• Nikki Latham

Household Support Fund For Bournemouth, Christchurch And Poole Council Area

The Household Support Fund was a fund that Central Government passed onto the local authorities to distribute to those in need during the winter months, and it appears that each council has interpreted how to administer this fund. We are aware of some serious differences within the Dorset area. We are aware that one element of this scheme administered by Weymouth & Portland Council has already closed, this was the simplest way to apply for the funds for their allocation, but did restrict a large group of vulnerable people, have been forced to apply in a selection of several phone calls, and the person who reported this to us, still awaits any payment, even though they have been told they will be receiving something.
Local residents in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) council are continuing to receive essential support from community providers under the scheme. For those who are in financial crisis, it offers help in affording food and keeping warm during the winter months. This is in addition to the Warm Front Payments administered by the energy companies, that has closed for this year.
Winter will always be a difficult time, but the pandemic has made things even more worse and with the rising cost of living. Following the scheme's launch in November 2021, BCP have 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, £56,988 has been awarded in grants by Citizens Advice in grant to 310 households to help with winter warmth. Over 12,500 children have been supported with £30 a week per child from both local schools and the Family Information Service over the school holidays. Alongside supporting others with community fridges, pantries and food banks.

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."
She added: " We encourage anyone who needs support with affording food to keeping warm this winter to reach out for help. Out partner organisations can provide you with friendly advice and support without judgement or prejudice."
For more information on the Household Support Fund: http://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/householdsupport/

To find your local community food provider, visit our Access To Food: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/bcpinsight/viz/AccesstoFoodMap/Introduction

For BCP residents who are in financial difficulty and need support to keep warm: Citizens Advice BCP: 01202 081732 (please leave a message) or visit: http://www.citizensadvicebcp.org.uk/winterwarmthsupport/

If you would like to make a donation or give your time to help BCP 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
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