Council to offer support for ‘anyone struggling’ in Manchester over Christmas

Manchester City Council wants to "ensure people can turn to us" over the festive period.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 18th December 2023

Manchester City Council has committed to offering support to “anyone struggling” in the city region over the festive period.

While Christmas may only be just over a week away now, and the spirit of the season is really starting to set in for many, it’s sadly not always ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ for everyone – especially with the rising cost of living crisis unfortunately continuing to make its impact felt across Greater Manchester and throughout the UK.

Here in Manchester, Council figures show that more than 100,000 households have been put at risk in some way due to the cost of living crisis, whether that be accessing food, paying bills, or slipping into financial trouble.

This is why Manchester City Council is setting out to offer as much support as it can over Christmas.

Councillors say that the difficulties thousands of Mancunians have faced on a daily basis have been “plain to see” over the last few years.


But in spite of what it has referred to as “the failings” from the UK central Government in delivering “tangible and lasting support” for those who need it most, the Council says it has has “resolved to ensure that people can turn to us”.

So, what support is available to Manchester residents this winter then? Here’s everything you need to know.


Cost of Living Advice Line

Back in 2022, the Council started Cost of Living Advice Line, which provides Manchester residents with a number to call if they are struggling with a range of issues such as paying bills, debt advice, access to services, food support, and more.

That number is still live and can be reached on 0800 023 2692, with operators remaining on the line to support anyone who needs help or advice.

Warm Welcome Spaces

Warm Welcome Spaces are places where people can go to take shelter in a warm and judgement free location.


This year, all of Manchester’s libraries are open to those in need, for as long as they need them, with a range of other businesses and organisations across the Greater Manchester region having also put themselves forward for the scheme too.

Find out more about Warm Welcome Spaces here.

‘Helping Hands’ & ‘Winter Warmth’ Advice Guides

More than 15,000 ‘Helping Hands’ Advice Guides – which detail the support available for people during the winter – have been produced and will be available across the city in locations such as libraries, Sure Start Centres, and Early Help Hubs.

‘Winter Warmth’ advice leaflets are also being made available, which inform people how they can access support if they need help paying their heating bills, where they can go to stay warm for free in Manchester, and how to stay healthy during the cold weather.

Social Tariffs

‘Social Tariffs’ are also available for people who are in receipt of Universal Credit or Pension Credit, which allow them to access reduced-price internet or mobile phone rates.


The Holiday Activity Fund Programme

Additional support has also been made available by the Council for families who struggle when schools are out via The Holiday Activity Fund Programme.

Running throughout the school Christmas holiday period, this scheme provides free activities and shared experiences for children aged five to 16, with free meals provided throughout the day to “fill a gap” which would normally be provided via a free school meal.

The Council has outlined its festive season support options just a week after it was revealed that the city has secured £5.2 million in funding to build new ‘supported accommodation’ designed to house rough sleepers, and also comes after it published its plan back in November to get rough sleepers off the streets of Manchester and into temporary accommodation this winter.

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Find out more about all the support on offer in Manchester this Christmas over on Manchester City Council’s website here.

Featured Image – Ethel Red (via Flickr)