Financial support is available in the cost of living crisis, but it’s often hard to find. A tangled web of grants, benefits, and funds mean millions of desperately needed pounds in cost of living help often go unclaimed.
Take broadband social tariffs: Just 3.2 per cent of those eligible to access these discounts actually make use of them. But now a website collecting hundreds in one place – from benefits to charity grants to social tariffs and occupational funds – promises to make that easier
Lightning Reach says its “one stop portal” has helped over 40,000 people access £4m in funding, with the average successful applicant claiming £1,000.
Compared to existing benefits or charity grant calculators, the portal pulls together support from a range of sources into one place – aiming to save users time as well as uncovering potentially hidden pots of money.
The start of April is set to see millions fall into fuel poverty, with council taxes and energy prices set to increase from the first of the month. While 4.5 million people were living in fuel poverty last year, National Energy Action estimates that will rise to 7.5 million when price hikes hit.
Ren Hooi, a former management consultant who founded Lightning Reach during the pandemic, describes the existing routes to funding as “a really complicated process trying to navigate what’s available and apply for it”.