Cost of Living Support

We know many of our residents are worried about the increased cost of living and that’s why within the 2023/24 budget the Council agreed an additional £1.5 million cost of living package. This follows the £2.1 million that was allocated in 2022.

The most recent package includes the following measures:

  • A further allocation of £300,000 to East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust to extend the programme of free swim and gym sessions for primary and secondary pupils from April 2023 to end of March 2024
  • An additional £50,000 for the Homelessness Hardship Fund taking the total available to £100,000
  • Confirmation that the School Clothing Grant will remain doubled for a further academic year (2023/2024)
  • Continuation of the previous one-off Pensioner Support Payment consisting of a £100 payment for each eligible pensioner in October and a further £50 for eligible pensioners in January 2024, costing approximately £465,000.
  • The introduction of a Household Support Payment

In addition to these key areas of spend, further funding will be provided to other organisations involved in cost of living support including:

  • Cash funding of £10,000 to support the local Foodbank
  • An additional £50,000 for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau locally, recognising their role in relation to advice and support
  • An additional £30,000 allocated to the Warm Spaces grant
  • An increased allocation of £100,000 for the Community Grants Scheme

The previous £2.1 million package of support included:

  • An additional £200 Winter Support Payment for each eligible child
  • Additional Farmfoods vouchers to support those families in extreme short-term need with food provision
  • An additional £210,000 to address the projected overspend for the Scottish Welfare Fund
  • Energy vouchers for Council tenants and homelessness cases to help with energy bills
  • An allocation of £500,000 to East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust (EDLCT) to deliver a programme of free gym and swim access.
  • Cash funding to support the local Foodbank £10,000
  • An additional £50,000 for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau locally, recognising their role in relation to advice and support
  • An additional £50,000 for the Community Grants Scheme to help community organisations in their efforts to mitigate the rising cost of living.

On this page you will find information on:

Benefits and Money

Council Tax

Advice on whether you could be due a Council Tax discount or support if you’re finding it difficult to pay your Council Tax is available.
Information on Council Tax

Crisis Grants 

The Scottish Welfare Fund is there to help you if you are on benefits, have a low income or are having problems in paying a one-off expense. Grants do not need to be paid back to the Council, but are intended to meet one-off needs rather than on-going expenses.
Information on the Scottish Welfare Fund

Income Maximisation

 The East Dunbartonshire Income Maximisation Service is available to all East Dunbartonshire residents and provides free confidential advice if you are experiencing any financial worries or hardships.
Information on Income Maximisatiion [opens in a new window]

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a Social Security benefit administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Universal Credit combines means-tested support for adults of working age, including those with children, into one benefit.
Information on Universal Credit

Children and Families 

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) scheme provides financial support for 16-19 year olds - from low income families - who stay on in full time, non-advanced education after their statutory school leaving date. 
Information on the Education Maintenance Allowance

Free childcare

In Scotland, all children aged three and four, and eligible children aged two, have a statutory entitlement to 1140 hours of funded early learning and childcare per year.
Children will receive a funded meal whilst attending their funded hours.
Information on free childcare

Free swim and gym sessions

The free swim and gym programme has been extended until end of March 2024. Between November 2022 and March 2024 all primary school pupils in the area will be able to enjoy free swimming while secondary students aged 12-18 can access a range of free gym sessions - at all three EDLC leisure centres.

Information on the free gym and swim programme 

School Clothing Grants and Free School Meals

East Dunbartonshire Council was allocated additional monies from the Scottish Government Local Authority COVID Economic Recovery Fund, which means we were able to double the School Clothing Grants to £240 per eligible primary school child and £300 per eligible secondary school child for the academic year 2022/23. At the recent Budget meeting Council agreed to pay for these payments to remain doubled for the academic year 2023/24.

