With energy costs set to soar, against a background of rising inflation and fuel prices, families are being urged not to shy away from asking for help.

By October, the average household energy bill will be as high as £3,500 per year, which could then swell to more than £5,000 in the new year.

So what help and support is out there - and where can people turn?

The Norfolk Assistance Scheme continues to be one option for people in need.

The scheme is, essentially, a government-funded hardship fund which people can apply for if they come into financial struggles.

People are also able to turn to their local library support, where 'grab and go bags' can be collected with household, hygiene and period poverty items available.

This week, the county council also confirmed 'warm and well' bags including items such as hot water bottles and blankets will also soon be made available.

Voluntary groups such as foodbanks and similar support schemes are also available to offer support.

Should these groups themselves struggle, the Norfolk Community Foundation is available to offer grants and financial backing.

Laura Wigby, head of programmes at NCF, said: "We are definitely starting to see more approaches being made for our support.

"We also have one fund open to individuals - the Millennium Trust for Carers - which provides grants for anybody who is a carer to help pay for practical items like white goods, laptops or short respite breaks."

A spokesman for County Hall said: "Norfolk County Council is aware of the pressures that people are under with the increased cost of living.

"We are doing all we can to support people and have several schemes in place to help those in need."

The council is also working with partner organisations to look for other ways of supporting struggling families.

These include discussions with Anglian Water over ways to reduce water bills for people on certain tariffs and working with Age UK to help provide advice for elderly members of the community.

The council is also set to provide families eligible for free school meals with £15 vouchers per child in September and October.

Find out more about help with living costs at norfolk.gov.uk