Frontline groups share more than £500,000 to help struggling residents

More help is available for struggling residents after £556,000 was awarded to Wirral-based community, voluntary and faith sector groups to enable them to provide food and welfare support in their local neighbourhoods over the summer months.

Funding for the scheme was provided by the Small Grants Programme, which is part of a £3.05 million package of support from the Government’s Household Support Fund (HSF).

Although bids to the scheme were over-subscribed, 32 local groups successfully applied for up to £20,000 to address welfare needs in their area. Up to £2,000 was also awarded to each organisation to help with the overhead costs of running their projects. The Leader of Wirral Council, Cllr Janette Williamson, visited two of the organisations providing local assistance through the scheme – Equilibrium North West CIC and Heart of Egremont – on 24 August to see how they are helping in their areas.

The Council Leader said:

“After talking to service users and the staff and volunteers of organisations on the frontline in our communities, it is clear that the cost-of-living crisis is worsening by the day, with more and more people finding it difficult to make ends meet. “And just as they did through the pandemic, Wirral’s community groups are using their incredible local knowledge to make sure help is given to those who are most in need and in the most accessible and appropriate way.” The current (Summer) round of HSF funding is the latest from the Department for Work and Pensions which has provided more than £6 million since December 2020 under the COVID Winter Grant Scheme and COVID Local Support Grants.

The founding director of Equilibrium North West, Sharon Munroe, said:

“We all get an unexpected bill now and again, but for more and more people – including many who are in work – it can be enough to push us into a crisis situation. The grant funding we received allows us to give them a ‘Reprieve Pack’ containing all of the essentials needed to get them through for a few days. And while they are in our centre, we link them up with other local agencies such as Age UK, Energy Projects Plus and Involve Northwest, to see if they can get the help and advice that will assist them for the longer term.” The Coordinator at Heart of Egremont, Gary Dodd, said:

“Although the past few years have been hard, we are seeing even more walk-ins now as cost of living issues really start to bite. So many people just don’t know where else to turn. The grant pays for ‘Support Bags’ for people who need food help and our team of volunteers then make sure they know what other help is available on-site, including our community shop, café and activities programme. We also link them in with other support agencies to make sure they know what other help is available.”

Information about other support available to people in need is available on the Wirral Council website at or by calling the helpline on 0151 666 5050 if you are unable to go online. The helpline can also advise on assistance that may be available from Age UK Wirral for anyone digitally excluded.

Information about other support for residents is also available on the Wirral Infobank website at

Organisations providing food and welfare support through the Small Grants Programme 

OrganisationGrant AwardedProject Summary
Age UK Wirral£16,425.00Food hampers / shopping, white goods and support with fuel bills for struggling residents.  School uniform support for refugees/asylum seeking families studying English
Big Help Project£21,800.00Emergency food and essential items provision
Wirral Change Limited£22,000.00Emergency delivery service for Wirral’s vulnerable BAME households
Nightingales Recovery Café CIC£19,800.00Provision of a hot food carry out, cooking classes for families and meals on wheels
Neo Community£20,000.00Provision of food hampers and essential items
Café Number 7£20,000.00School holiday hampers and stocking of citizen’s supermarket
Tomorrow’s Women Wirral£8,710.00Creation of Food Pantry at the Centre, as well as some hot meals for service users
Equilibrium North West CIC£20,000.00210 family reprieve packs with essential food items, 10 white goods for in need families, 60 baby essentials packs
Birkenhead Forum Housing Association£17,585.00The following essential items to be provided to support tenants: fresh fruit and vegetables, personal hygiene products, essential cleaning items
Rock Ferry Salvation Army Community Church£4,850.00Food hampers, hot meals for families and older people, food stock available for emergency request
Rapid Response North West£14,840.00Food parcels, emergency fuel vouchers, white goods, emergency clothing
Heart 4 Refugees CIC£22,000.00Weekly food hampers, hot food drop in, emergency clothing
North Birkenhead Development Trust£20,000.00Food hampers, white goods and appliances, cleaning and personal hygiene supplies
Wirral Youth Zone£11,220.00Food and essential items hampers for young people and their families
Carrbridge Centre£16,178.00Provision of emergency food hampers for those in need, stocking of social supermarket, fuel vouchers and white goods for those in need
Koala North West£13,500.00Provision of emergency support for families in need, including: food hampers, fuel vouchers, white goods, essential items
Wirral Development Trust£17,000.00Work with Leasowe Community Centre to provide stock for social supermarket and emergency fuel vouchers for local residents
Make It Happen Birkenhead£13,200.00Provision of essential food and clothing for local residents, as well as supporting projects such as Community Cook Up.
Tranmere Rovers in the Community£20,000.00Food hampers provided to struggling families through the summer holidays and September, as well as help with school uniform costs
Eastham Community Church£1,150.00Summer holiday family events, food hamper provision, gas and electricity vouchers
Bridging the Wallasey Gap£21,500.00Emergency food hampers, fuel vouchers and white goods and appliances provision
Seacombe Community Association£22,000.00Emergency food hampers, food vouchers and emergency fuel support
Prenton Tenants and Residents Association£22,000.00Provision of seasonal food hampers for local residents in need, as well as supermarket vouchers and fuel vouchers
Core Project Birkenhead CIC£18,648.00Hampers for 60 families/individuals per week including food, essential items and clothing if needed
Delamere Community Centre£15,660.00Provision of food and essential item hampers, emergency gas and electric vouchers, equipment and food for cookery classes
Involve Northwest£18,400.00Food hampers, slow cookers, airfryers, blankets and warm items plus hygiene packs
Heart of Egremont Community Centre£13,000.00Provision of family crisis hampers containing food and essential items, as well as cooking hot meals for service users and providing white goods in emergency cases
Shaftesbury Youth Club£18,860.00Hot meals offered locally twice a week, essential food and item hampers, community cooking sessions, emergency fuel vouchers and provision of white goods
Sandbrook Community Centre£22,000.00Provision of emergency hampers and items for social supermarket
Spider Project Wirral CIC£20,000.00Community meals at the Centre, emergency fuel vouchers and “survival packs”.
Break The Mould/Noctorum Community Bingo Club£22,000.00Emergency hampers, baby supplies and fuel vouchers
The Little Centre Beechwood Ltd£22,000.00Stock for local food larder, supermarket vouchers for families in need and emergency fuel vouchers

Image: Cllr Janette Williamson (R), Leader of the council is pictured with the founding director of Equilibrium North West, Sharon Munroe (L)

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