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Guide to White Goods Grants in the UK
If you find yourself struggling without essential household items like a cooker, washing machine, or fridge-freezer, be aware that there are white goods grants and support available to obtain free white goods, such as fridges for free or free washing machines.
Turn2us, a UK-based charity, states that over two million households are living without a crucial household appliance like a cooker, fridge or washing machine.
This issue, known as appliance poverty, affects a broader range of people than you might initially believe.
Although those with very low incomes or on benefits might come to mind first, 1 in 7 people with incomes at or below £35,000 lack at least one essential kitchen appliance.
What assistance is available for obtaining household items?
Fortunately, multiple options exist, so you don’t need to resort to high-interest credit to acquire a cooker, fridge-freezer, or washing machine. Here are some methods to find grants or acquire these items at a significantly reduced cost.
You can also apply for grants related to furniture and carpets.
Greggs Hardship Fund:
Greggs, the popular bakery known for their sausage rolls, offers a hardship fund to support individuals experiencing financial difficulties or living on a low income.
To date, they have provided over £3 million in aid to families in need.
The fund offers assistance in various forms, including grants for equipment needed when welcoming a new baby, when a child starts school, and for essential household appliances like cookers and fridge-freezers, making fridges for free and free washing machines a reality for some families.
However, it is important to note that these grants are only available to residents in the North East of England, specifically the counties of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham, and Teesside.
Support for Families with Disabled Children:
If you are raising a disabled or seriously ill child who receives specific benefits, such as income support, jobseeker’s allowance, or pension credit, you can apply for a white goods grant with the charity Family Fund.
Family Fund has established direct arrangements with suppliers like AO and Argos, who will provide you with credit to purchase essential kitchen appliances, such as washing machines or fridge-freezers.
Family Fund also offers grants for holidays, computers, sensory toys and equipment, clothing, and days out.
To be eligible for support, you must provide evidence of entitlement to certain benefits, including:
- Universal Credit
- Child Tax Credits
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Related Employment Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance
By seeking assistance from organisations like Greggs and Family Fund, struggling families can access vital support and white goods grants, helping them to obtain essential household items without resorting to high-interest credit.
Let’s Talk Energy Fund:
If you possess an inefficient kitchen appliance or don’t have one at all, you can apply for a new one through the Let’s Talk Energy Fund.
You’ll need to be receiving certain means-tested benefits and have a low income to qualify.
In addition, you may be able to have energy debt written off or obtain a boiler repair or replacement.
At the moment, you can only apply to this grant fund if you’re a customer of:
- Green Star Energy
- Scottish Power
If you’re a customer of npower, they offer a grant for the replacement of broken or old cookers, fridges, and fridge-freezers.
Additionally, they provide grants to help those struggling to pay their energy bills.
E.ON Energy Fund for Low Income:
E.ON grants are available to their current customers, providing assistance for replacing white goods like cookers, fridges, and fridge-freezers.
The aim is to help as many people as possible, prioritising those with the greatest need, given that funds are limited.
Existing or previous E.ON customers can apply for help in paying their current or final E.ON energy bill. If you’re an E.ON customer and homeowner, you can also apply for a replacement gas, calor, or oil boiler.
British Gas White Goods Grant:
British Gas offers a white goods grant for both their customers and non-customers.
You may be eligible for a grant to help with the repair or replacement of boilers and to cover the costs of energy-efficient appliances.
To qualify, you must meet specific eligibility criteria and demonstrate low income and hardship, with supporting evidence from a social worker or health visitor where you live. In England, you can also apply if you have a disability or illness.
Initially established to support electricity and gas bills and arrears, the grant programme expanded to cover funeral expenses and debt relief, such as bankruptcy deposits, in response to the growing need for assistance.
Support from Your Local Council:
Local Welfare Assistance Schemes (LWAs) present an opportunity for you to receive support from your local council.
However, due to budget constraints, some councils may offer more assistance than others.
To explore your options, check your local council’s website for Scotland, England, and Wales or use the Local Welfare Provision Search Tool on the End Furniture Poverty website.
Each local council administers its scheme differently, with varying eligibility criteria. Generally, these schemes target individuals living on low wages or receiving means-tested benefits without access to savings.
