Families that live on a low income in Wiltshire and that are threatened by a crisis can seek assistance from the Wiltshire County welfare programme. The scheme is run from four different offices across the region. If a resident if not eligible for a grant from the scheme, then referrals may be given to partner organisations such as Citizen Advice, a local charity, or the Department for Work and Pensions.
The welfare scheme was created by the council to help individuals that have no other options available to them. If someone is threatened by a lack of heat but they can’t enter into a payment plan, then the council may help with fuel bills using a pre-paid card. Food parcels can be offered to people facing hunger. Or if someone needs clothing, furniture, or just advice, then all of this can be provided as part of welfare in Wiltshire. It relies on government funding, so the scheme is limited.
The applicant needs to be local to Wiltshire and over the age of 18. They also can’t have any other resources available to them. So the council will only assist people that have first tried to get help from other local services.
Housing and Community Support needs in Wiltshire
This will help keep low income and vulnerable households, such as the disabled or households with older people, independent and living in their own home. Or the community support as part of the Wiltshire local welfare provision can help someone settle into their new residence.
What will be provided in these cases ranges from furniture from a local charity shop or recycling centre to counselling. This may be bedding or small appliances such as a fridge so the family can cook a meal for themselves.
As part of welfare, the council can refer residents to housing payment assistance. This can either help a tenant with paying a rent arrears or there are also service in Wiltshire for people that need to resettle into a new home or flat. Call the council for referrals, or locate other rent assistance schemes.
Emergency financial assistance
Residents threatened with a health or safety crisis can be given a pre-paid card to address the crisis. The council will only approve certain expenses to be paid, and if the card is not used for paying those bills, then legal action can be taken. Any financial aid from welfare is also as a last resort.
The card can be used to top off a heating or fuel meter. This will ensure that the electricity or gas stays on in the home and the resident is warm. The welfare scheme can also offer a client groceries or referral to a food bank in Wiltshire. At those not-for-profit sites the family can also access other support services for their needs, such as clothing and more.
Other expenses can also be paid by the card, at the discretion of the council. The local welfare scheme is aimed at assisting families that require immediate support to meet an urgent need. So if a Wiltshire resident falls into this category, they can always request support from the scheme.
Even if someone it not eligible for a welfare payment, then the team at the council will direct the person to another charity or not-for-profit organisation that can provide help. The four places to apply at, or for more information are the following.
- Monkton Park in Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 1ER.
- 27-29 Milford Street in the town of Salisbury
- 3-5 Crossmolina Buildings, Snuff Street, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1FG.
- County Hall, Bythesea Road, which is in Trowbridge.
Or people can ring the main number at 0300 003 4567. The team can provide more information on the welfare scheme.