Sixteen of Northern Ireland’s leading charities have come together to host a unique one-stop support service for the many impacts of the cost-of-living crisis.

The situation is so serious, they say, that many people are turning to charities for the first time in their lives.

The Cost of Living 24 campaign aims to make navigating community and voluntary services easy, local and accessible, thanks to a dedicated webpage and freephone number (0808 189 0036).

The partnership provides information and advice on a range of subjects: benefits and entitlements, fuel and child poverty, affordable childcare and housing. It also signposts to foodbanks in towns and cities throughout Northern Ireland.

Services aim to meet the needs of anyone struggling with high living costs cost – regardless of age, location or background – and include those offered Age NI, Carers NI and Disability Action.

Jonny Currie, Head of NI, at Trussell Trust said:

The impact of the cost-of-living crisis is that more and more people are struggling to afford the essentials. This pressure is being felt by individuals who have never found themselves in this situation before and many don’t know where to turn for advice and support. We also know that people are often ashamed or afraid to ask. Cost of Living 24 is intended to be a single point of information on the support available to anyone struggling to make ends meet.

Mental Health charity Inspire has reported that the burdens of current money worries are also taking a toll on people’s mental health. 

Inspire CEO Kerry Anthony said:

In addition to the practical challenges people are facing, many are feeling a rising impact on their mental health as they struggle to make ends meet and face really difficult decisions around making their budgets work.

As a group of charities, we want people to know that they’re not alone in trying to cope – help is available.

We have brought our expertise together on the Community Wellbeing online hub, as our experiences of working in partnership during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic showed the power of pulling in the same direction. We all want to ensure that those in difficult circumstances can find local community support and services when they need them most.

Supporting the launch of Cost of Living 24 is the Alliance Party’s spokesperson for Communities, Housing and Public Administration, Kellie Armstrong MLA.

She said:

I welcome the collaborative approach taken by advice organisations, which has made it easier for people to access support. The cost of living continues to create hardship for too many people across Northern Ireland.

Cost of Living 24 delivers help and advice that is easily accessible for people who may have been struggling to find the right kind of help for them. I would thank all the organisations who have proactively developed this resource.

Cost of Living 24 offers support and information via:

Webpage: (Or search ‘Community Wellbeing Cost of Living 24’)

Freephone: 0808 189 0036