The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll not only on the health but also on the finances of many households.
We have launched further support as part of the government’s COVID Winter Grant Scheme. The aim is to help residents who have been affected financially by the pandemic and are experiencing hardship.
With many furloughed, working reduced hours or having lost their jobs, more families are themselves in hardship for the first time. Although this may be a short-term situation, we are offering help to prevent financial challenges getting worse.
The grant can help towards:
- gas bills
- electricity bills
Families that have already been identified as being eligible for help will be contacted through schools and council service teams over the next couple of weeks. Other families experiencing short-term hardship due to COVID over the winter months, are also invited to apply for help.
Cllr Paul Bettison OBE, Leader of the Council, said:
“We know that many people have been finding things financially hard this year and for many hardworking families this is the first time they have found themselves needing our support. We urge them to come forward and apply for help as early as possible to avoid longer term hardship. We are looking to support those who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. This support is not only available to those in receipt of benefits, but those who have seen reductions to their employment hours, have been furloughed or lost their jobs may also be eligible.
“The simple form is available on our website and we are able to offer help to anyone requiring assistance with completing it. We do not want to see any families in our borough struggling to provide food for their family or to heat their homes this winter. Help is available and it’s available now.”
The grant also provides funds to make sure that children who qualify for free school meals or the pupil premium will receive vouchers for food over both the Christmas and February school holidays.
You can also get free financial advice on the Money Advice Service website.