£1.3 million on offer to people struggling in cost of living crisis

Businesswoman using calculator and laptop for budget cost money management strategy, female hands ca

Many households are struggling as the cost of living crisis continues - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Financial support is available for people in North Somerset who are struggling with their household finances. 

North Somerset Council (NSC) has been awarded a £1.3 million grant from the Government's Household Support Fund to be distributed to households in need by the end of September this year.

The grant money is being made available to vulnerable households and is intended to help pay for food, energy and water bills and other essential items. 

All working-age residents claiming council tax support will receive a £50 food voucher, all pensionable age residents claiming council tax support will receive a minimum of a £90 food voucher automatically. These vouchers amount to £822,400.

Food vouchers of £75 will also be paid in one instalment for each child receiving free school meals. These vouchers total about £350,550.

Grants are also being paid to North Somerset's two Foodbanks, as well as the Salvation Army and the Handyman Service, for them to support people in need.

There is also additional money to support individuals who are unable to meet short-term needs in a crisis, or where they need help to maintain their independence in the community. 

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This support is available through the Welfare Provision Scheme and the amount of help that can be given will depend on individual circumstances. 

Cllr Ash Cartman, NSC's executive member for corporate services, said: "We are committed to reducing inequalities in North Somerset and this additional support will help ensure that our residents who are financially vulnerable get the support they need.

"As well as the additional payments to our residents receiving council tax support help is also available to families receiving free school meals and via the local support networks that we've grant funded.

"If you find yourself in financial difficulty we will do our best to support you."

Cllr Catherine Gibbons, the council's executive member for children’s services, added: "No child should go hungry and the additional £75 for each child who receives free school meals will go a long way towards ensuring that does not happen. 

"If other families are struggling and are unsure if they're entitled to support, they can apply for free school meals online at www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals. 

"We are also continuing to provide support through our Welfare Provision Scheme which can support families with a wider range of needs including help during emergencies."

Residents needing additional short-term support through the welfare provision scheme can find more information on the council's website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/wps.

Applications can be made by phone on 01934 888 035 or 0800 138 5665 from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.