The cost of living crisis is having a huge impact on households. ABTA LifeLine is here to help you and your family if you are struggling.
Below is a list of the main things ABTA LifeLine may be able to help you with. The list is not exhaustive. Our support is flexible and tailored to best help you and your family. However, we do expect you to seek state help where it is available before approaching the charity for support. You will be required to submit an online application form along with supporting documents to demonstrate you are in financial hardship. Our new application process through our partner 'Lightening Reach' is designed to speed up the time it takes to make an award if you are eligible. But it is dependent you on uploading all the information required.
1. Emergency support
If you are struggling to provide food for your family, we can help you with a voucher to spend on essential groceries and household items (not tobacco, alcohol or lottery tickets).
2. Benefit, Budgeting and Housing Advice
With your consent we can refer you to our partner Citizens Advice (Manchester - CAM). CAM can provide you with expert advice on debt, benefits, housing and budgeting at no cost to you. Your dedicated case worker will work with you (over the telephone) to see what the options are to manage your situation including help with your creditors and in some cases take on benefit appeals. CAM will send a 'care' letter with their advice on how to manage your situation. To consider helping you further we will require you to share with us the advice that has been given so that we can determine with CAM the best way we might support you.
This advice is non-judgemental, confidential and will not affect your credit rating. For those people presenting with debt we will always encourage you to seek CAM support as the first important step you need to take. Some of our beneficiaries have called the support life changing. In 2021 CAM helped our beneficiaries with potential and confirmed annual gains of £104,279 through claiming, continuing benefits and debt write off.
3. Crisis grants
We may be able to help with crisis grants to help for a short time with rent, mortgage, council tax and utility bills; your priority bills. We pay suppliers direct on your behalf. We cannot help with non-priority debt such as credit and store cards, payday loans etc.
4. Funeral costs
If you have not been able to secure State help with the costs of a funeral, in exceptional circumstances we can help with the basic costs of a funeral (excludes cars, flowers etc.).
5. Essential household appliances
We can help with the replacement of essential white goods including washing machines, fridge freezers and ovens. In some cases, we can also help with the cost of essential furnishings if you have been recently moved into housing. This includes a bed, pots and pans, flooring etc.
6. Support for your children
We can help with school uniform and equipment, including IT and other essential needs.
7. Counselling and well being support
We see at first hand some of the pressures some of our travel community are facing. We are very much aware of the impact on mental health caused by:
- Financial stress – lack of funds, debt, benefit support
- Uncertainty – loss of job, reduced hours, being furloughed
- Redundancy – lack of self-esteem and confidence, worry about paying the bills
- Relationship break down
But of course there are many other reasons you may be feeling anxious or alone and in need of some support.
ABTA LifeLine has teamed up with The Centre for Crisis Psychology (CCP) to provide you with mental health and wellbeing support; intervention when it really matters. For more information about CCP and what they do, please visit their website.
If counselling is too much for you, we have also teamed up with TTG Media to set up a mental health champion network; peer to peer support. Our volunteers are there to provide you with a friendly ear and point you in the direction of further support if you so need. For more information on the champions network email email@example.com or visit our mental health and well being page.
More information and support
All of us are making changes to our lifestyles to meet the current crisis, whether it's reviewing your monthly budget, using comparison sites to reduce your telephone bill, cooking more from scratch or perhaps cutting subscriptions you really don't use.
Here are some additional sites that have some helpful tips to cutting costs going forward:
https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/cost-of-living-survival-kit/ - top tips on how to save money, from annual NHS prescriptions to using a slow cooker!