Local welfare assistance across Essex is called the Essential Living Fund. It is run by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council on behalf of the whole county (including Thurrock - see Note below). It can provide help with general living expenses and one-off items, such as furniture, clothing and footwear and household equipment. 

For more information see the Essential Living Fund website. 

Policy documents and Frequently Asked Questions are available on the website

How to apply

Apply online


The Essex Essential Living Fund covers the following 14 district and borough and unitary councils:  

  • Basildon
  • Braintree
  • Brentwood
  • Castle Point
  • Chelmsford
  • Colchester
  • Epping Forest
  • Harlow
  • Maldon
  • Rochford
  • Southend-on-Sea*
  • Tendring
  • Thurrock*
  • Uttlesford

*Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock are unitary local authorities that formerly came under Essex County Council.