The council are reminding residents that there is a range of help in hand for people amid the cost of living crisis.

Payments for food and fuel costs for households that are struggling are available.

Working with Bury Voluntary, Community and Faith Alliance (Bury VCFA) it has also launched a new Cost of Living Community Fund to support community and voluntary groups which are helping vulnerable households.

With the VCFA, the council also has a fund for groups working with veterans and cadets.

All children in reception, Year 1 and Year 2 get a free meal at lunchtime, under the government's Infant Free School Meals scheme.

From Year 3 onwards free school meals are only available if you get certain types of support. Further information can be found here.

Food and fuel payments

In the month since the food and fuel payment scheme launched, the council has paid out £27,000 to 430 residents.

The authority has gone out to those vulnerable households that it knows are struggling with food and fuel costs.

Residents can also apply using a simple form titled "Bury food and fuel support - Bury Council".

Once people have opened the form, residents can select the "Help with food and fuel" option in the first dropdown menu, and then complete it.

Awards are based on income and expenditure, with payments ranging from £100 to £300 depending on a resident’s financial circumstances. You do not need to be on benefits to qualify.

Community Fund

Groups can apply for up to £5,000 for joint projects working together or for up to £2,000 as individual organisations to a new Cost of Living Community Fund.

The funding can be used to support initiatives including tackling food and fuel poverty, finance and debt, work and wages, digital inclusion, childhood poverty, and the impacts of poverty on wellbeing.

Applications are open now with bids to be submitted by Tuesday, September 5.

A "meet the funder" session takes place on Thursday, August 10 at 6pm where groups can ask questions on the fund or seek groups with which to collaborate.

Further information on these, along with the application form and full guidance, are available at

Fund to support groups working with veterans and cadets

The council and Bury VCFA have launched a support fund to assist community groups that work with veterans and cadets in the borough.

Groups can apply for up to £2,500 to support:

  • Increasing opportunities for cadets, veterans or both to engage fully in local life in their neighbourhoods.
  • Opportunities for cadets, veterans or both to connect with each other through peer networks.
  • Initiatives to address financial and other barriers to taking part in cadet or veterans related activities.
  • Mental health and wellbeing provision specifically addressing individual circumstances and the lived experience of veterans.
  • Schemes which will increase the financial resilience of cadet or veteran households both in terms of immediate hardship provision and longer-term resilience, e.g. increased income from skills development, retraining or improving digital literacy and access to digital resources.
  • Initiatives which celebrate the role of cadets and veterans within the heritage of Bury, celebrating our past and present to inspire our future.

Cllr Richard Gold, cabinet member for finance and communities at the council, said: “The ongoing cost of living crisis means that the council, Bury VCFA and our partners are working together to support our vulnerable residents.

“Using funding from the government’s Household Support Fund, the council is offering financial help to vulnerable households through direct bank payments or food and fuel vouchers.

“The VCFA does vital work supporting the voluntary sector infrastructure across the borough and working with them we have launched the Community Fund and Veterans and Cadets Fund.

“The impact of the closure of the Drill Hall, the legacy of Covid on people’s wellbeing and connections, and ongoing financial and broader social pressures as a result of the cost of living are having a particular effect on our veterans and cadets.

“Bury is a proud Fusilier town with a long military history and the fund fulfils a budget commitment we made earlier this year.

“But these schemes are not the only support we are providing.

"For example, we paid £110,000 during the May half-term to support around 7,000 pupils on free school meals to make sure they had nutritious food during the holidays.

“Further information about the wide range of support can be found on our website. You do not need to be on benefits to get support.”

A range of support, regardless of whether people are on benefits or not, can be found by clicking here.