Local council assistance schemes typically provide vouchers (not cash) for household items such as cookers and fridges, as well as for food, gas, electric costs, clothing, and other household necessities.
The Household Support Fund might be another source of financial aid your local council can offer.
If you reside in a housing association property, you could potentially receive help directly from them instead of going through your local council.
Turn2us discovered that 67% of housing associations assist with purchasing essential household goods, and 88% help tenants apply for charitable grants.
Moreover, some local housing associations operate their own white goods grant programmes, aiding people in covering the cost of new white goods or providing referrals to local furniture projects.
To find out more, simply contact your local housing association and inquire about available support.
Affordable Washing Machine Hire:
Two housing associations, including London and Quadrant Housing Trust, have partnered with AO to offer a low-cost rental scheme for tenants.
The rental scheme allows you to rent a Candy A+++ energy rating machine for just £2 a week.
The price includes insurance, repairs, replacements, and can be cancelled at any time if you no longer require the machine.
After five years, customers can exchange the machine for a new one, while the old one is sent back to AO for refurbishment or recycling.
Though this option requires some expenditure, it’s far more affordable than high-cost lending and doesn’t involve credit checks.
Obtain Your White Goods for Free:
Consider searching on Freecycle or local Facebook community groups to see if you can acquire an appliance for free.
While it might seem like a long shot, the increasing emphasis on environmental sustainability has led to the creation of groups that pass on unwanted goods to prevent them from ending up in landfill.
This approach is beneficial for everyone, not just those on low incomes.
However, keep in mind that you may need your own transport to collect the appliance and arrange for its installation yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are white goods grants?
White goods grants are financial support provided by charities, local councils, and utility companies to help individuals and families on low incomes acquire essential household appliances such as washing machines, cookers, and fridges.
How can I apply for a white goods grant?
The application process varies depending on the grant provider. You can start by searching for charities, local councils, and utility companies offering such grants. Turn2us is an excellent resource to search for grants based on your specific needs and circumstances.
Are there any eligibility criteria for white goods grants?
Yes, each grant provider has its own eligibility criteria. Generally, applicants need to be on a low income, receive means-tested benefits, and have no access to savings.
Some grants may have additional requirements, such as residing in a particular area or having specific health issues.
Can I apply for multiple white goods grants?
Yes, you can apply for multiple grants, but it’s essential to check the eligibility criteria for each grant and ensure that you meet the requirements before applying.
What if I don’t qualify for a white goods grant?
If you don’t qualify for a grant, consider looking for appliances on Freecycle or local Facebook community groups.
Additionally, some housing associations offer low-cost rental schemes for essential household appliances, which might be a more affordable option.
Are white goods grants only for new appliances?
Not necessarily. While some grants may cover the cost of new appliances, others may provide refurbished or pre-owned appliances in good working condition.
Can I get help with installing the appliances?
Some grant providers may offer assistance with the installation of the appliances. However, in most cases, you’ll need to arrange for the installation yourself or seek help from a professional.
Are there any other types of support available?
Yes, there are other types of support available, such as the Household Support Fund, which may provide financial assistance for individuals facing financial hardship.
Additionally, if you live in a housing association property, you may be able to receive support directly from the housing association.
How long does it take to receive a white goods grant?
The processing time for white goods grants can vary depending on the grant provider.
It’s essential to check with the specific organisation to get an accurate estimate of the time it takes for your application to be processed and the appliance to be delivered.
Can I apply for a white goods grant if I’m not on benefits?
Some white goods grants may be available for individuals not on benefits, but who are still on low incomes. It’s essential to check the eligibility criteria for each grant to determine if you qualify.
White goods grants provide a valuable lifeline for individuals and families on low incomes who require essential household appliances.
By exploring the various grant options available through charities, local councils, and utility companies, you can find the support needed to acquire appliances like washing machines, cookers, and fridges.
Don’t forget to consider alternative solutions such as Freecycle, local Facebook community groups, and low-cost rental schemes offered by some housing associations.
By taking advantage of these resources, you can alleviate the financial burden of acquiring essential household appliances and improve your quality of life.