From October 2022 to April 2023, the Department of Work and Pensions is providing funding through the Household Support Fund. We will use this funding to support our most vulnerable residents with the rising cost of living, including food and essential bills.
We are distributing the Household Support Fund in the following ways.
Cost of living vouchers for households in receipt of free school meals
Children in Bracknell Forest schools registered for free school meals will receive a supermarket voucher worth £30 in December and a further £15 supermarket voucher in February. This will be automatically distributed through schools.
Low income households
If you meet the criteria below, you will automatically receive a supermarket voucher by post. The vouchers can be redeemed online for a number of supermarkets.
You are eligible for a supermarket voucher if you are in receipt of one or both of the following:
- income based council tax reduction
- housing benefit
You are not eligible if you are in receipt of benefits that would entitle you to the government’s £650 cost of living payment.
You must meet this qualification criteria on Monday 31 October 2022 to automatically receive a voucher.
If you are working age and in this category, you will receive a £300 voucher per household.
If you are pension age in this category, you will receive a £150 voucher per household, in addition to the existing national pension age payment.
To understand more about this fund and eligibility to receive support, read our Housing Support Fund Policy at the bottom of this page.
Funding for local foodbanks
Bracknell and Crowthorne foodbank will receive additional funding to support its customers with fresh food and other essential items. Bracknell foodbank will also be able to supply energy vouchers in partnership with Citizens Advice.
Residents wishing to access the foodbank must be referred by the council or a partner organisation such as Citizens Advice.
Application based support
The Local Welfare Scheme will be enhanced to enable Bracknell Forest residents in hardship who would not otherwise automatically qualify for support to apply. If you are eligible, there are 2 ways that you can apply:
- Main Local Welfare Scheme – this is based on our existing assessment criteria and will include a financial assessment of your income and assets. Find out more and apply on our Local Welfare Scheme page.
- Winter family cost of living voucher scheme – for low income families not eligible for the school distributed vouchers.
Winter Family Cost of Living Voucher Scheme
You could be eligible for a one-off supermarket voucher of £45 per child.
To apply, you must be in receipt of qualifying benefits and your child must meet one of the following criteria:
- child is under 5 years old in an early years setting
- child is 16 to 18 years old in full time education
- young person is aged 16 to 25 years old in full time education with an Education, Health and Care plan
- child is home educated
- child attends an out of borough school where they are not eligible for equivalent support from their education authority
A maximum of one voucher per child will be awarded during the period 1 October 2022 and 31 March 2023.
All awards offered under the Local Welfare Scheme route are limited to the available funding. Therefore, the council may close the applications at any point during the period 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, if the full Household Support Fund grant has been distributed.