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Government money to fight cold and hunger

December 23, 2020 8:32 PM
Originally published by Trevor Carbin Liberal Democrat

Wiltshire Council will be using a Government grant to help ensure 'vulnerable' people in the county are warm and fed this winter.

The Government's £170 million national COVID Winter Grant Scheme was made available in early December to help those most in need across England with the cost of food and other essentials.

Wiltshire Council was awarded £1,107,933 as part of the scheme and has worked with partner agencies to agree how the money should be allocated.

The aim of the scheme is to give 'vulnerable' households peace of mind in the run up to Christmas and over the winter months by helping those who need it to have food and other essentials, such as heat and electric, to ensure they are warm and safe.

The money will be used for:

  • Support for older and vulnerable people with underlying health conditions - delivered by Wiltshire Community Foundation through the Centre for Sustainable Energy's Warm and Safe Wiltshire service and Age UK Wiltshire
  • Support for rough sleepers with money for food, and energy set-up costs at new accommodation - distributed by Wiltshire Council's housing team. The council is working with central government to ensure that all rough sleepers in Wiltshire have the option of some form of accommodation this winter. This additional money will assist with helping to keep them warm and fed.
  • Supporting Wiltshire Council tenants who are single or childless couples who have been identified as vulnerable and in financial hardship, to assist with fuel and food costs - distributed by Wiltshire Council's housing team
  • Supporting individual care leavers with a support payment - distributed by Wiltshire Council's social care team
  • Providing fuel poverty support for the traveller and boater communities with households identified for support by Julian House and distributed by Centre for Sustainable Energy. Warm & Safe Wiltshire is a service provided by Wiltshire Council and Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, in partnership with CSE, to deliver an energy advice service for Wiltshire residents, including those in the Swindon Borough Council area. The partnership has been running since December 2015 and allows people to access a host of support services through a single point-of-contact

There is no need to apply for funding from the Winter Grant Scheme. Eligible people will be identified by the relevant organisation.

The scheme will run until 31 March 2021

Councils have been given discretion by the Government in how they allocate the grant awarded to them.

Paul Winney, Warm and Safe Wiltshire project manager at CSE, said "The funding received from Wiltshire Council to be able to help residents this winter has been fantastic. I'm very pleased to be working in partnership with Julian House to support the Boater and Traveller community in Wiltshire. The Warm and Safe Wiltshire advice service aims to help those most affected by cold, damp homes and prevent those faced with a difficult choice of going hungry or keeping warm."

Fiona Oliver, Joint Chief Executive, Wiltshire Community Foundation: "We are delighted to be working with Wiltshire Council to support elderly and vulnerable people living in fuel poverty through our Surviving Winter programme. We will be using our excellent partnerships within the voluntary sector and knowledge of the county's hardest hit areas to ensure funding goes where it is needed most."

The Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub is also available to offer advice on 0300 003 4576 or email wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk for those who don't have a support network around them.

More information about Wiltshire Community Foundation can be found at https://www.wiltshirecf.org.uk/

More information about Centre for Sustainable Energy and Warm and Safe Wiltshire can be found at https://www.cse.org.uk/