Household Support Fund

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The Household Support Fund (HSF) has been provided by the Department for Work and Pensions to deliver support to Hartlepool’s most vulnerable households.

The grant is to support low income and vulnerable households who may be struggling with their energy and food costs, or who need other essential household items. Funding covers the period between 1st April 2024 to 30th September 2024 and is in addition to our Holiday Activities Programme that runs during the main school holidays. Click here for more information about the holiday activities programme.

The HSF offers discretionary support rather than being a legal entitlement. This means that awards are subject to the scheme having available/remaining funding and to any local criteria that is set as agreed by ward councillors.

The majority of HSF is targeted at children and pensioners in low income households.  A significant amount of the funding is allocated to these two groups in the form of shopping vouchers for food/ essentials or in some cases as a bank payment.  The rest of the money has been allocated to the council’s existing Welfare Support Fund and to partner organisations which include local charities and voluntary groups.

How the funding is being used subject to confirmation of grant funding from DWP.

Shopping vouchers for eligible low income children

In the Spring of 2024 shopping vouchers valued at £60 per child will be given to eligible children and young people in receipt of free school meals and/ or pupil premium due to their low income. You do not need to apply for this, vouchers will be issued automatically via your child’s education establishment. 

Shopping vouchers or cash for eligible low income pensioners

In the Spring of 2024 shopping vouchers or cash payments into bank accounts valued at £60 per eligible low income pensioner will be made. Eligibility is based on Local Council Tax Support data.  You do not need to apply for this, vouchers or payments will be issued automatically.  If we have your bank details you can expect a payment from the Household Support Fund in May.  If we do not have your bank details, a shopping voucher will be posted to your home address.  Any queries contact

Third Party Payments

The Council has also used its HSF allocation to provide funding to a number of voluntary and charitable sector organisations working with local communities:

  • Hartlepool Foodbank - to buy food to make up emergency food parcels.  Contact Welfare Support on 01429 806895 or
  • Citizens Advice - to provide energy top-ups and payments. Contact 01429 408401.  
  • Advice @ Hart - to provide energy top-ups, energy equipment essentials. Contact 01429 748010. 
  • West View Advice and Resource Centre - to provide household essentials. Contact 01429 271294.

Welfare and Housing Support 

The council’s existing Welfare Support Service will offer support to provide help to residents in need of household goods. Contact Welfare Support on 01429 806895 or .

Do I need to apply for HSF?

Low income children and pensioners will receive their shopping vouchers or payments, there is no need to apply. In all other cases, you need to contact the third party provider most suited to your needs (please see list above). Contact details for organisations that are there to help residents are above.

Still need help? If you are not able to be supported through HSF you can consider contacting the council’s Welfare Support Service. Contact 01429 806895 or

Information on where to get help with your money, including family finances, food and household bills, housing, benefits and debt can be found on our Hardship Advice and Support for Residents | Hardship Advice and Support for Residents | Hartlepool Borough Council page.

Other cost of living support

HSF is a small part of the overall support that the Government is providing to households. Further information on the support available to help you with the cost of living, including income and disability benefits, bills and allowances, childcare, housing and travel can be found on the Government's cost of living hub Cost of living support.

Detailed eligibility requirements for the Cost of Living Payments from DWP can be found at Cost of Living Payments 2023 to 2024.