Newham Council’s Cost of Living crisis support helps over 300,000 residents

East ham warm haven image

• 125% increase in residents seeking support with their finances
• 46% increase in library footfall since last winter

Since Newham’s Cost of Living Response launched in September 2022 a package of dedicated support measures have been delivered to over 300,000 residents.

The Council’s specialist financial support service, Our Newham Money, helped more than 4,500 residents between September 2022 and January 2023, which was an increase of 125% in year-on-year demand for this service. On average, residents who used its Income Maximisation team have been found in total more than £35,000 a week in benefit entitlements. In the last six months, this service has helped Newham residents receive an additional £1.2million in benefit entitlements that would have otherwise been left unclaimed.

Alongside support with benefit entitlements, Our Newham Money has also helped 5,000 families receive immediate financial assistance with food and energy costs; between September 2022 and January 2023 it allocated £1.4million in Hardship Support grants.

Taking action to help residents with the cost of living crisis has included the Council launching a borough wide Warm Havens programme providing inclusive, safe and warm spaces as respite. Since opening in November 2022, 316,933 residents have visited 10 Warm Havens within the Council’s libraries. With the support of the Newham Food Alliance, which is a group of voluntary, community and faith organisations, 8,000 hot meals have been provided between November 2022 and January 2023 in Warm Havens throughout Newham to those in need.

The Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, said: “The cost of living crisis is having lasting and serious impact on our residents who through structural inequalities are at serious risk of poverty and financial insecurity. Tackling the issue required a comprehensive, borough wide response and I am pleased that we have been able to help hundreds of thousands of residents whether in accessing the benefits they are entitled to or in accessing Warm Havens to receive respite from the cold. We have called on the Government to do more to recognise the challenges which Newham residents face and to work with us so we can do even more to help.”

The Council’s borough wide action plan to the cost of living crisis also includes the Mayor’s Cost of Living Taskforce, which brings together representatives from various voluntary, community and faith sector organisations to ensure a coordinated programme of support measures for residents. Members of the taskforce include the Renewal Programme, Citizens Advice Bureau, One Newham, Magpie Project and West Ham Foundation.

There is also specific campaigning to tackle fuel poverty. This includes the Council’s support for the Renewal Programme’s ‘Stay Warm in Newham’ project, a vital initiative which offers advice and support to reduce fuel poverty in households.

Finally, the Council will open the Cost of Living Wellbeing One Stop Shop at East Ham Library on 28 February.

Any resident of Newham who is facing financial difficulty and needs help should visit or call Our Newham Money on 020 8430 2041.

Published: 23 Feb 2023