With the rising cost of living, making your money go further is becoming an increasing challenge, with some of us finding it harder than ever to cover the costs of energy bills, childcare, petrol, and the weekly shop.
When you’re facing money worries, it can feel overwhelming, taking a toll on your physical and mental health.
But you’re not alone and you can access help.
Here you’ll find practical advice to help you manage your finances with more confidence, with access to the right support when you need it.
Getting help with your finances
If you need somewhere to turn to help you get your finances in order, there are lots of organisations and advisory services out there to help you get started.
The MoneyHelper Service
- MoneyHelper offer support to help you manage your finances at home, which offers a dedicated free NHS staff telephone support line.
- 0800 448 0826 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)
- WhatsApp +44 07701 342 744
- Webchat their online portal: https://webchat.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/newchat/chat.aspx?domain=people.nhs.uk
- MoneyHelper also have a range of tools and resources you can use to help with things like budget planning, debt advice, benefits, and help with scams.
Free Debt Advice
Pre-retirement Course for Retirement Planning
Understanding Pension Changes
Money Saving Expert
- Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis shares his Money Tips and the latest financial advice, including cost of living crisis help
Citizens Advice Bureau
- Citizens Advice Bureau can help you resolve any issues you are having, including benefits, employment, housing and many more.
- 01623 203080
- Outreach at King's Mill Hospital last Tuesday of the month
Step Change Debt Charity
- Free debt advice and help
- 0800 138 1111
The Debt Respite Scheme
- The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space) is a statutory debt respite scheme that provides protections for people who are resident in England and Wales and are in problem debt.
Cost of Living Directory from Ashfield Voluntary Action and Ashfield District Council
Ashfield Voluntary Action and Ashfield District Council have been working together to bring you a Directory of support services to help you to navigate your way through the Cost-of-Living crisis.
The information in the Directory is helpfully arranged in sections by subject so that anyone can access the information easily.
- For advice on money, bills and debt
Benefit Eligibility Tool
National Debt line
- 0808 808 4000
Debt Advice Foundation
- 0800 043 40 50
Grants and help with costs
- Colleagues working a bank shift can access some of their pay earlier than pay day.
With Salary Finance, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust colleagues have access to a range of financial benefits. They offer loans with more affordable rates, deducted directly from your salary, which means higher rates of acceptance, even if your credit history isn’t perfect. Visit Salary Finance
Cavell Nurses’ Trust
- Help nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, both working and retired, when they’re suffering personal or financial hardship. This is often due to illness, disability, older age, domestic abuse and the impact of rising living costs.
- 01527 595 999
- Support to access welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help. Their website includes a benefits calculator, grants search database, information on welfare benefits, charitable grants and managing money
Getting help with pet healthcare costs
- 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.
- The RSPCA have produced guidance on how to manage the costs and what you can do to keep them down
Call free 24/7, 365 days a year 0808 8020 133
Talking about stress relating to your finances
Have a Wellbeing Conversation
- If you’re struggling and its causing you anxiety and worry please do not suffer in silence. The Trust is here to support you, to listen to your concerns and worries through a wellbeing conversation, but also to support to know where you can get further help.
Spiritual and Pastoral Care Service
- This is a confidential service for all staff across the Trust from all faiths or no faith.
- You can either pop by to the Faith Centre (Kings Mill) or Chapel (Newark) or call or email to book in a time to see one of the team.
- They can provide initial pastoral support and signpost you to help find the most appropriate support services, depending on your needs. In some situations, they can also refer you directly and put you in contact with the relevant services.
- The service can also provide a named member of the team that you can contact directly. This will usually be by arrangement with your line manager and might be especially helpful for any staff who are experiencing difficult and sensitive circumstances.
- This service can also be accessed by staff who are absent from work for any reason.
- Please contact the team on extension 3047 or 5643.
VIVUP Employee Assistance Programme
- VIVUP can support with financial wellbeing, through offering advice, supporting you with money related stress and offers many benefits.
- 03303 800 658 (24hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year)
Nottinghamshire Staff Support Hub
- Free and confidential service for all staff across the Health and Social Care System
- 0808 196 8886 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
Stopping smoking can save you £100s-£1000s pounds a year and there is free treatment (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) call ext. 6066 or visit Support in Your Area - Mansfield and Ashfield (yourhealthnotts.co.uk)
Reducing alcohol can of course help you save money but also benefit your health too. Try the free unit and calorie counter to see where you can save.
or for Free Drug and Alcohol Support see: Nottinghamshire | Change Grow Live
Helping you find NHS Staff Deals and Discounts
There are a range of discounts available to NHS staff, whether it’s at restaurants, cinemas, clothes shops or toy shops, you can often find there are offers available at both local shops and national chains.
