Warwickshire County Council is using Household Support Fund Awareness Week (16-22 October) to remind residents of the cost-of-living support available from services across the county.
The council along with partner organisations offer direct support, and signposting to a wide variety of information and services, to people who may be struggling with their finances. The online resource www.costoflivingwarwickshire.co.uk brings much of this together in one place to make it easier for people to find the information they need.
The Government’s Household Support Fund Awareness Week is a chance to highlight the help available and encourage more people to take action if they need to and seek advice to manage their finances.
The Household Support Fund (HSF) is a Department for Work and Pensions initiative which awards money to local councils to support families and individuals who are finding it hard to meet household costs.
The fund has been in place since October 2021 and Warwickshire County Council has used almost £14m of government allocated funding to date for a mix of activity to help families and individuals through difficult times, including:
- Supermarket vouchers for households with children whose families are eligible for free school meals
- Financial support toward household utility bills for eligible households
- Grants to community groups to support local residents to access food, fuel and household equipment and meet cost-of-living challenges.
- Additional funding to Act on Energy for Warwickshire Warm and Well
The Household Support Fund has been extended until March 2024 and over the next six months a further £3.45m for Warwickshire will be used to enhance cost-of-living activity and directly support residents, automatically and by application, during winter and spring.
Warwickshire County Councillor Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Climate and Culture, said: “Partners across the county continue to work together to support residents during these hard times and I’d like to thank everyone for their continued efforts.
“This awareness week provides further opportunity to remind people of the resources available and share some of the feedback from local groups who have used the Household Support Fund to help their communities. With winter on the way and ongoing challenges to face with higher living costs it is timely to let people know there are services which can help and I hope those in need will reach out.”
The Warwickshire Local Welfare Scheme is responsible for distribution of the fund across the county. People in financial difficulty can contact the scheme on 0800 4081448 or 01926 359182 to speak to an advisor in confidence. More information about the Local Welfare Scheme is online at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/localwelfarescheme.
There is comprehensive help on Warwickshire’s cost of living website on debts, money and benefits, housing support, food and energy, jobs and skills, health and wellbeing, and support for businesses.