Emergency support

Southwark Emergency Support Scheme (SESS) can help you if you're a Southwark resident who's facing a crisis, emergency or disaster and needs help.

This scheme is discretionary with limited funding available, so awards are limited to one per household.

We normally provide goods or services rather than cash.  For example, you might qualify for white goods, flooring, bedding, clothing or food. You can receive help if you are

  • facing a crisis, emergency, or disaster
  • at risk of having to move out of your home and community and go into care, or
  • moving back into the community after spending time in a place such as a care home or hospital

You must also be:

  • living in Southwark for at least 3 months
  • 16 years of age or older, and
  • receiving one of these benefits:
    • Universal Credit including the personal allowance element
    • Income Support
    • Jobseeker's Allowance (income based)
    • Employment Support Allowance (income based)
    • Guaranteed Pension Credit.

You can submit your application at any time but we’ll only assess it during office hours - 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. We’ll make a decision on whether to award your application based on your eligibility, and your reasons for applying.

We’ll let you know our decision by email or post. If you’re successful, we’ll let you know how your award will be made and what to do next.

Apply for emergency support

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SESS is a discretionary scheme with limited funding so we can only help those with the greatest need. We may ask you for evidence to support your claim.  If you can’t provide this, we may refuse your claim.

We’ll refer you to other local support and advice services if we think it'll help you.  In some cases, we may refer you to these services rather than make an award under SESS.

We’ll also refer you elsewhere if we think that a claim to another scheme or fund would be more appropriate, such as schemes run by Jobcentre Plus.

If you provide false or incomplete information, you may be prosecuted.

Southwark Emergency Support telephone number: 020 7525 2434 (find out about call charges).

Page last updated: 03 September 2019