Residents in St Helens Borough facing financial hardship this winter will be supported by a new grant to help buy food, pay utility bills and meet other essential living costs.
At a meeting this week, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet approved the distribution of a £1,779,581 ‘Household Support Fund’ allocated by central government, primarily intended to cover food and energy – with guidance stipulating that at least 50 per cent of funding should be provided to households with children or young adults.
Operating between now and March 2022, the funding has been split into three sections:
- £889,000 used to support households in receipt of certain qualifying benefits, with payments made directly in December 2021
- £490,000 to help families towards the cost of free school meal over the Christmas (2021) and February (2022) holidays
- £300,581 to the local welfare assistance scheme to support residents with vouchers where there is an immediate need for help with food or fuel costs (applications required)
Councillor Martin Bond, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Governance, said:
“One of our key priorities is to be a responsible council and that means continuing to put our most vulnerable residents first.
“With the ever-increasing cost of living, many in our communities are faced with difficult decisions like choosing between eating and heating, which simply should not be happening in this day and age.
“We welcome this funding which will be put to good use in the true spirit of St Helens Together, ensuring support is in place to support residents that may experience financial difficulties during the coldest months.”
For more information, visit: https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/welfareassistance