Cost of Living Crisis: Resources to Help Young People Across GM

Date: October 4, 2022
Categories: 11-15 | 16-18 | 19-24 | 24+ | Featured | Guides

The cost of living crisis is affecting everybody. People are worried about the rising costs of things like energy, food, and transport. Young people are among the most affected by the crisis, with the economy having a big impact on job prospects and the cost of studying. Plus, young people are vulnerable to things like rent increases and the price of petrol or transport going up.

If you’re worried about the cost of living crisis, the first thing to remember is that you can access lots of support and advice to help. In this article, we’ll cover some of the best places you can look to find the support you need.

This could mean things like direct financial support and advice on how to reduce your spending. It may also include things like mental health and wellbeing support.

Some of this support is aimed at young people who have moved out and are already paying bills. Some of it is targeted to students and those on fixed incomes. Some of it is aimed at those in school or college who may still need support.

Read through the resources and remember that you can always speak to your school, college, university or parent or guardian if you need further help. Alternatively, you can access a range of support services like the GOV.UK cost of living campaign, Citizens Advice or Shelter.

Also, you can look on the opportunities and events sections on GMACS – these have a range of further resources aimed at helping you get into work or study.

GMCA Helping Hand

There is a programme of support in place from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, featuring advice and support for everyone living and working in Greater Manchester.

Read these resources by clicking the button below.

Get support from your local council

Your local council can help you with a range of issues, from financial support to wellbeing. They can also offer, or direct you to, advice on a huge number of topics including housing, benefits, bills, money management.

Your local council will also have details on any local schemes or charities that you could access, or where you could volunteer your time to help others. This may include foodbanks, shelters, or places where you can access direct financial support.

Click the relevant button below to visit your local council website:

Get support from the national Government

The Government has put measures in place to support people with the cost of living crisis. This includes things like energy bill rebates, benefits advice, and free childcare support. These are national schemes, and you may need to prove your eligibility to access them.

Get advice and support from a national charity

There are also national charities and services that can help you with support and advice. You can read through some of their advice pages with information that could help you with the cost of living below.

Advice and support for students

We know that lots of students are particularly worried about the cost of living crisis. Maintenance loans and other types of financial support haven’t increased in line with inflation. This means that many students are facing a shortfall in their finances that they have to make up.

There have been calls to increase the amount of maintenance loan for university students, so keep an eye on the news over the next few months for any updates.

If you’re struggling with money at university, college or during an apprenticeship or other course, the best thing to do is to speak to your institution. They may have hardship funds or bursaries that you can access. Or they may be able to offer you advice and further guidance on who else to speak to. Universities will generally have hardship funds that students can access if they need financial support.

You could also speak to your student’s union or relevant student’s union officer. They may be able to offer you advice on what to do and how to go about speaking to people to access further help. Also, your student’s union may have lists of local organisations in the community that could help you.

Help getting into work or boosting your skills

If you’d like help to get a new job or improve your skills, your local council may have support that can help you.

GMCA offer GM-wide programmes that you could access to boost your skills. Find out more about these below.

Help with your energy bills

The increase in energy bills is one of the main drivers of the cost of living crisis. Understandably, young people across GM are worried about the impact their energy bills will have on their finances.

For help, read the Government page on what they’re doing to fix energy prices from October. There’s also a £400 Energy Bill Discount scheme that should be automatically applied to your bills.

If you rent a house with bills included, the Government have recently announced that they will be bringing in legislation to ensure this discount is passed on to you. However, there are no details on when this will come into force. If you’re worried about how your landlord is treating you with energy bills, you can speak to Citizens Advice. Read their guidance page below.

If you’re looking for help reducing your energy usage, you can read advice and guidance from the Energy Saving Trust or National Energy Action.

Support with childcare

If you’ve got children, you may be entitled to help with childcare costs. There are different schemes you could be eligible for.

If your child is 2 years old, you may be eligible for up to 15 hours of free childcare per week. This is administered by each council across GM. Click below for details of what’s available in your area.

There is also other help available with childcare from the Government. You may be able to claim tax-free childcare, additional free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds, tax credits for childcare, or Universal Credit for childcare.

Help with travel and transport

If you need help paying for travel across GM, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), GMCA, and local authorities have a range of schemes that could help.

Firstly, bus fares across the city-region have just been reworked to make them far simpler and clearer. Find out more about these changes below.

If you’re under 18, you could get free or discounted travel on buses and trams across GM, with either the igo card or the Our Pass scheme.

There are also a range of other concessionary and discount schemes available through TfGM, including supporting people with disabilities and care leavers.

Affording and accessing food

If you need help affording food, there are lots of foodbanks, food projects and community cafes across Greater Manchester that could help you. Details of these projects are available on your local council website.

Need to get online?

If you need help accessing the internet, whether for work, study or any other reason, there are a range of schemes available across Greater Manchester and nationwide.

Get Online Greater Manchester brings together all the support you can access into one easy place. Read through the pages for your local area and nationwide for details on what support is in place to help you.

Support with your mental health

If your mental health is being affected by the cost of living crisis, or you’re just looking for some extra support, check out the resources below to find something that could help you.