Wokingham United Charities
Wokingham United Charities

Essential Item Grants

We realise sometimes everyone needs a helping hand. Our essential item grant programme is aimed at individuals or families who have found themselves in circumstances of financial hardship and are in need of an essential item. If you find yourself with a broken cooker and don’t have the funds available to buy a replacement, or you have moved into new accommodation and need a fridge freezer and money is tight, you may be eligible for an essential item grant. Essential item grants aren’t limited to white goods, previously we have helped individuals and families with an award for a dyslexia assessment for their child, funding towards mobility scooters to allow people still be independent, working with other local funders we were able to help finance a bespoke electric wheelchair. We may also be able to help with transport costs, debt-related fees, school trips, counselling and other essential items or services. We review each individual application on its own merits.

We have partnered with Citizens Advice Wokingham to provide holistic support to help you when you need it most. Citizens Advice Wokingham can signpost you to relevant support agencies and if eligible, can apply on your behalf for an essential item grant. To access support and apply for an essential item grant you should call 0808 278 7958 in the first instance or complete the referral form on their website. The service is available Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. Citizens Advice Wokingham can help with issues around welfare benefits, debt, housing, employment law and much more.

To be eligible for an essential item grant you must:

  • Live in our area of benefit: The Borough of Wokingham. If you are not sure please type the recipient’s postcode into
    https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council and check the postcode is in “Wokingham Borough Council”
  • Be a UK citizen or have been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  • Not have received a previous essential item grant in the last 12 months
What CAN be covered by a grant?
  • An essential item that will reduce the need, hardship or distress of people in difficult circumstances e.g. furniture / white goods
  • An essential service that will reduce the need, hardship or distress of people in difficult circumstances e.g. educational school trips, transport costs, training courses, counselling
  • Debt associated fees i.e. cost of passport, bankruptcy fee
What costs CANNOT be covered by a grant?
  • General living costs
  • Debts
  • Non-essential items
  • Items that are the responsibility of the state or local authority
  • Retrospective payments for items already purchased
  • More than one request per recipient per calendar year

If after a comprehensive review Citizens Advice identify that an essential item is required, the request will be passed to Wokingham United Charities who will then action the grant application. Grants are subject to certain criteria, to confirm identity and support eligibility three months bank statements are required. If sufficient discretionary funds are identified, the grant will be declined. Essential Item Grants can be applied for once per calendar year for up to £500.

If you are a Professional Referrer looking for support for a client, please encourage them to contact Citizens Advice Wokingham direct, alternatively, Citizens Advice has a referral form on their website which you can use if you have the explicit consent of your client to refer them. Please follow this link to the Referral Form https://citizensadvicewokingham.org.uk

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