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Financial Advice & Support

How to get hold of your cash


Payout Now allows customers to share a barcode voucher with a trusted individual to allow that person to withdraw cash at the Post Office for them. Any bank can issue a barcode voucher to its customers which can only be used once. It is sent to the customer via text, email or post, then passed to a trusted friend to be exchanged for cash at a Post Office.

Fast PACE is a cheque cashing scheme that allows a third party to cash a cheque at the Post Office to pass cash on to them or to reimburse them for shopping or services. Customers using Fast PACE write a cheque payable to the PO and give this to their trusted friend after signing to say they can cash it. The trusted person shows their ID at the PO branch and can take the cash back to the customer.

In both cases, the customer will need to contact their bank first.


NatWest has launched a new ‘companion card’ that allows caretakers to pay for essential goods on behalf of vulnerable and isolated customers during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The new card acts as a supplement to existing current accounts and can be recharged by up to £100 every five days. The card is given to a trusted person or carer, whose account will be associated with the customer’s existing bank account but kept separate to ensure security. The companion card is subject to NatWest’s fraud monitoring systems. It does not share a PIN or card number with customer’s existing debit cards and ATM withdrawals capped at £50.



Co-op has launched a gift card scheme for those shielding or self-isolating and reliant on others to do their shopping. Call 0800 029 4592 to buy a gift card which can be shared with friends, neighbours or volunteers to pay for shopping at their local Co-op store.


Benefits, jobs & debt (also see Utilities)


Help to Claim Universal Credit helpline


0800 144 8444



Citizens Advice Bureau



For help

General enquiries

For debt enquiries

For Universal Credit enquiries

ALL 9.30am - 4.30pm

03448 487978

01304 374333

01304 202442

01304 202030


Family Lives

Charity supporting vulnerable and lower-income families

Free helpline

0808 800 2222




Department of Work & Pensions 

Specific Covid 19 related advice for employers



Department of Work & Pensions

Specific Covid 19 related advice for employees




Job Centre (DWP)


For DWP advice call this number.

01304 866190

Money Advice Service


For advice regarding finances and debt

0300 500 5000



National Debt Line


Coronavirus hub for money worries

0808 808 4000



Step change

Free debt advice online or over the phone

0800 138 1111



Christians Against Poverty

Debt help

0800 3280006 http://www.capdebthelp.org/ info@capuk.org


Utilities, Council tax & DDC Services

Utilities – Gas & Electricity

For information about gas and electricity during current situation.

covid 19 your energy supply

British Gas Energy Trust

For advice and help with utility debts

01733 421021


Scottish Power

Hardship fund for customers having difficulties paying their bills due to low income or other circumstances.

Eligibility check and referral for access is needed online or over the phone via National Debtline and/or Social Enterprise Direct (SED)

National Debtline

0808 169 8780 

Lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, Saturday 9.30am to 1pm 



0808 800 0128

Lines open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 8pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm.

Ovo hardship grants

Help for OVO Energy customers to clear/pay off any debt on their OVO Energy account. Applicants must have run up a debt on their gas or electricity account of at least £150, have an annual household income of £16,190 or less and have a valid reason affecting your ability to pay. Online access only.

Ovo hardship grants


For existing or previous E.on customers to help with bills or household items. Priority will be given to those who have already received debt advice.


03303 80 10 90.

Mon-Fri 9-5pm


Npower energy fund

For current domestic customers.


01733 421 021

Pre-pay meters

For those on electricity or gas pre-pay meters for remote top-ups

0330 100 0303

Southern Water

For information about water supply during current situation.


Emergencies only - please telephone us on 0330 303 0368

Priority Services Register

(for customers of utility companies including Affinity and Southern Water)

For help in a utility emergency


Sign up for free

For those with chronic illness, have medical support at home, refrigerated medication, dementia, a disability, pensionable age, children under 5, suffering a bereavement.