NHS staff can sign up with the below providers to access the discounts:
- VIVUP benefits: https://www.vivupbenefits.co.uk/benefit/employee-assistance-program/
- NHS Discounts & Healthcare Staff Benefits: https://healthservicediscounts.com/
- Blue Light Card: https://www.bluelightcard.co.uk/about_blue_light_card.php
- NHS Discount Offers: https://www.nhsdiscountoffers.co.uk/
- Health Staff Discounts: https://www.healthstaffdiscounts.co.uk/
- McDonalds continue to offer NHS staff 20% off meals when ordering through the app. Simply download the My McDonalds app and sign up with your NHS email.
- Pets at Home offer NHS staff 10% off in store just show your NHS ID card.
- EE Mobile - 20% off monthly bills, sign up to the EE perks package and confirm you are an NHS member.
- Nandos Restaurants - 20% off orders up to £20. Simply log in (or create) a Nando’s account and add your NHS email address.
- Superdrug offer NHS staff 10% off in store, just show your NHS ID card
- Cafés and restaurants on all of our 3 hospital sites offer a staff discount of 20% just show your NHS staff card.
Getting help with childcare costs
Tax free childcare
- Tax Free Childcare is a government scheme offering up to £2,000 a year per child (the government will pay £2 for every £8 you pay in up to the £2K limit) to help with the costs of childcare. The money can go towards a whole range of regulated childcare, whether nurseries, childminders, after-school clubs, or holiday clubs.
- Find out more, check your childcare calculations, and how to apply on the Childcare Choices website: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/
- This can be used in addition to your 15 or 30 hours funded hours for children aged 2-4.
- This can be used for children up to the age of 12 years old.
Healthcare Workers Foundation
- The Healthcare Workers Foundation provide financial support for child-care related costs through grants of up to a total of £1,000 annually.
- Use your NHS email to register for a free account and find out more about childcare grants here: https://healthcareworkersfoundation.org/healthchain/login
- If you are bringing up a child, there may be benefits, grants or other financial support available to you.
30 hours free childcare
- You will be able to get 30 hours free childcare each week if:
- You live in England
- Your child is 3 to 4 years old
- You’re in work, on sick leave, annual leave or on shared parental, maternity, paternity, or adoption leave
- Visit: https://www.gov.uk/30-hours-free-childcare
Free childcare places for the school holidays
- If your child is aged between 5-16 years old and in receipt of benefits related free school meals and you are trying to access holiday programmes, all you will need to do is book a place and self-declare that your children are in receipt of free school meals.
- You can book here by using the postcode search facility: https://bit.ly/3caFF9V
Getting help with travelling to work
From fuel costs and insurance to repairs and maintenance, running a car can be very expensive. If you’re struggling to keep up with car related costs, here is some information that may help.
Fuel price comparison sites
- You can find the cheapest petrol and diesel prices nearest to you on the following websites:
- If your car is in need of an MOT, you will find a useful guide to cheaper MOTs here:
Lease car scheme
- An opportunity to lease a brand-new vehicle at a lower price than the market.
- Leased cars include maintenance, insurance, road fund licence and UK breakdown cover
- Visit: https://www.vivupbenefits.co.uk/
NOTE to consider when taking out salary linked schemes:
- List prices offered by partners like VIVUP may not necessarily be the best. You would be wise to check prices elsewhere, particularly if there are sales or discounts on the goods from other retailers.
- Paying for things from your salary may be a convenient way to borrow money, but you might find that you overpaid for the goods and would have been better using other forms of cheap or free credit.
- If you leave employment before paying for stuff, you might still owe lots of money and find yourself without any pay for a month or two…*
- Mortgage applications may be based on your salary after reductions, meaning you are permitted to borrow less, or have to pay more to borrow the same amount.
- For electronics and household goods you will not save on income tax or NI
- For things like childcare or cycle to work schemes you can make good savings by paying for things from your salary before income tax and national insurance is deducted, making them cheaper overall.
- It can reduce your “pensionable pay” so reduces your career average earnings that determine your future pension.
- It may reduce the value of maternity, paternity or sick pay, or death benefits.
