An open plan office, which serves as thew Hull City Council call centre. council leader Mike Ross stands behind a call handler, who is working at a screen with a headset on
Cllr Mike Ross visits the call centre

Thousands call council hotline to request cost of living support

A Council hotline dedicated to supporting people through the cost of living crisis has received more than 9,000 calls since launching in September. The crisis line is part of the council’s major package of support to help local people struggling with rising costs of energy, food and other essentials. People who call may receive advice, be put in touch with council services, connected with partners like Citizen’s Advice Bureau, or directed towards food provision or warm spaces.

The most common reason people called was around fuel costs, including being unable to pay bills or top up pre-payment meters. Other queries included:

  • Crisis payments
  • How to find and use food banks
  • Household support fund
  • Community support grants
  • Free school meal entitlement.

Cllr Mike Ross, leader of Hull City Council, said: “The fact that more than 9,000 people in Hull have needed help to get through these past few months is a damning indictment of the current situation we are facing nationally.

“Make no mistake – the cost of living crisis is a national problem and it needs a national solution from the Government.

“In the meantime, we have been clear since we first declared a cost of living crisis in the summer that we will do all we can to help local people cope.

“We worked quickly to set up the emergency helpline, ensure staff were trained and that calls could be appropriately prioritised. The average waiting time is only two minutes, despite a high number of calls – an average of 593 a week since December. This reflects the commitment across the council to pulling together to help support our local communities.

“When we launched our cost of living support package, we wanted to ensure there was no stigma for anyone who needed to ask us for help. The current situation is a national as well as a local problem and millions are affected. If there is anyone in Hull who needs support and hasn’t felt able to ask, these numbers show that you are not alone. Most importantly, there are organisations in the city, including the council, prepared to do all they can to help.

“While we cannot solve the wider issues responsible for people struggling, there are things we can do to ensure we get through this together”.

The support package launched in September included:

  • £15 per week food vouchers during school holidays for people who usually receive free school meals (FSM)
  • A £25,000 boost to local food banks, to help improve local food networks
  • A £25,000 fund to help create warm spaces – many are now operating throughout the city
  • A boost to a funding pot for those on low incomes to access a new boiler or improved insulation
  • Additional funding for the Warm Homes project
  • A one-off £100 payment to under-25s who are care leavers or receiving housing benefit or council tax support
  • £100,000 in tenancy support for those living in private rented and council homes.

Anyone who needs help or advice can call: 01482 300 303, or visit: Find your nearest warm space here:

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