How we are supporting customers through winter

We are offering increased support for customers throughout winter, to help with the rising cost of living.

With higher inflation and the price of essential items increasing exponentially faster than household incomes, the UK is facing a huge crisis, with millions expected to face financial hardship again this winter.

We have offered youth activities, employment and wellbeing support, and opportunities to access facilities and eat for free, for several years.

However, due to the current climate, last year we introduced new initiatives to go even further during the colder months, that are set to continue.

To support with energy and food, a ‘Winter Warmer’ project will take place at both of our community hubs, The Arc in Scunthorpe, and The Viking Centre in Barton upon Humber.

As part of this, members of the community can benefit from free hot drinks and a welcoming environment to keep warm, whilst saving on energy costs and meeting new people.

Both buildings are also running community food pantries, for customers most in need. This was hugely popular last year, and demand is expected to increase.

Along with community projects, we have an in-house team to take care of customers who are facing financial hardship. This includes affordability checks, benefit and debt advice, accessing grants and any additional services or organisations required.

In November 2022 we funded a brand-new position within Citizens Advice North Lincolnshire. So far, this service has supported 292 people, helping them to gain over £450,000 in extra income.

When homes become empty, insulation will be upgraded if needed to reduce heat loss and bills, with this programme currently being rolled out wider to existing homes too.

A team of dedicated mental health specialists are on hand too. We are urging anyone who is struggling to get in touch with us.

For extra support to the community, in October the team launched £15,000 of Community Grants for groups or clubs to apply for.

Matt Kelly, Income Manager here at Ongo said: “We’re preparing for another tough winter for our customers, as costs continue to rise.

“We want them to know that we’re here to help and there’s lots we can do. The most important thing is letting us know.

“We know everyone’s circumstances are different, and so we can tailor our support to what you need, where you live, and your family make up. From counselling, budgeting advice or just pointing you in the right direction, please get in touch.”

Head to our financial support web page here.