Grants and loans


Grants can help when you cannot afford to pay for essential items or have an unexpected one-off bill.  There will be an application process, and the money will probably not be instantly available. All grants have specific criteria you have to meet.  Grants do not have to be paid back, but grant providers often want to see you are taking steps to manage your budget and maximise benefits in order to avoid recurrence of the need for emergency help. 

Sometimes organisations only accept individual grant applications when they are supported by an organisation, or applied for by a professional.  If you are registered with Carers Support Merton we should be able to support grant applications, if we think they are appropriate. 

Local grants

If you are a Merton resident with short term severe financial difficulties you may be eligible for a Local Welfare Support Grant, which does not have to be paid back.  You can find out if you may qualify on the Merton Council website.

Wimbledon Guild provide grants for eligible people in Merton to help with fuel costs, bedding, essential household appliances and food as well as supermarket vouchers.  They also provide support towards school uniform for eligible families. 

Search for grants

There are two main grant portals which allow you to search for suitable grants for Parent Carers.

Turn 2 us is a charity-run website with an easy-to-use grant search which tells you how to contact any suitable charities. You can register for a free account to send online enquiries and applications to charities through the site.

Lightning Reach can also let you know what grants (and other financial support) you might be eligible for, and help you to apply. 

Support from DWP

If you are in receipt of certain means tested benefits you may be able to get a loan to help you meet an emergency or essential expense.

Hardship Payments

If you are struggling to meet your basic needs because your universal credit or other benefits have been sanctioned you may be able to apply for a hardship payment. This is a loan, which you will need to pay back. 

Step Change have useful information on hardship payments.

Budgeting Loan

If you have been on certain benefits for 6 months or more, you may be eligible for a budgeting loan to help pay for things like traveling in the UK, furniture, white goods, funeral expenses, moving costs, rent in advance, clothing, footwear, and repaying loans taken for these items.  You will need to pay this money back from your benefits.  You can find a full list of acceptable expenses and see whether you may be eligible on the Government website.