Local residents are continuing to receive essential support from community providers under BCP Council’s Household Support Fund scheme. For those who are in financial crisis, it offers help in affording food and keeping warm during the winter months.
Winter can be a difficult time of year for many families, with the pandemic exacerbating existing money issues. Following the scheme’s launch in November 2021, BCP Council has been working with key partners to help local people access community food providers and advice and discretionary grants to help with energy bills.
Since the start of the campaign, £56,988 has been awarded by Citizens Advice BCP in grants to 310 households to help with winter warmth. Over 12,500 children have been supported with £30 vouchers per child per week from both local schools and the Family Information Service over the school holidays. This is alongside continuing support from food providers through community fridges, pantries and food banks.
Schemes in place under the Household Support Fund include:
- Additional funding to community food providers to help them meet increased demand over the winter period
- Grants and guidance around energy bills from Citizens Advice BCP
- Dedicated helpline for those self-isolating who cannot access food
- Free advice about financial circumstances under the Citizens Advice BCP Let’s Talk Money scheme
Councillor Karen Rampton, Portfolio Holder for People and Homes, said: “I am delighted to see the positive impact that the Household Support Fund has had on our community so far. Our partners have provided an incredible service over the winter period and will continue to offer this valuable support over the coming months.
“We encourage anyone who needs support with affording food or keeping warm this winter to reach out for help. Our partner organisations can provide you with friendly advice and support without judgement or prejudice.”
For more information on the Household Support Fund, please visit our website: www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/householdsupport/
To find your local community food provider, visit our Access to Food map: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/bcpinsight/viz/AccesstoFoodMap/Introduction
For residents who are in financial difficulty and need support to keep warm:
Citizens Advice BCP: 01202 081732 (please leave a message) or visit: www.citizensadvicebcp.org.uk/winterwarmthsupport/
If you would like to make a donation or give your time to help local vulnerable households, our partners would welcome your support. For more information, visit: https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/News/News-Features/COVID-19/Help-advice-and-support/Help-the-community/Help-the-community.aspx