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At a glance: How charities can help you with unexpected bills.
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This summary is not relevant in England and Wales
For a version of this summary that covers England and Wales, please click here.

What types of help can I get?

Charities might be able to offer you help, depending on their purpose and resources. This includes:  

  • financial aid eg. money to pay for an essential item or to clear an energy debt. 
  • Goods eg. a voucher.  
  • Services eg. a holiday for a disabled person or carer. 

Who can get help

All charities have purposes, which say what they do and who they can help. You might get help from charities if you are: 

  • Facing unexpected debts or family changes like a new child. 
  • Dealing with illness or disability. 
  • Needing help to set up a new home. 

How to find charitable help

Benevolent funds

Benevolent funds are charities that help people in difficult times. Many are for people who work (or have worked) in a particular industry or organisation. For example, if you are a nurse, you could search for their benevolent fund on the website. Partners and children can usually get help too. 

How do I apply for help?

Ask the charity or benevolent fund how you should apply. They will have their own application process. This usually includes filling in forms and giving information about your situation. Some charities may say you need somebody to apply for you. This is usually somebody like a doctor or social worker.

Learn more about this topic

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can read our in-depth guide.

Read in-depth-guide

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