Help to buy essential items

If you don’t have money for essential things like food, a bed or a fridge, find out here where you can turn for help.

You can also take a look at our advice pages on what to do in a crisis.

Loans and grants

If you are on certain benefits, you might be able to get a budgeting loan, a short-term budgeting advance or a universal credit advance payment. These are interest-free loans and can be used to spread the cost of things you need but can’t afford.

In Wales you can also apply to the Discretionary Assistance Fund for a grant that you do not need to pay back. For more details on the fund see our page on cash in a crisis.

Furniture projects

In some areas, there are local organisations that provide good quality second hand furniture, safety-tested appliances and other household items.

Furniture projects operate by collecting items donated by local people and will usually be able to deliver them to your home. You usually have to pay something to cover the costs involved but it is much cheaper than buying everything new. To find your nearest project click here.


Food banks provide boxes of food to people in need.

Some food banks also offer a hot meal and advice.

If you live in a rural area and cannot afford to travel to collect your box, some food banks offer a free delivery service.

You need a voucher to use a food bank. You then exchange this at the food bank for three days’ worth of food. You can get food bank vouchers from local charities, doctors’ surgeries, health visitors, social workers, Citizens Advice and other welfare advice centres.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an adviser
email us

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

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This page was last updated on: May 25, 2023

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.