Essential Living Fund

If you are facing a financial crisis or emergency you may be able to get essential goods or food vouchers, but not cash, from us through the Essential Living Fund (ELF).

You must live in the district, and you can only apply to pay for anything that's not already covered by benefit entitlements.

The Essential Living Fund is a discretionary fund, which means you have no entitlement or statutory rights under this scheme and our decisions are final. It is a limited fund and so we prioritise the greatest needs of the most vulnerable people.

Help us to help you

We understand that if you are applying to the Essential Living Fund you may be going through difficult or upsetting times. However please understand that we're here to help you and you risk losing our support if:

  1. You won't discuss your circumstances when requested - we need to understand your situation
  2. You're aggressive or rude to us - we may ask you to leave the premises
  3. You aren’t in on the day we have arranged for items to be delivered to your home - you may not get a new delivery date and lose your goods.

If you disagree with our decision

We will explain our reasons to you, and provide alternative options wherever possible, but this support is at our discretion and there is no further right of appeal.


Please visit us in person at our customer service centre to apply.

You will need to have an interview with us to discuss your circumstances and work out the best support for you.

Our main aim is to help you become financially independent, so we may provide support to you directly or put you in contact with other agencies.