Support for Families

We know you want the best for your family. So, do we. Every child deserves the happy and healthy childhood that you’re working hard to provide.

So let our team help you and your family explore the support available to you or find information and advice for your parenting journey here:

Government support for families

Planning for the future

Take a look at our ideas for family fun during the Summer without breaking the bank.

Read our 6 tips for School Uniform Savings


Please do not hesitate to contact us. Simply complete our Services Contact Form and we’ll get in touch or call our helpline on 0800 093 8543. All advice is free and confidential.

Opening hours are Monday – Friday 9.30am – 4pm (excluding bank holidays).

Take a look at how we supported Head Gardener and father of two, Martin and his wife:

Click the image above to read our top tips

Government support for families

If you’re a parent or care for children, find out about the benefits that might be available to you. Don’t assume that you aren’t eligible because you’re working or that it isn’t worth claiming, because you could be missing out. 

Even if you’re only eligible for a small amount, it can open the door to other support such as council tax reduction, reduced utility tariffs and discounts. Go to our Benefits information pages to find out more.

Did you know a working family with two children who earn less than £30k a year may be able to increase their income by approximately £100 a week?

Help if you’re pregnant or have a child

Free school meals

Children need to eat well in order to do well at school. Free school meals are available to school-aged children for families who receive qualifying benefits.

Eligibility is varied in the different countries of the UK, to find out if your child might be entitled to free school meals click on the country link below:

England – Northern IrelandScotlandWales

Healthy Start Vouchers

Vouchers are available, when pregnant and with young children, for healthy food including fruit and vegetables. 

Healthy Start England- Wales- Northern Ireland

Best Start Grant-Scotland

Help with school uniform

If you’re worried about paying for school uniform your child’s school may be able to help you. Ask them about their uniform policy or look on their website.

In some parts of the UK local authorities help with school uniform costs for low-income families. Find out if your local authority provides this support and if you’re eligible. We can also contact your local authority or your child’s school on your behalf.

EnglandNorthern IrelandScotlandWales

School Holiday – food and activities

We know school holidays can be a particularly difficult time for you with increased food, childcare costs.

The Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme provides healthy food and activities to children and young people during the summer and Christmas holidays. Free places are available for those on free school meals during some of the school holidays and councils do have some flexibility to provide free access to other children too.

For information on how you and your family can get involved, please contact your Local Council.

Help paying for childcare

Tax-Free Childcare supports working families, including the self-employed, with childcare costs. If you’re a working parent or carer is earning at least the National Minimum Wage for 16 hours a week on average and under £100,000 per annum, you may be eligible to get £500 every three months (up to £2,000 a year per child) towards childcare costs. If your child has a disability, you may be eligible for £1,000 every three months (up to £4,000 a year per child).

You can use it to pay for childcare including:

  • childminders, nurseries and nannies
  • playschemes, before and after school clubs, and holiday clubs

Check with your provider to see if they’re signed up. Find out more about government help with childcare costs.

Starting work and childcare costs

Universal Credit doesn’t cover upfront costs of childcare. You will need to pay for the first month. If you cannot pay that upfront cost, you may be able to get help with the first month of childcare costs from the Flexible Support Fund.

How do I apply for help from the Flexible Support Fund?

Ask your local Jobcentre Plus adviser how you apply.  Find Local Job Centre. You will need to tell them what you need the money for and give evidence that you cannot pay for the items yourself.

Please do not hesitate to contact us. Simply complete our Services Contact Form and we’ll get in touch or call our helpline on 0800 093 8543. All advice is free and confidential – a member of our team can help you to understand and explore the options available to you. 

Click the image above to read our top tips

Planning for the future

We want to help you to make your money go further. Taking the time to understand your money better can really pay off and help you plan for important bills and regular family events like school holidays and school uniform costs.

The first step to taking control of your finances is to meet nudge – our free 24/7 personalised money management tool for everyone. This can help with your everyday budgeting, spending and savings plus advice and information about planning for the future . Get started today with a free financial health check. 

You may also find our tops tips for help with your Cost of Living during these challenging times of use.

If you’d like further help, our team can work with you to manage your money and put in place ways to best meet your family’s needs. Just complete the Services Contact Form  or call our helpline on 0800 093 8543.

Our team can also support you to explore opportunities for education, training or employment support.



Click the image above to read our top tips

6 Tips for School Uniform Savings

1/ Help from your local council
In parts of the UK local authorities provide help with school uniform costs. You can use the Government postcode checker tool, but this support isn’t available everywhere.

2/ Support from your school
It is always worth asking your child’s school directly about their uniform policy and what support is available from them or in your local area.

3/ Supermarket uniforms
Some supermarkets offer generic uniforms – plain coloured, with no unique school badges – which are great value, if allowed.

4/ Sales throughout the year
Keep an eye out throughout the year. You can often get great deals and you can buy bigger sizes for your children to grow into.

5/ Buy pre-loved uniform
Ask about your school’s pre-loved school uniform sales or check your local charity shops as a great way to save money and be eco friendly too.

6/ Online marketplaces Local Facebook Marketplace and other sites such as eBay can be another great place to pick up a bargain.

For help with everyday budgeting, saving and planning for the future take a look at Be Money Smart which is packed full of advice and information plus gives access to nudge – our free, personalised money management tool available to everyone in the horticultural community.

Click the image above to read our top tips