A huge community support effort is underway to help the most vulnerable families and households who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic this year.
Local residents who are struggling to afford food and keep warm over the winter months are urged to reach out for support from BCP Council and its partners, who are co-ordinating efforts to ensure people can access the support they need over the winter period.
- Free school meal supermarket vouchers for eligible families with school aged children to support them during the holiday periods – delivered through schools
- Increased support for local food banks and community food support including pantries and community fridges
- Support for vulnerable residents with affording utility bills and keeping warm this winter through pre-payment card schemes and other support through BCP Citizens Advice
- Support to access food for vulnerable households delivered through the Together We Can helpline.
Councillor Nicola Greene, Portfolio Holder for Covid Resilience, Public Health and Education, said: “We know that there are many vulnerable people out there including families with children who will be struggling this winter. We want them to know that there is dedicated support available to help with accessing food and to keep warm and we are trying to make it as simple and easy to access this support as possible.
“We also know that many local residents will wish to support vulnerable people in their own communities who may have fallen on hard times. With a whole network of organisations out in the local community, it can be hard to know where to start and what help is needed. We have tried to make it easy to find out what help is required, whether that’s by donating food, clothing or time by volunteering, with information on our dedicated Together We Can web pages.”
If residents are looking for support they can call:
For signposting and advice about accessing food:
- Households with children, call BCP Council Family Information Service: 01202 093131
- Households without children, call Together We Can helpline: 0300 1237052
For signposting and advice about winter warmth:
- Call Citizens advice: 01202 081732
If residents wish to help their local community by donating food and other items or volunteering, visit: www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/helpwintersupport
The winter support scheme follows a recent allocation of £1,068,327.58 to the council 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.