More than £1M has been awarded to BCP Council to support the most vulnerable families and children across Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole over the coming months.
The Council has been allocated £1,068,327.58 from the government’s COVID Winter Grant Scheme to ensure vulnerable residents are able to access the support they need to address food and energy poverty over the winter period.
Work is now underway to co-ordinate efforts between the Council and partner organisations to best support vulnerable people over the winter months up until 31 March 2021. The funding is ringfenced with at least 80% earmarked for help with food and utility bills to support families and children and 20% to support other vulnerable residents across the area.
A flexible food voucher scheme is being developed that will meet the need to provide food for families through the school holiday periods and help prevent food hunger in children, young people and their families who are identified as needing support.
Some of the funding will be used to develop of a range of holiday activities during the Christmas and February half term holidays with a focus on securing access for those considered vulnerable.
Consultation is also underway with partner organisations to identify how the 20% remaining budget will be best used to expand and compliment existing schemes that meet the needs of the wider community over the winter period.
Councillor Nicola Greene, Portfolio Holder for or Covid Resilience, Public Health and Education, said: “We welcome the government’s latest Winter Grant Scheme funding which will be essential in enabling us to support the hardest-hit families and individuals in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole who have been impacted by the pandemic. We are working hard with our partners including local schools to ensure the people most in need can get essentials such as food for children over the holiday period and support with utility bills.”