SOMERSET has received over Â£ 3million to help those struggling to pay their bills this winter.
Residents will be eligible for assistance with the cost of food, energy, water and other essentials.
The county has received Â£ 3.8million from the Government’s Household Support Fund.
The fund will be used to provide support to those in need by the end of March.
Proposals for how the money will be used in Somerset have been developed by the Community Resilience Partnership, a collaboration between Somerset County Council, Mendip District Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Council of Somerset West and Taunton District, South Somerset District Council and partner organizations in the voluntary sector.
The funding is distributed as follows:
- About Â£ 1.1million – used to fund food stamps for children eligible for free school meals during the Christmas, February and Easter school holidays. This includes additional funding so that schools can allocate vouchers to families who need support but cannot qualify for free school meals.
- Â£ 1.7million – This will be distributed through Somerset Citizen’s Advice to help households with food, utility bills and other essentials.
- Â£ 400,000 – To support eligible individuals and families supported by Somerset County Council Children’s Services.
- Â£ 100,000 – This amount will be donated to the Safe & Warm Somerset helpline to support fuel-poor households.
- Â£ 80,000 – This will go to Somerset Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter program to help elderly and rural residents with heating.
Angela Kerr, CEO of Citizens Advice South Somerset, said: âAt Citizens Advice, we understand only too well the impact of increasing financial pressures on individuals and families, and we are keen to ensure that the Household Support Fund reach as many people as possible.
âIn addition to helping distribute this fund, we continue to offer holistic advisory services. Accurate and reliable advice is essential for anyone facing changing circumstances or complex issues that they don’t know how to handle.
âOur free helpline continues to provide holistic advice on social assistance and benefits, money and housing for debt, employment and more. ”
You can call the Citizens Advice Somerset Adviceline on 0808 2787 842 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
To apply for funding from Citizen’s Advice, visit Citizensadvicesomerset.org.uk to apply.
For more details on the Somerset Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter program, visit somersetcf.org.uk.
See cse.org.uk for more information on the Safe & Warm Somerset Hotline.