Thousands to receive helping hand with bills this summer

£5.5 million will be spent in Staffordshire this summer supporting thousands of people with their domestic bills.

Staffordshire County Council is distributing the money for households most in need of help to put towards the cost of food, energy and water.

At least one third of the money will be spent on families with children and at least another third is allocated to pensioners.

Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Young People, said: “The Pandemic affected many people’s finances and the recent increase in food and energy prices has affected us all.

“For the past 18 months we have been targeting the families and people most in need of additional support and this summer we will distribute another £5.5 million by the end of September, including the families of 27,000 children as part of the Holiday Activity and Food programme.”

Staffordshire County Council has been allocated the money from the Department of Work and Pensions.

The proposed distribution of support will focus on four areas:

Families of children who receive free school meals will receive a £15 evoucher for May half term and a £30 evoucher for the two weeks in the summer holidays when there are no events through the Holiday Activities and Food programme. Early Years Children who receive funding for Think 2 and Early Years Pupil Premium will also be eligible. As with previous schemes, the evouchers for an estimated 27,000 children will be redeemable in most popular supermarket chains.
All care leavers will receive a £50 evoucher to help with food costs.

Working with district and borough councils, to target others in need of support, including pensioners, to use as they wish on fuel, food or other essential supplies.

Continue the work of the 2021/22 Winter Warmth Project to help those struggling to pay their bills, or are dealing with a breakdown of their heating system. Eligible people will also have access, in certain circumstances, to top up grants for new, more efficient boilers.
Those eligible for the different categories will be contacted directly soon.

Mark Sutton said: “From feedback we know this makes such a difference to people who through no fault of their own are finding life a little tough at the moment.

“We are committed to helping wherever we can and this support will reach thousands of people across Staffordshire.”

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