Council reminds families of support available over Easter holidays

Cheshire West and Chester Council is working alongside partners and community groups to remind families of the support available to them over the upcoming Easter break.

A full list of all the support available to families during the school holidays can be found on the Council website, including a range of activity clubs on offer across the borough as part of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF).

 Details about the Household Support Fund are included on the web page. Funding from the support fund has been provided to local schools to be used over the Easter break to help families who have children that receive benefit related free school meals.

Food support for all residents is 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 on the Welcome Network website, so that residents can access the information in one place.

 Those delivering food support who aren’t currently on the live, interactive map are encouraged to add their details so people needing food support in their area can access their services.

In late 2020, the Council declared a Poverty Emergency. The Council continues to be committed to tackling poverty in all its forms across Cheshire West and Chester.

During the Winter Holidays 3726 children and young people accessed holiday provision, provided by 30 providers who were funded by the Department for Education’s Holiday Activities and Food Programme.

Stephanie Ellis, Manager of the Welcome Network, said: “Even though COVID-19 restrictions have now eased, the pandemic has left a lasting effect on many families across the borough. As the cost of living continues to rise, a coordinated approach to food support across Cheshire West and Chester has never been more important.

 “At the Welcome Network, we aim to bring together all those charities and community groups providing food support to make sure everyone in the borough can get the help they need.

 “Our live, interactive map is a really useful tool so people can quickly find the support available in their local area.

“It also helps us find any gaps in food support across Cheshire West and Chester and look to put solutions in place.”

Councillor Bob Cernik, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said, “We are aware that there are still families across the borough who may be struggling, as times continue to be hard. We want to ensure that all children and families across the borough have access to food support throughout the year and urge anyone who needs help to reach out.”

“In partnership with our local providers and community groups, there are a range of fantastic activities and food support available to families throughout the Easter break. Please take a look at our support page on the website to find out further information.”

Image: Young people enjoying HAF activities

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