Information on school clothing grants and free school meals

Energy Bills

All UK households will receive a £400 payment October 2022 and March 2023 which will be paid directly to your energy provider or be given as vouchers if on a pre-payment meter. You do not have to pay this back. There is also additional grants for people who receive specific benefits
Information on cost of living payments [opens in a new window]

Free impartial advice on saving energy, keeping warm at home, renewable energy and cutting water waste is available from Home Energy Scotland [opens in a new window]

The Home Heating Support Fund [opens in a new window] is available for Scottish households struggling with energy costs.

Citizens Advice Bureau [opens in a new window] offers specific advice aimed at people struggling to pay their energy bills. 

Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding

For households that pay their electricity in a different way and do not have a direct relationship with their supplier including those living in care homes, houseboats and caravans, the Energy Bills Support Scheme – Alternative Funding may be available.



East Dunbartonshire foodbank centres provide food for people who come with a referral from an agency.
The Food Bank has centres in Kirkintilloch, Bishopbriggs and Milngavie, but distribution can be arranged throughout East Dunbartonshire where required. For further help phone 07425 134131 or visit East Dunbartonshire Foodbank | Helping Local People in Crisis [opens in a new window]
Everyone who comes to the foodbank for emergency food should have a valid foodbank referral or voucher.

Opening hours and locations:

  • Kirkintilloch Baptist Church, 52 Townhead, Kirkintilloch, Glasgow, G66 1NL - Opening Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 2pm to 4pm.
  • St Joseph's Church, Milngavie, Buchanan Street, Milngavie, G62 8DZ - Opening Hours: Friday 2pm to 3.30pm and Sunday 12.45pm to 1.30pm.
  • Colston Wellpark Church, Colston Wellpark Church, 1378 Springburn Road, Glasgow, G21 1UX - Opening Hours: Monday and Friday 2pm to 4pm.
  • Lennoxtown Free Church, Main Street,, Lennoxtown, G66 7DD - Opening Hours: Friday 11am to 1pm.

Free period products

Free period products have been available throughout East Dunbartonshire schools since 2018 and in community locations across the area since 2019 as part of a nation-wide commitment to tackling period poverty.
Information on where to find free period products 


Discretionary Housing payment

Discretionary Housing Payments can give additional help to Housing Benefit claimants and Universal Credit claimants who have the housing element included in their award. This help can be to meet housing costs, or a one-off cost such as rent in advance, a rent deposit, or moving costs.
Information on the Discretionary Housing Payment

Homelessness services

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness you should contact the Council’s Homelessness Team as quickly as possible.
Information on Homelessness

Local housing allowance (LHA) 

If you're renting a home from a private landlord and you're on a low income, you may be able to claim a Local Housing Allowance. A LHA can help towards the cost of rent, but it doesn't cover charges for heating, hot water, lighting, laundry or cooking.
Information on the Local Housing Allowance


People over 60, those who have a disability and all young people aged 5-21 are entitled to free bus travel.
Information on free bus travel including eligibility

Winter Connections

The Council has agreed to provide grants of up to £1500 for community organisations and groups to provide activities and warm spaces throughout the area. You can read more about this and fill in our online application form on our Winter Connections page.

If you are unable to complete an online form, please email (link sends e-mail) and request a form to be sent to you so that you can complete and return a paper copy. 

Work and Business 

Working for Parents

Parents are being offered support to upgrade their skills, overcome work barriers and enhance their finances - opening up fresh opportunities for all the family.

East Dunbartonshire Council’s Working for Parents aims to help mums and dads maximise their income through employability support and to overcome barriers with advice on health, money and motivation.

The Scottish Government funded scheme provides targeted support to help parents already in work to improve their skills so they can progress in their current job or change career.

Participants are offered one-to-one support plus training and need to be able to commit one to two hours a week.

Help is also available for unemployed parents through one-to-one employability support and training.

The criteria includes:

  • Ethnic minority parents
  • Lone parents
  • Under-25s
  • Those with a child under one
  • Those with three or more children
  • Parent or child with a disability

Referrals can be made directly to Skills for Learning, Life and Work - telephone: 0141 777 3082 / e-mail or through various partnership organisations.

Support to Reduce Costs

Businesses are being offered support to help cope with rising costs.

Information on support for business