-withyou@redcross.co.uk
  • Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland - 0808 801 0899
    Friendship calls and advice about conditions
  • The Silverline - (age 55 +) 0800 470 8090 (FREE) 
    Friendship calls and advice. 24 hours a day, every day.
  • Volunteer Midlothian
    Call 07859 914587 or info@volunteermidlothian.org.uk
     

Help to get online

  • Connect Online helps people over 50 with technology such as smartphones, tablets and laptop. With the help of volunteers it offers drop-in digital skills sessions and home visit tuition to people who are housebound or who are carers. For anyone without a device it has a digital device lending library which includes mobile wi-fi and sims for phones. 

You can drop into any of the sessions below: 

  • Penicuik, Food Fact Friends, Tuesdays 10.30-12 noon 
  • Dalkeith, St Mary’s Church, Tuesdays 2-3.30pm 
  • Loanhead Library, Wednesdays 11-12.30pm 
  • Rosewell Development Trust, Wednesdays, 1.30-3pm 
  • MAEDT Pantry, Mayfield, Thursdays 11-12.30pm 
  • Penicuik Library, Thursdays, 2-3.30pm 

For more info contact Una on 07856 573694 or email una@volunteermidlothian.org.uk

Staying connected in other ways

Services, groups and activities close to you

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Domestic abuse + sexual violence

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Help with Covid-19

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Sensory impairment

Practical and emotional support and help to stay connected

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Learning disability

  • Artlink
    Ideas for staying at home
     
  • SCLD
    Easy read information including Covid-19 and lockdown guides

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Dementia

  • Alzheimer Scotland - 0808 808 3000
    information, advice and support 24 hours a day, every day.

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Carers

  • Support for unpaid carers
    Information about local supports, PPE and testing
     
  • VOCAL Midlothian - 0131 663 6869 
    information, advice and one to one support

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LGBT+ community

All ages

Young people 

Adults

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Bereavement

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Coping with winter and bad weather

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For all health advice

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If all other options have been exhausted, or if you think someone is at risk of harm:

  • Children & Families on 0131 271 3413 (Emergency Out of Hours: 0800 731 6969) 
  • Adult Social Care on 0131 271 3900 (Emergency Out of Hours: 0800 731 6969)

 

This document can be made available in a variety of alternate formats and community languages on request.  If you would like more information about this or would like to request an alternative format or language, please contact: equalities@midlothian.gov.uk.