Cost of Living support

If you need help and support accessing any of the services below – or you could do with our free advice, information and support – please contact us via the options below.

This page has information on:

– Financial/grant support

– Access to food and foodbanks

– Essentials such as clothing

– Mental Health support

– Domestic Abuse

Financial/Grant support

Household Support Fund

Wokingham Borough Council has a pot of money from Central Government to support individuals and families that are struggling with the cost of living crisis. This is limited to one award per household. 

To apply:

– IF your child receives means-tested Free School Meals please liaise with First Days Children’s Charity who are administering this support, through their online referral form, or call 0118 921 9338

– Apply on our online referral form, or call if you cannot fill this in online 0808 278 7958   

People of state pension age can also apply for a one-off food, fuel, or cash voucher by contacting AgeUK Berkshire on 0118 959 4242 or email or visit our online referral form above

Anyone else who is struggling to pay for food, energy bills and other household essentials is encouraged to come forward for help by contacting our One Front Door.

Wokingham Local Welfare Provision (LWP)

Wokingham Borough Council provide a financial assistance scheme to help people who are in a crisis or emergency situation where additional financial assistance would help prevent the crisis or emergency from escalating. 

Eligibility criteria:

To apply for Local Welfare Provision you must be at least 16 years old and

  • Be a resident of Wokingham Borough, or
  • Have been housed out of the area by us, or
  • Have moved to Wokingham Borough after leaving care or prison
  • Not have savings that can be relied upon to meet your needs
  • Not be excluded from applying for public funds on the basis of immigration status
  • Not have received a Local Welfare Provision award in the past 6 months, unless they can demonstrate significant exceptional need
  • Not have been refused a Local Welfare Provision award for the same need in the past 6 months, unless they can demonstrate exceptional circumstances
  • Be without sufficient resources which would in turn cause serious risk to your own, or your family’s health or safety or well-being
  • Not be eligible to receive or have received assistance for the requested funding or support from other public funds


  • You need essential help to become established, or to remain, in the community


  • You need essential help with an emergency (e.g. illness/emergency travel costs) 

Food provision

Foodbanks and food

Free School Meals can be applied for via Wokingham Borough Council – please click here to visit their website. The latest eligibility criteria for free school meals is available on the website here.

Wokingham Foodbank is a local charity, part of the Trussell Trust network, working to combat poverty and hunger across the Borough. They provide a minimum of three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support.

You can find out more about Wokingham Foodbank on their website – a referral is required for a food parcel, please use our advice services via the details at the top of this page to get a referral.

Woodley Foodbank is led by The Pilot Light Trust, operating at Woodley Baptist Church between 9.30-12.30 on weekdays. You can collect a parcel without a referral, or can call 07806658995 to request a delivery. More details available on their facebook page.

Share Wokingham offer a range of fresh produce including bread and vegetables which are either surplus stock or end of day items from local supermarkets. They operate across the week at a range of locations across Wokingham Borough. You can find out more details via their facebook page here. Their latest schedule is listed below.



Other support

The Cowshed are a local charity providing a range of support to people living in Wokingham and Berkshire. Support includes:

  • Adult clothing – providing roughly a weeks worth of clothing including new underwear and socks – they can also provide shoes, coats, workwear, suits, bedding, towels and toiletries
  • Children’s clothing –  a weeks worth of clothing, and can include coats, toys and books
  • Baby clothing – a weeks worth of clothing including new socks – they can also provide equipment such as cots, stairgates, prams, baby food nappies and more
  • School uniform – they can provide non-logo items and school schools, and will try to provide logo items where required
  • Noah boxes – this is a starter pack of brand new kitchen items suitable for people being emergency re-housed
  • Bras at The Cowshed – offering free bra fittings on a referral basis
  • Prom at The Cowshed – hiring out prom outfits, or for free if referred – can also include makeup, shoes, bag etc
  • Ukrainian Refugees – providing welcome packs including towels and toiletries
  • Christmas Project – can offer christmas gifts (a sack containing around 7 gifts)
  • Craft at The Cowshed – for anyone looking for a welcoming environment to learn a new skill

Referrals can be made at Citizens Advice Wokingham or via other professionals. You can find out more about The Cowshed on their website.

First Days are a local Children’s Charity. They currently offer:

  • Everything for a new baby – baby clothes from birth to 3 months, blankets, bouncy chairs and more
  • Safety out and about – prams, pushchairs and car seats available
  • Safety at home – stair gates, high chairs, toddler tables and chairs, bed guards
  • Safe sleeping – cribs, cotbeds, toddler beds and single beds – with a mattress, and bedding for children aged 0-18
  • Safe and clean – nappies size 0-7 with wipes and creams – toiletries for children and young people
  • Confidence at school: School uniforms and more – school uniforms for any school aged child or young person, winter coats, shoes and trainers, stationary, sports equipment and laptops for educational purpose

Please contact First Days to request support.

Mental Health

Mental Health Support

Mind in Berkshire provide the Wokingham Wellbeing Service – free one-to-one sessions to people who may be experiencing mental health issues or other social or lifestyle issues that are impacting on their wellbeing. The support provided aims to encourage and enable people to link in with local community support. It also helps people develop tools to increase their ability to manage their own wellbeing.

You can contact the service via Joy (click here), our adviceline or via your GP and you can find out more information about this service on the Mind website.

Speaking to your GP – your GP is a good port of call for any medical issues, including if you are struggling with your mental health. The national Mind website has a great section on preparing to speak to your GP.

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have a website page listing how to access mental health support from their services.

Samaritans are a helpline providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide. You can find out more about Samaritans on their website and can access their service by calling 116 123

Shout is the UK’s free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. You can get help by texting the word ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 you will start a conversation with a trained Shout Volunteer, who will text you back and forth, sharing only what you feel comfortable with. You can find out more on their website here.

Hub of Hope is a mental health database of medical and charity support available for a wide-range of mental health issues. Visit their website here.

Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse

Cranstoun deliver the Wokingham Domestic Abuse service, an integrated service for victims and children. You can find out more about the service on their leaflet here.

Contact details:

 0118 402 1921

Online referral form

Kaleidoscopic UK are a charitable organisation for survivors of domestic abuse in all its forms. They operate across England and Wales and was set up in Wokingham. They provide a support network, liberation programme, ‘fun with mum’ evenings, education and unity.

You can find out more about this great charity via their website