Cycle to work scheme
- The Trust has a cycle to work scheme with VIVIUP, you can access this using their web page.
- The Cycle to Work scheme enables you to enjoy tax free bikes and accessories for your commute to work, helping you save up to 42% on the latest cycling equipment.
- Register via the website to find out more: https://www.vivupbenefits.co.uk/
Travel pass scheme
- We are now offering access to discount Stagecoach bus passes that you can pay for on a monthly basis with deductions being made from net salary.
- Trent Barton offer discounts for passes paid via direct Debit
- For more information e-mail: email@example.com
Getting Help with the expenses of work
There are some expenses that you can claim via the tax office. For details on how to register for them simply via a phonecall to the local tax office see:
Getting help with feeding your family
- Company Shop offers surplus products from well-known brands at massively discounted prices, helping stretched budgets go further.
- Leicester - Unit 5, Leicester Business Park, Leicester, LE3 1UT
- Long Eaton (Nottingham) - Unit 1, Westgate Retail Park, Long Eaton, NG10 1EQ
- Wentworth (Barnsley) - Wentworth Way, Wentworth Industrial Estate, Tankersley, S75 3DH,
- Membership is free to NHS employees, volunteers, pension recipients of the NHS, emergency services staff, prison service staff, and the British Armed Forces.
- Visit the website to apply for a membership: companyshopgroup.co.uk
- Through VIVUP you can buy discounted eGift cards from many UK’s major supermarkets
Healthy start 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.
Too Good to Go App
- The Too Good to Go app helps to reduce food waste and save you money at the same time by buying ‘end of the day’ food from local cafés, bakeries and restaurants which have leftover, and lets you buy it at a discounted rate.
- You can buy a ‘magic bag’ of food via the app, which costs between £2 and £4, and Too Good to Go says the food will be worth at least three times as much as if you’d bought it at full price.
- Once you’ve selected the store you want to rescue food from, you pay via the app. Then simply visit the location during the set collection time to pick up your bag (you’ll need to check this on the app, as the collection time varies from place to place).
Cooking on a Bootstrap
- Jack Monroe’s Cooking on a Bootstrap website is filled with ideas and recipes for making the most out of the cheapest ingredients and discounted items in the shops.
- Visit: https://cookingonabootstrap.com/
- To access a food bank, you usually need a voucher from some frontline professionals, doctors, health visitors, social workers, church ministers, schools and Citizens Advice.
- You can also call - Help Through Hardship on 0300 330 2112 who may be able to issue you a voucher for some food banks.
- Once you have a voucher, you can exchange it for a minimum 3 day supply of food at specific food banks.
- Our Chaplaincy team can help to direct and support you to access food banks. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with “food bank” in the subject title.
Getting help with grants
Many organisations and charities provide access to financial support for healthcare staff through grant funding.
Here are just some of the organisations you can apply for grant funding with:
- Unison offers a one-off grant of £250 to help with essential expenses, urgent repairs, disability equipment and adaptations, utility bills and funeral costs.
- To be eligible to apply for financial assistance, you must have been a member of UNISON for at least four weeks and up to date with your subscriptions.
- 0800 0 857 857
Royal College of Nursing
- The RCN offers benefits and debt advice as well as RCN Foundation Benevolent Service hardship grants for nurses, midwives, and healthcare support workers, who are finding it hard to make ends meet.
- 0345 772 6100 (RCN members) (8:30am -8:30pm, seven days a week)
- 0345 772 6200 (Not an RCN Member) (8:30am -8:30pm, seven days a week)
The Healthcare Workers Foundation
- Healthcare Workers’ Foundation has opened it’s ‘childcare grant’ service. The maximum award is £1,000 for increased childcare costs due to the pandemic. All NHS workers are eligible. You will be required to submit NHS ID and evidence of pre-and-post pandemic costs, so please have this ready.
The Care Workers’ Charity
- The Care Workers’ Charity offers grants to care workers, including:
- COVID-19 Emergency fund grants - https://www.thecareworkerscharity.org.uk/covid-19-emergency-fund-general/
- Funeral grants up to £2,000 - https://www.thecareworkerscharity.org.uk/crisis-funeral-grants/
- Get help from the Care Worker’s Charity - https://www.thecareworkerscharity.org.uk/get-help/
CSIS Charity Fund
- CSIS Charity Fund assists serving, retired and former civil and public servants, as well as widows and widowers of deceased CSIS policyholders.
- Turn2us provide access to welfare benefits, charitable grants, and other financial help.
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