Cost of Living

Through the celebrations, the advocacy, remembering others, helping people, standing together and making our voices heard, the LGBT+ community in Perth & Kinross has come through time and again.

The Cost-of-Living crisis is having an impact on the majority of people across Scotland, and we feel that through all the messages going out, there is not much that truly speaks to the LGBT+ community.
For that reason, we’ve put together the following tips, advice and resources that can help you to understand the support that is available out there.

Budgeting Tips

We’ve been finding some useful tips and quick tricks you can do around the house and whilst out & about!

Keep coming back to check for more as we will keep adding to this as we go…

Tea for 3?

Have you got some friends coming over? When you're making a cup of tea, just pour enough water for the cups you need. Most kettles come with a marker on the side, or fill the cups with cold then transfer that into the kettle for the amount of cups you need. Always make sure you are above the 'minimum' line to avoid damaging your kettle.

Have you got some friends coming over? When you’re making a cup of tea, just pour enough water for the cups you need. Most kettles come with a marker on the side, or fill the cups with cold then transfer that into the kettle for the amount of cups you need.
Always make sure you are above the ‘minimum’ line to avoid damaging your kettle.

The Boiler Challenge

The Boiler Challenge is an initiative where you can make some simple adjustments to your boiler settings and it could save you a lot. Changing certain settings does not affect the performance of your boiler, and is different from adjusting your thermostat. Visit www.moneysavingboilerchallenge.com to find out more.

The Boiler Challenge is an initiative where you can make some simple adjustments to your boiler settings and it could save you a lot. Changing certain settings does not affect the performance of your boiler, and is different from adjusting your thermostat. Click below to find out more.

Off at the wall!

Leaving your microwave on standby means it still drawers a fair bit of electricity - over 2 weeks, it could drawer as much 1 showers worth of energy and costs even if not being used. Switch off the plug at the wall and it could save you a lot of money.

Leaving your microwave on standby means it still drawers a fair bit of electricity – over 2 weeks, it could drawer as much 1 showers worth of energy and costs even if not being used. Switch off the plug at the wall and it could save you a lot of money.

Dial it down a little

Dial down your thermostat - even by changing it a couple of degrees Celsius less can save you lots of energy and gas usage over time. It is also often hard to tell that it's been adjusted, so don't let anyone else around the house know and they probably won't notice.

You can adjust your thermostat by just a couple of degrees less, and often it is very hard to tell it’s changed. This can also save you lots of energy and gas use over time, and the true impact on your living will change very little, if at all.

Although the above tips are just simple hacks that may save you money in the longer-term, it may not be as noticeable immediately.
If you find yourself in difficulty with paying energy bills or are facing debt of any kind, there is support available out there.

Read below for more information about what help in available in Perth & Kinross.
For other areas, we suggest you visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau for signposting support – find your local branch by entering your postcode into the Citizens Advice Scotland website.

Worried About Money?

A number of organisations have come together to produce information on the different support available if you’re struggling to make ends meet.

We recommend you visit the Worrying About Money website and follow the steps for the ideal support that you can access. You can also get information for other localities on this site.
A digital copy of the Perth & Kinross leaflet is available to download below.

If you would prefer a printed copy of this leaflet, please contact us on support@heartlands.lgbt and we will get in touch to arrange this.

Financial assistance

The Worrying About Money step-by-step process offers you the ideal channels to find support.
We’ve also put together some of the key information about financial support available in Perth & Kinross.
Please note that this is adapted from the existing information available publicly, and we recommend speaking to the relevant agencies directly to receive the most up-to-date information.

Scottish Welfare Fund

The Scottish Welfare Fund offers Crisis Grants to cover the cost of an emergency.

These grants can come in two types of forms. Please find details of the criteria and the way in which these grants are provided.

