Urgent Telephone Weekends : 01233 331111

Support from other agencies, community groups and charities

Ashford Youth Hub – supporting young people and their families

Ashford Youth Hub, Mabledon Avenue provides a safe, warm space for young people aged 8-19 (up to 25 with SEND) with trained, dedicated youth workers to listen and support them. The youth hub also supports the whole family - they are able to distribute food parcels, for families with children living at home. To request a parcel, contact them on 03000 417567.

If you need advice or support around parenting, making an Early Help referral, children or young people with SEND, Domestic Abuse – please contact them to request a ‘District Conversation’ by emailing AshfordEarlyHelp@kent.gov.uk.

Ashford Children’s Centres work in a similar way but supporting families with children up to age 7.

Their buildings are welcoming and warm, and they are hoping to offer even more ways to support local families through the ‘cost of living’ crisis. Keep in touch with the Youth Hub and Children’s Centres to find out more.

Ashford Volunteer Centre is here to help

Many voluntary organisations in the borough have a shortage of volunteers so they can't help as many people as they would like to. If people want to volunteer, they can:

If voluntary organisations are struggling with the cost of living they should get in touch with AVC who can support them. Visit the Ashford Volunteer Centre website or call their helpline on 0808 802 8080.

Carers' Support East Kent

Carers’ Support East Kent is a charity that provides Carers with the information and support they need. Their services are available to people who look after a relative or friend, who due to physical or mental illness, age related difficulties, disability, or an addiction, cannot manage without their support. Visit Carers' Support East Kent website.

Disability Assist

Provides services that are developed and shaped by people with lived experience of disability.

  • Information, guidance, and advice
  • Peer support
  • Advocacy
  • Benefits support

Visit the Disability Assist website or call 01233 633187.

Free School Meals

If your child is under 19 and in full-time education, and you receive certain benefits, you may be able to get free school meals for them. Check eligibility and apply online.

Healthy Start Food Vouchers

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk. Find out how to apply.

Pet owner struggling to cope?

If you're a pet owner who's struggling to cope with the cost of food or healthcare the RSPCA has put together some advice and support.

Use the interactive map to find a food bank providing pet food near you

It can be stressful when your pet is unwell and if you're also worried about money this can make the situation feel worse. The longer your pet is unwell the worse their illness can become. Seeking advice quickly will likely reduce costs overall and be best for your pet's health.

Veterinary Financial Assistance In Your Local Area | RSPCA

Eight tips to save money while still caring for your pet

Getting a pet will bring loads of joy, but before committing you should know that costs can vary - a lot. So the RSPCA has created this calculator to help you prepare.

Pet Cost Calculator | RSPCA

Royal British Legion Grant

The Royal British Legion has launched a grant scheme for veterans and their families who are struggling to pay their energy bills. The initiative will provide non-repayable emergency grants of up to £2,400 a year (£200 a month) and is available across the UK. Visit the Royal British Legion site to check eligibility.

Help with your TV Licence

The Simple Payment Plan was created for those in financial difficulty.

Qualifying customers can choose from either a fortnightly or monthly payment plan that spreads the cost of a TV Licence over 12 months, this means you make smaller payments more frequently, helping you to better manage your finances.

TV Licensing accepts referrals to the Simple Payment Plan from not-for-profit organisations such as charities or your local authority money advice department. It cannot accept referrals from commercial organisations.

If you would like to speak to someone about your finances, you can contact your local authority debt advice team or there are many not-for-profit organisations offering free, confidential and independent advice. Any not-for-profit organisation providing this service can refer you to us to join the Simple Payment Plan. More information on the simple payment plan and how to access it can be found on the TV Licensing website.

There are other TV licence concessions, which you might be eligible for depending on your circumstances. There are concessions available for:

Kent Libraries

Kent Libraries are providing warm welcome spaces this autumn and winter. They offer comfortable spaces, free offers, services and work with partner organisations and community groups. Visit the Kent Libraries Cost of Living Support webpage.

Riverside Warm Space

The Riverside Centre, part of Gateway Church, is offering a warm space on Mondays to Fridays from 9.30am to 3.30pm. The lounge is open to all with sofas, TV, games and free refreshments. The Riverside Centre, Ashford TN23 4YN.

Visit their website - Riverside Centre Ashford.

Chew the Fat…

“It isn't a counselling service and no advice is given, but what we do well is listen. There’s no judgement, it is confidential to those in the room, it is free and no pre-booking required. There is a lot of laughter too.”

That’s how Pete Bailey describes Chew the Fat, a group to help men chat that he started in February.

“I started it as I have personally had anxiety for years. I never had an outlet to talk openly about it and felt embarrassed. Then from listening to workmates, in a male-dominated environment and hearing their stories, I realised that many men feel the same but felt ashamed to admit it.

“Nearly 200 men have attended, with 35 being regular members. I understand it’s not for everyone, but come and check it out. You can talk about how you feel, what is happening in your life or just sit and listen. The hardest part is walking through the door but a warm welcome and cuppa awaits on the other side.”

Chew the fat meets every Wednesday, 7-9pm, at Repton Connect Community Centre. Email chewthefatkent@gmail.com or search Chew The Fat on Facebook.

Offers from Retailers

Please check with each retailer that this offer is available prior to purchase.

Asda Cafe - Kids eat for £1. No minimum spend required.

Co-Op - Timing of discounts vary by store. Items which expire that day tend to have a 50% discount. You have to wait until 8pm for 75% discounts.

Dobbies Garden Centre - Kids can eat for free at Dobbies with every adult main purchased. This includes the kid’s lunch menu or pick ‘n’ mix’ meal, plus a drink. Available daily from 12 noon.

Dunelm Pausa Cafe - Kids eat 'free' when an adult spends £4 in their café. Valid on weekdays only.

M&S - Final reductions are often 30 minutes to an hour before closing.

Timpson - Free dry cleaning for an interview outfit. For the unemployed only.