North East Lincolnshire Council is set to hand out direct financial support worth more than £628,000 in the coming months to families in need as part of the Government’s Covid Winter Grant Scheme.
Vulnerable households and families with children that are likely to be particularly affected by the pandemic throughout the winter period, and where alternative sources of assistance may be unavailable, will benefit from direct cash to support them to pay for food and fuel in the coming months.
With the funding ring-fenced to support with food and essential utility costs, it will allow the council to directly help the hardest-hit families and individuals over the winter period.
In line with national guidance the following will be eligible for support under the Winter Grant programme.
- Households with children that are in receipt of any benefits
- Households (including statutory provision) with Children that are recognised as vulnerable and are in receipt of statutory support
- Households without children that are struggling to access food or are in arrears with utility costs. These households will only be eligible for support if they are on benefits and can evidence that they cannot pay for food or fuel (evidence will be needed in both cases)
Plans are being worked up at the moment to understand the best ways to get the money directly to families in our area, but this is likely to be through a number of means:
- Direct financial allocation to those families with children that benefit from free school meals
- Via other support organisations in the area who may receive an allocation to provide onwards direct financial support to families in need
- Some local foodbanks will receive a financial allocation to help provide food.
The money will be distributed through these networks, directly into families’ bank accounts or through the use of vouchers. Families will be contacted directly if they are eligible to receive financial help or vouchers to cover meals.
This funding covers the period to the end of March 2021, with more than half of it to be issued before the new year.
Cllr Philip Jackson, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “Local authorities have the local ties and local knowledge, making us best placed, in the first instance, to identify and help those children and families most in need. We’ll be doing a lot of work in the coming weeks to make sure that families who need our help know what’s available.”
Additionally, North East Lincolnshire Council COVID-19 Helpline – 01472 313131 0ption 0, is available from Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm. This is a dedicated North East Lincolnshire helpline for individuals or families in genuine need who have no one else to help them. Calling this number will connect residents to services, registered groups, organisations and local volunteers who may be able to help.
Those on low-incomes and certain benefits may also qualify for a £500 support payment if they are forced to self-isolate due to COVID-19.