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Household Support Fund

Household Support Fund 3 (HSF3) - October 2022 to March 2023

Councils have been given further funding by the Government to support low income and vulnerable households that are struggling with cost of living pressures - especially energy costs.

HSF3 is also a very small part of the overall support that the government is providing to households. Please look on for details of other government help available, additional help with energy costs / energy efficiency, and other support services / schemes.

The Sunderland Council HSF3 Scheme is based on the Department for Work & Pensions Guidance and is made up of the following support. HSF3 is not intended to be a Crisis Support Scheme and all awards are discretionary rather than being a legal entitlement and are also based on available/remaining funding.

Targeted Automatic Support Payments

The following payments will be made automatically based on the information that the council held in November and that Together for Children hold for Free School Meals entitlements. Households do not need to apply for these:

·        Payments to all low income pensioners receiving Council Tax Support or Housing Benefit and / or Pensioners receiving Adult Social Care Services from the council ( and where not in Residential Care). The value of the payments will depend on final numbers of households' that are being supported but it's estimated that approximately 12,500 households' will receive support.

·        Payments will be provided to many low income long term disabled households receiving Council Tax Support or Housing Benefit and that also receive Adult Social Care Services  from the Council ( and where not in Residential Care) or that have a range of powered equipment  - it is estimated that up to 4,500 households will receive support.

 Households that fit into more than one of the above groups will receive a single payment. Payments will be made directly into bank accounts where the council holds the details or via other means where it does not. The date of payments is to be confirmed but should be by January / February and all households will receive an award notification letter

In addition .

·        Winter support vouchers to the value of £60 per child will be provided during the Christmas holidays to low income vulnerable families using free school meal entitlement as an initial criteria

·        Targeted support for Care Leavers and vulnerable customers of the Financial Safeguarding Team will be provided by Together for Children and the council respectively

HSF Application Process

Approximately one third of available HSF 3 funding is being made available to other vulnerable and low income households that are struggling with cost of living pressures via an application based process:

This could include for example households in work but not receiving DWP or HMRC means tested benefits or tax credits, sick and disabled people receiving higher level contributory benefits or pensions or where households missed the qualifying dates for COLP or did not receive them for other reasons

  • Households that have received COLP  but are still in need or where the payments did not cover need may still qualify for help. This will include households:
    • receiving DWP means tested benefits and / or tax credits including unpaid carers, the disabled, pensioners and other low-income families
    • It may also include households that did not receive significant support from the COLP - for example they only received help with their energy bills and / or the £150 Disability COLP payment

Applications can be made in the first instance via the following Voluntary and Community (VCS ) based organisations and they will confirm the information and evidence that they will need to see in order to make an award. The majority of these VCS  will provide support to households in their areas / their ward ( see below) for details.


EAST Area Contact  -   for people that live in Hendon, Millfield, St Michaels, Ryhope and Doxford

Organisation:                          Back on the Map


Telephone number:                01915147844  

Opening Times:                      By appointment Monday to Friday 9.00am-4.00pm


WEST Area Contacts - for people that live in Pallion, St Anne's, Barnes, Sandhill, St Chads and Silksworth

Organisation:                          Youth Almighty Project

Email:                            or

Telephone number:                07938581965

Opening Times:                      Monday to Friday 10.00am - 2.00pm


Organisation:                          Pallion Action Group

Email:                            or

Telephone number:                07534983971 or 0191 5142011

Opening Times:                      Monday to Friday 9.00am till Midday


Organisation:                          Community Opportunities


Telephone number:                 0191 5373231

Opening Times:                      Phone lines will be open every weekday 9.00am-5.00pm


NORTH Area Contacts - for people that live in Castle, Redhill, Southwick, Fulwell and St Peters

Organisation:                         Southwick Neighbourhood Youth Project (Southwick, St Peters or Fulwell wards )

Email:                                    No email contact only mobile phone

Tel:                                         Via text message to 07394071125.  As text only service can text 24/7 and appointments will be made during office opening hours. 

Opening Times:                      Monday to Friday 10.00 - 4.30pm


Organisation:                          Community Opportunities (Castle or Redhill wards )


Telephone number:                0191 5373231

Opening Times:                      Phone lines will be open every weekday 9am-5pm


WASHINGTON Contact -  for people that live in Washington

Organisation:                          Community Opportunities

Email:                            or

Telephone number:                0191 5373231

Opening Times:                      Phone lines will be open every weekday 9am-5pm


COALFIELDS Contact -  for people that live in Shiney Row, Copt Hill, Houghton and Hetton

Organisation:                          Active Families NE


Tel:                                         07458 324537

Opening Times:                      Wednesday and Fridays 9.30am-5pm, any other time please leave message


Veterans Contact

Organisation:                           Veterans in Crisis


Tel:                                          0191 5671878

Opening Times:                      For veterans across the city council area they would contact Claire Lawton   Monday to Friday 9.00am to 2.30pm


Sunderland Black & Minority Ethnic Network Contact

Organisation:                          Sunderland BME Network Ltd


Telephone:                              07964 380653

Opening Times:                      Monday 9.00am-4.00pm, Wed 12.00pm-4.00pm, Thu 12.00pm-4.00pm


Royal Society for the Blind Contact

Organisation:                           Sunderland and County Durham Royal Society for the Blind

e-mail:                            and

Telephone:                              0191 5673939

Opening times:                        Monday to Friday 9:30am to 3.00pm


Grace Contact

Organisation:                           Grace House


Telephone:                             0191 4352088

Opening Times:                      Monday to Friday 9.00am -5.00pm

In addition the council continues to provide additional support households should contact 0191 520 5551 in the first instance. Normally households can receive only one HSF3 award via an application to either the VCS or the council.

The council also operates its own Local Welfare Provision Crisis Support Scheme  for people in severe financial hardship that mainly lack any funds to buy food and where food bank provision is unsuitable to meet needs and / or to  top up prepayment meters. Applications can be made to the council on 0191 520 5551 / 0800 234 6084. 

Extra support is being given to foodbanks and food aid organisations to help assist them in managing some additional demands and help to supplement their current food offers. 


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