Cheshire West and Chester Council has provided an update on the Household Support Fund and how it is being distributed locally.
Councillor Robert Cernik, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said, “The Council recognises many residents are currently facing difficult financial challenges and is committed to providing support to them.
“After receiving the Government’s guidance for the latest Household Support Fund, the Council has been working with the Welcome Network, Poverty Truth Advisory Board, including residents with experience of financial hardship, and other organisations on proposals for how we can allocate the temporary funds.
“The guidance highlights how the temporary funds should support vulnerable groups with fuel, food and other emergency costs in the borough.
“The changes to guidance mean we’ve had to carefully consider how the Council can help the temporary funds reach as many residents as possible, while adhering to requirements, and this has taken time.
“The Council isn’t in a position to provide funding for supermarket vouchers to schools during May half-term in part because of the change in guidance, but support will continue to be available for fuel, food and other emergencies through the Council’s Help in Emergency scheme.”
This scheme is available throughout the whole of half-term week, including the two bank holidays, between 9am to 5pm. The scheme can be contacted by phone on: 0300 123 7065 or email at: email@example.com
Food support for all residents is also available all year round, including during the school holidays, through the Council-backed Welcome Network.
Local community groups currently providing food and support across the borough have been mapped out on the Welcome Network website so residents can access the information in one place.
Groups that have received funding for May half-term are the following.
- Rudheath and Witton Together – recipe bags for picnic lunches
- Blacon Beacon – Jubilee picnic lunch
- Chester Cathedral – ingredients and recipes for two slow cooker meals and two sandwich lunches
- Friends of Lache – picnic lunch for an activity day to celebrate the Jubilee
- GGO Community Group – food for Jubilee event
- Soul Kitchen – food packs for children and families in temporary accommodation
- Elton Community Centre – vouchers for food for families to use at Jubilee Day
- Save the Family – Jubilee picnic and packed lunches for the children for the week
- Westminster Families – Wezzy Wednesdays lunch for children and families who are a part of Westminster Families Community Group
Councillor Cernik added, “The Council’s plans are well underway for a significant Holiday Activity Fund programme this summer, incorporating the Household Support Fund.“This will be used to provide supermarket vouchers to those receiving free school meals during the summer break, as well as maximising the wider reach of the Household Support Fund for residents who need it.”