Did you know that 4.8 million people in the UK are living without at least one basic household appliance, such as a cooker, washing machine or refrigerator?
Luckily, there are several charities, government organisations and even companies that are here to lend a helping hand to those in need by providing grants for white goods.
Read below to find out where and how to apply for a white goods grant.
A white goods grant is awarded to individuals and families experiencing financial hardship. These grants can be used for getting free or low-cost essential household items such as freezers, cookers, fridges and washing machines.
Keep in mind that white goods charities and organisations often have specific eligibility criteria that one needs to meet to qualify for a grant.
Family Fund is a UK-based charity that offers grants for a wide range of items to families raising a disabled or seriously ill child under the age of 17.
Their most requested grants include washing machines, clothing, computers, bedding, furniture and outdoor play equipment.
The Family Fund does not require you to present a formal diagnosis to apply for a white goods grant, but you do need to prove that you receive benefits (housing benefits, income support, universal credit etc). Your child should also meet at least three of Family Fund’s seven areas of support.
Related reading: How to apply for a loan while on benefits?
You can apply directly to the charity for a grant, and their team will contact you within 10 weeks of receiving your application.
The Greggs Foundation Hardship Fund, established in 1993, offers grants for white goods and other essential household requirements.
So far, the fund has given more than £3 million in funding to charitable organisations throughout the North East of England.
The foundation works with East Durham Partnership to provide households in financial hardship with cookers, washing machines and fridges/freezers. It can also offer funding for the purchase of items such as baby equipment, groceries, flooring and bedding.
The company aims to review all applications on a weekly basis but gives priority to the most financially-excluded families in need of items that will really make a difference in their lives.
Glasspool provides help with white goods, including cookers, washing machines, fridges, freezers, as well as washer-dryers or tumble-dryers (but only if there is a health or disability or there is no facility to dry clothing). They also award grants for furniture, clothing, bedding, flooring and baby equipment to financially vulnerable individuals, couples and families.
The unique thing about this charity is that they have no eligibility criteria—you just need to be a resident of the UK and request a grant through registered support workers.
Glasspool lets you apply for a white goods grant for up to three items, however, in most cases, they can provide help with only one.
The E.ON Group, one of the biggest energy network operators in Europe, has set up an Energy Fund to help its existing and previous customers facing financial difficulties.
The Fund provides replacements for household items such as cookers, fridges, gas boilers and washing machines. It also helps customers pay off their accumulated energy bills.
Though E.ON attempts to help as many people as possible, they prioritise applicants with the greatest needs, such as individuals who have received money advice from an FCA-approved agency.
When applying, the fund may request you to provide evidence of benefit entitlements, medical confirmation and proof that you are paying your ongoing electricity bills.
The British Gas Energy Trust primarily helps individuals and families who are struggling with electricity or gas debts.
The company awards grants to both British Gas customers as well as users of other suppliers that can help clear their remaining energy bills and move forward free of energy or fuel debt.
They also provide funds to several local community organisations that offer grants for boiler repairs or replacements, as well as help with implementing energy-efficient solutions and appliances in the home, plus fuel debt and money advice services.
You may be interested in: Who qualifies for a boiler grant?
Applicants for grants for white goods from Great Britain are welcome but need to apply directly or give a reason why someone is making a request on their behalf.
There are also funds and trusts that support workers from a specific company or industry. For instance, the Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust is created to help the children of fashion and textile UK workers, while the BT Benevolent Fund provides assistance to past and present BT workers facing financial hardship.
Re-use Network is a national network of reuse centres throughout the UK that stocks second-hand white goods and household furniture. The items have been restored and tested to ensure they’re working properly.
Many centres will charge you for the item, however, the price is significantly lower than buying a brand new appliance.
According to Turn2us, 67% of housing associations have helped in-need tenants purchase white goods directly, while 88% have assisted them in applying to various charities for white goods.
Other housing associations have introduced a white good scheme which allows them to gift appliances left behind by previous tenants.
Many local councils in the UK provide grants under the Local Welfare Assistance scheme to help low-income families with white goods and furniture.
However, not every council offers this white good scheme, so you need to check whether your local council can award a grant and if so, how much you can receive.
If you don’t qualify for a white goods grant, you can always search for free household appliances on Facebook Groups or non-profit organisations such as Freecycle.org and Freegle, where people donate their furniture and other appliances.
Membership in these organisations is usually free, and they are open to anyone, not just people who need help with white goods when on benefits.
The Government offers budgeting loans to people with low income that can be used to cover unexpected expenses, such as replacing a broken cooker or washing machine. These loans are interest-free, and you can borrow up to £812 if you claim Child Benefits.
However, in order to qualify for a loan for white goods replacement or repair, you must have received benefits (Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit) for at least 6 months.
Some social housing providers may offer furnished tenancies, usually for people on housing benefits. Under this agreement, your landlord will repair or replace any items that break down.
More and more families and individuals are finding it harder to make ends meet and are going without basic household appliances, therefore increasing the demand for grants for a washing machine, a cooker or other white goods.
Luckily there are organisations that can provide you with a new appliance as well as government schemes allowing you to purchase white goods at lower costs, thus eliminating the need to apply for high-interest loans that can only put you into more debt.
Few charities in the UK provide grants for white goods directly. Most of them require a support worker to apply on your behalf.
A family of four that does not have a cooker spends an extra £42 a week, or £2,184 a year more on meals. What’s more, families are estimated to spend 43% more on food if they do not have a refrigerator or freezer. That is an additional £1,365 a year.
Finally, you could save more than £1,039 every year if you use a washing machine at home rather than a launderette.
According to Turn2Us, 33% have used a credit card to buy white goods and 7% have utilised a hire purchase. 1% have taken out a payday loan to buy or repair an appliance, whereas 5% and 7% have used an overdraft or a store card, respectively.
If you’re on Universal Credit you won’t be able to get a budgeting loan from the government, although you are free to apply for a grant from a charity or energy company. Before you do, though, read through their ‘how to apply for white goods grant’ section to see if you are eligible.
My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.