Crisis Grant (CG)

  • Provides a safety net in an emergency where there is an immediate threat to health & safety
  • Does not have to be paid back
  • Support can be provided as resources (‘in kind’) or in the form of cash
  • Signposting of support to other organisations and bodies available
  • Available for those aged 16 or over within Perth & Kinross area
  • In receipt of low income (through a benefit or income equivalent to)
  • Not have savings, capital or other source of help
  • Not applying for an excluded item
  • Applications can be made up to 3 times a year (after 28 days each time, or in a key change of circumstances)

Community Care Grant (CCG)

  • Enables independent living preventing the need for institutional care
  • Does not have to be paid back
  • Support can be provided as resources (‘in kind’) or in the form of cash
  • Signposting of support to other organisations and bodies available
  • Available for those aged 16 or over within Perth & Kinross area
  • In receipt of low income (through a benefit or income equivalent to)
  • Not have savings or capital in excess of £700 (£1200 if above state retirement pension age)
  • Costs of goods, services, delivery and installation provided, where required
  • Cash awards can be made under certain circumstances (e.g. items not available via. suppliers)

For more information and to make an application, visit Perth & Kinross Council’s website – online applications or paper applications available.
You can also call Scottish Welfare Fund on 01738 476900 (Option 2).

Welfare Rights & Benefits

Welfare Rights provide free, confidential and impartial benefits advice, information and appeal representation.
They can carry out a full benefits check with you to ensure that are accessing all the money that you’re entitled to, especially if your circumstances have changed recently.
There are a further couple of funds available should you be in a difficult situation with money, and it is worth speaking with an advisor even if you know that you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to or in receipt of a low-income.

Financial Insecurity Fund

  • Provides a fund to help cover the impacts of the Cost-of-Living
  • Can be used to cover priority debts such as gas and electricity, Council Tax, rent arrears*, broadband debt
  • If you are having difficulty meeting the essential costs of children under 2-years or of a child any age with a health problem
  • If you face additional costs as a result of living rurally
  • For resolving school dinner, music tuition and/or kids club debt
  • Debt would need to be evidenced wherever possible
  • Evidence that you are receiving certain benefits may also need to be proven
  • Where living rurally, evidence of your address may be needed

*PKC Housing Tenants should apply to the Tenancy Sustainment Fund if they are having issues with paying rent

Tenancy Sustainment Fund
(PKC Housing tenants)

  • For those not able to claim a Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction, but are in Rent Arrears with PKC Housing
  • Recommended to discuss matters with the PKC Housing Locality Team directly first
  • Tenants can phone 01738 476000 (Option 2) or texting MONEY to 62277
  • The housing team will determine whether they would quality for help through this fund
Leigh from PKC Housing shares the support available and how to access help for rent arrears, energy advice and other bills

To find out more and apply to these funds, click the links below.

You can contact the Welfare Rights team for further discussion by emailing WelfareRights@PKC.gov.uk or calling 01738 476900.

Other support & advice

It isn’t always easy to talk about financial troubles, especially with those that you directly owe money to, but also with family, friends and partners. Below are a few impartial and confidential services that can help talk you through the options available, and make the first steps towards dealing with debt, or overcoming anxiety around money.

You can also find other community groups and support on our Community pages.

Citizens Advice Bureau
Free, impartial and confidential advice on issues such as benefits, debt, money, housing and employment
Website: www.perthcab.org.uk
Phone: 0808 196 9440
Email: advice@perthcab.org.uk

Turn2Us
Information & financial support, with lots of useful online resources to explore relevant support for the situation you might be in.
Website: www.turn2us.org.uk
Phone: 0808 802 2000
Benefits Calculator: benefits-calculator-2.turn2.us.org.uk

Breathing Space
Confidential phoneline for anyone feeling low, anxious or depressed.
Website: breathingspace.scot
Phone: 0800 838 587

We are partnered with Perth & Kinross Foodbank to be able to provide referrals and E-vouchers. Please contact support@heartlands.lgbt for more information.

Want some further help?

Rainbow Heartlands is offering free advisory support to enable people to explore their options. We recognise it’s difficult to know where to start, especially in the current climate, and we want to help – we keep what you share discreet and we don’t make any judgement based on what you share with us.

If you would like some help figuring out your next steps, get in contact with us and we can arrange a chat either in person or over the phone.
Email support@heartlands.lgbt to get started.