Council announces £500k fund to support those most impacted by pandemic
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People in North Somerset who are in financial crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic are being urged to apply for a share of council funding worth £500,000.
In November, the Government agreed a £400million winter grant scheme to support children, their families and individuals experiencing financial difficulties to help those most in need during the colder months.
Of this, £170million is to be distributed through councils, with at least 80 per cent earmarked to help people with food and utility bills.
North Somerset has announced that £500,000 is available to support people in the area.
The authority's executive member for children’s services, councillor Catherine Gibbons, said: “No child should go hungry – this winter or ever.
"We’re committed to reducing the inequalities that exist in North Somerset, so we welcome this funding to help those families who are struggling with the economic impact of coronavirus.
“Children who receive free school meals will get vouchers to cover the Christmas school holidays.
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"Subsequent vouchers will also be provided to support children and families during next year’s February school holidays.
“As well as school children, the voucher scheme is also available to children in preschool and care leavers.”
Additional support is also available through the North Somerset Council Welfare Provision Scheme.
This can provide people with financial support for essentials such as utility bills, bedding, furniture, white goods, clothing, footwear, food and toiletries.
Those eligible for funding can make a claim if they are in a temporary financial crisis, in receipt of child benefit for a child aged 16 years or over, a North Somerset resident and are in receipt of a qualifying benefit or waiting to hear about a claim for a qualifying benefit.
This could be through income support or Universal Credit or if their household has weekly earnings below £372, before deductions for tax and national insurance.
To make a claim, people can call the free number 08001 385665 or call 01934 888035 between 10am-4pm from Monday to Friday, quoting winter support.
North Somerset Council says people may need to provide evidence to support their application.
For more information, log-on to www.n-somerset.gov.uk/wps