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Bitterne Manor Primary School

Bitterne Manor

Primary School

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Well Being & Cost of Living

Request for Support

Please use this form if you would like to request advice or support from the school and we will contact you. All requests will be treated confidentially.

Help Suggestions and Signposting - Cost of Living

We know that many families are going through a tough time this winter and we want to do everything we can to help you and your child. We are also aware that the aftermath of a busy and financially challenging Christmas period can cause stress and worry within all families during this time. As such, please find below some suggestions and signposting that we hope you, or someone you know, may find useful.

1. Citizens Advice Bureau.
The CAB can help you with:

  • Getting benefits or organising other financial support
  • Accessing support for essential costs (food, bills, rent)

Visit the Citizens Advice website or contact your local branch to book an appointment.

Citizens Advice - Southampton

14-15 Brunswick Place Southampton
SO15 2AQ

2. Check you’re paying the right amount of tax
Make sure you’re on the right tax code. If you aren’t you might be due a refund. Use the Tax Code Calculator to find out.

3. Check you’ve received all the Government Cost of Living
The government’s cost-of-living payments are available for those receiving certain benefits or tax credits. You don’t need to apply for these – if you’re eligible the money should go straight into your account.

4. Find out what help you can get with your energy bills
Take a look at these resources from the British Gas Energy trust, the money saving expert and Ofgem

5. Check if your child is entitled to free school meals (FSM)
If your child is eligible for FSM you need to get them registered. This will allow them to get a free meal at school, and we’ll get extra funding (known as the pupil premium) to support your child’s learning. Go to Free School Meals - Southampton to check if your child is eligible.

6. Local support for families
Southampton City Council have provided information and links on the following link Cost of Living
to help if you are being deeply affected by the rising costs of living.
Southampton City Mission – Southampton City Mission offer food basic bank along with food and clothes venues.

Holiday Activity and Food Programme

7. Additional Signposting

Olio- App OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. This could be food nearing its sell-by date in local stores, spare home-grown vegetables, bread from your baker, or the groceries in your fridge when you go away. For your convenience, OLIO can also be used for non-food household items, too.

Too Good to Go - App to reduce food waste. When food businesses from supermarkets to restaurants, cafes and bakeries have surplus food they list it on the app as a Magic Bag which allows you to buy the food at a reduced rate so food gets eaten and not wasted.

Young Minds - good link signposting to lots of help and support during cost of living crisis.
We hope that, where applicable, these resources will be of some assistance to you. Should you wish to get in touch with the school to discuss any issues relating to the cost of living please do not hesitate to do so. Likewise, if there are any useful resources that we have not included that you would like to share with the rest of the Bitterne Manor community please feel free to get in touch with the school office

We are also able to refer households for the following support: 


Supermarket Vouchers:  

  • We may refer a household for a supermarket voucher
  • Southampton will accept 1 agency referral for a household between now and the 31 March 2023 (subject to available funding). Households can also make 1 self-referral during this period, subject to available funding.
  • Applications will be processed by Southampton City Council Customer Team within 1 calendar month.


Prepayment Utility Top-Ups:

We may refer households for support with prepayment utility top-ups.

  • Support will only be for prepayment meter customers who are a high risk of self-disconnecting.
  • Only 1 application per household will be accepted between 1 January 2023 and 31 March 2023 - subject to available funding.
  • Where the household has prepayment gas and electric, the total amount can be split as required.
  • The referral agency is required to give information about the utility supplier. Referrals cannot be processed without this information.
  • The maximum amount will be £40 for a single person, £70 for two person household, and £98 for a larger household.
  • Applications will be processed by SCRATCH. 


White Goods

We may refer households for white goods.

  • We will need to demonstrate evidence of need and that no other routes of support are available (including charitable grants to individuals).
  • The offer is:
    • Single person: Table-top cooker or fridge (1 item only). 
    • Two person/Family/Larger household: Cooker, fridge or washing machine  (1 item only). 
  • Referrals will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
  • Only 1 application per household will be accepted during the period of 1 October 2022 and 31 March 2023  - subject to available funding.
  • Applications will be processed by SCRATCH. 


In addition to the above, we will also be using funding to provide:  

  • Supermarket vouchers for Free School Meals eligible pupils over the February 2023 half-term (£15 voucher per eligible child/pupil). This will continue to be offered directly from school and will include a single supermarket voucher.  No need for families to apply.

Southampton City Council’s ‘Getting help with the cost of living’ webpages have information about the support available, from help with bills and housing costs to advice on debt and accessing food.


As a school, we have also registered to become a referral agent for the Southampton City Mission Basics bank. This gives us access to the system to refer people in need of emergency food or clothing help.


NHS Healthy Start is a government scheme that helps young families and those who are pregnant to access healthy food, milk and vitamins. People can apply for the scheme online and get a prepaid card, which they use to buy healthy food and milk, and collect free Healthy Start vitamins. People qualify for the Healthy Start scheme if they are at least 10 weeks pregnant or have at least one child that’s under 4 and receiving a qualifying benefit