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Funding to help the most vulnerable households to manage over the winter months

Shropshire Council now has a range of funding available to help the most vulnerable of Shropshire’s households to manage over the winter months.

A spokesperson explained, 'Please remember that if someone has been told by NHS Test and Trace Service that they must self-isolate and stay at home then they may be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment to help financially during their isolation period. For more information about this, the qualifying conditions that have to be met and to claim online please follow this link: https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/benefits/what-help-can-i-claim-from-the-council/covid-test-and-trace-support-payments/    

Otherwise, for the most vulnerable households that have been affected by the pandemic and are struggling to pay for food or other essential bills we have discretionary funds through which we might be able to help.

The Council has been granted an Emergency Fund through DEFRA and funding through a Winter Grant Scheme through the Department for Work & Pensions to help those residents in Shropshire that are most in need.  Between them, these funds will be able to help the most vulnerable with the cost of food, energy and water bills and other essential outgoings.

A proportion of the Winter Grant Scheme funding will be used to support the families of children who would normally get a free school meal, or who have a 24U/Early Year Pupil Premium entitlement, with support for food through the Christmas break, Spring half-term 2021 and the  Easter 2021 holidays. This will be arranged via schools and nurseries, with funding being transferred into their budgets to underwrite the costs.  The vast majority of school and early years settings will be distributing vouchers to be used at local supermarkets, though some schools may be making alternative local arrangements for their families.   Schools and settings will be contacting and liaising with their families who qualify for support and any enquiries should be addressed directly to them.  Vouchers will be distributed before the end of term. 

 The remaining money will work alongside the Emergency fund to help provide for a wide range of help for those most in need. 

 There is one application process which can be done over the phone (a paper form is available on request). Our advisers will go through the person’s circumstances and will complete an initial application, at the same time they will be able to point people in the direction of other help and advice available. After that, a specialist adviser will deal with the application, including any supporting information we may need to help us decide. 

 These awards are aimed at people in hardship and who are struggling to manage during the Covid pandemic. A person does not need to be getting benefits in order to qualify, each application will be looked at on its merits and will take all circumstances into account, including any other money that the person might have available to help.

So if you, or someone you know, is having difficulty meeting essential outgoings, call us on 0345 678 9078.'

 

December 24th 2020

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