Leeds City Council have provided a number of support services for those in difficulty during this time of social isolation. These services and how you can get in contact with them are outlined below:
Position statement on support the financially vulnerable: Tuesday 17th March
Below is a position statement for organisations supporting people with money issues in Leeds at this time. Please note there may be changes to services offered as more information is given.
Leeds City Council have set up a phone line, which can be used to direct people to the correct area of assistance needed. This line is for people who are self-isolating and do not have any friends or family who live locally that can help.
The number is 0113 3781877 or though the website https://news.leeds.gov.uk/city-unites-to-help-those-in-need/
Other information about council services can be found at https://www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus
For people who can afford to buy food but cannot get out of the house to access supermarkets/shops a possible source of support would be to contact Leeds Food Aid Network at firstname.lastname@example.org
However, due to an expected high volume of requests please access support via family, neighbours or friends in the first instance as this is an emergency service only.
Age UK Leeds
After 20/03/20 the Age UK Leeds advice service will not be carrying out home visits or offering office appointments or drop in sessions until further notice.
We will continue to provide telephone advice*. People can ring 0113 389 3000 and leave their name and number and brief details of their query. We will call them back within 5 working days. They can also ring the National Age UK Helpline on 0800 678 1602.
*We give benefits advice for people over state pension age but we do not give debt advice
Better Leeds Communities
From the 17th March 2020 BLC will be supporting people who need advice and support with regard to Debt, Housing and Benefits only via the telephone (telephone appointments will be provided where clients will be called so there is no cost to them) and via email. BLC are here to help. Drop-Ins are suspended at:
Lower Wortley Foodbank
0113 275 4142
Citizens Advice Leeds
As of 18th March 2020, Citizens Advice Leeds will close face-to-face services. Resources will be diverted to telephone, email and web chat, available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
Enquiries: 0113 223 4400
All offices in Leeds are currently open.
Disabled people will be contacted by web and telephone for appointments.
There will be no face-to-face assessments for vulnerable people.
New claimants will be undertaken over the phone, with ID verification being undertaken this way.
Two good sources of information are https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/insights/coronavirus-claiming-welfare-benefits/
0845 6060 234 or www.gov.uk
Ebor Gardens Advice Centre and Money Buddies
Ebor Gardens Advice Centre are closing face-to-face services. People can contact via the Money Money Buddies website, Facebook, Twitter, telephone, email.
Please check our website and Facebook for updates.
Call them on 0113 235 0276
Leeds City Council Community Hubs
Community Hubs and face-to-face services are currently operating as business as usual.
If customers could contact via telephone and web where possible that would be very helpful.
0113 222 4444 or www.leeds.gov.uk/contact-us
Leeds City Council Welfare Rights
Telephone appointments are available.
Triaging home visits to utilise surgery appointments and telephone appointments where possible.
0113 376 0452 or by email Welfare.Rights@leeds.gov.uk
Leeds City Council Housing
Housing are currently offering a supportive approach to all tenants, and encourage tenants to make contact with their Housing Officer at the earliest responsibility if there are any issues which may impact on a tenant’s ability to pay their rent. If Coronavirus affects a tenant, it would therefore be expected for them to ring their Housing Officer to discuss any potential impacts in the usual way. Housing will discuss their circumstances and where appropriate agree a revised re-payment plan. If the impact on their income is such that they have eligibility for UC Housing Element or HousingBenefit, Housing will advise/support with a claim as required. Enforcement action would be a last resort - as outlined in the court action protocol we would not undertake enforcement action where an affordable repayment agreement is being kept to or a claim for UC Housing Element or HB is pending.
0800 188 4000 or HousingEnquiries@leeds.gov.uk
Leeds City Council: Council Tax
If you are facing financial difficulties and cannot pay your Council Tax, please get in contact as soon as possible.
0113 222 4404 or www.leeds.gov.uk/contact-us
Leeds Community Gambling Service
From Wednesday 18th March, the service is moving to remote working providing support via telephone and online. The duty service on the main Leeds number will continue to operate from 9 – 5pm.
0113 388 6466
Leeds Credit Union
Phone: 0113 242 3343
Operating as normal with full online and telephone advice service
www.stepchange.org or 0800 138 1111