The Cost of Living Crisis

A woman looking worried against a backdrop of the Bristol suspension bridge with cartoon pounds around her head

Support for the cost-of-Living Crisis in Bristol

The cost-of-living crisis is causing difficulties for lots of people right now with the price of everyday items rising. We’ve put together a list of places you can get help in Bristol, including financial grants, advice or just someone to chat things through with. It's important that we talk openly about issues like debt, money worries and mental health to let people know that these issues are common and that it's okay to ask for help.

What effect do money worries have on wellbeing?

Research from Money and Mental health Institute tells us that people who have mental health problems are more likely to be struggling with money. Having poor mental health might make it harder to earn enough money to pay for everyday things, or mean you need to rely on benefits like Universal Credit which might not cover the cost of living. It can also make trying to manage your money feel overwhelming, and some symptoms can make it harder to control your spending.

On top of this, dealing with financial problems can make your mental health and wellbeing worse. For example, you might not have enough money to do the things you used to enjoy, like seeing friends and family, or you might not be able to afford the things you need to stay well like food, medication or housing. This can all take a toll on your mental health. We recommend Mind’s money and mental health guide which has lots more information on this topic. We have also produced a money and mental health booklet which includes advice and support in Bristol. Get in touch with us at if you would like some paper copies for your community or voluntary group.

Poor mental health means managing money is harder and an arrow pointing to worrying about money makes mental health worse pointing to the previous so they form a circle

Source: Mind, Money and Mental Health

Financial Support - Emergency Payments

Bristol City Council has made some money available to help with everyday costs like buying food, school uniforms and bills.

You can apply on a computer. If you don’t have access to one or are struggling to fill in the form, the advice centres lower down this page will be able to help.

Emergency payments are one off awards of supermarket vouchers that can be used to buy food, clothing and other essentials. You can use this money to buy school uniforms.

You won't have to pay anything back.

You can apply if you:

  • live within the Bristol City Council area
  • have a one-off financial crisis, that means you have no money for food such as your benefits not being paid or losing your job
  • have no other means of support through family, friends or donations

More information on how to apply for an emergency payment.

Help with bills and living costs

Citizens Advice have put together a list of grants and benefits to help you pay your bills if you are struggling.

Did you know millions of people are missing out on getting the benefits they are entitled to? Turn2Us benefit calculator helps you check that you are getting the benefits support you are eligible for.

Urgent support and Food Banks

North Bristol Advice Centre has created a guide to getting urgent support in Bristol. For example, if you can’t afford to buy food, or pay for basics like gas, electricity or other bills. Visit our useful information page for the details of urgent wellbeing support on a range of issues.

The Trussell Trust have a list of ways you can access their or other local foodbanks. Alternatively, you can call Bristol City Council on 0117 922 4500 Monday to Friday 9am to 12 Noon.

Advice Organisations

These organisations give free advice on money, housing problems, getting the benefits you are entitled to and much more. You can phone, email or make an in-person appointment to speak to them. They will be able to provide translators.

Bristol Citizens Advice

Debt, housing, money, employment, legal and benefits advice.

0808 278 7957 or

Centre for Sustainable Energy

Advice on saving money on energy bills and heating your home.

0800 082 2234 or


Free, independent, and confidential support to anyone in and around Bristol with housing issues.

0117 935 1260 or

Filwood Hope

Providing debt, benefit, housing advice, advice for older people and advice on employment issues.

07712 661 241 or

North Bristol Advice Centre

Local advice and support on money, debt, employment and benefits advice.

0117 951 5751

South Bristol Advice Service

An independent charity giving free, confidential and impartial advice on Debt, Financial Capability and Welfare Benefits matters or 0117 903 8358


National Charity offering free, confidential debt advice.

0800 138 1111

St Pauls Advice Centre

Advice on immigration, money worries, employment, housing and welfare and benefits.

0117 955 2981 or

Talking Money

Advice on debt and money worries.

0117 954 3990 or

Turn2Us Advice Finder

Find an Adviser tool which allows you to search for sources of information and advice on benefits, housing, jobs, legal issues and practical help.

Welfare Rights and Money Advice Service (WRAMAS)

The Welfare Rights and Money Advice Service (WRAMAS) provides advice, consultancy, information and training, to a range of clients, services and organisations in Bristol.

0117 35 21888 or works in partnership to combat poverty and social justice by improving the quality & provision of free, independent advice across the South West.

Your community centres can provide a support on a range of issues including welfare and money advice, wellbeing support and social activities. Contact them below.

Wellspring Centre – or 0117 304 1400

Knowle West Health Park - or 117 3772255

Southmead Development Trust or 0117 950 3335