- 8.9 million grants awarded to families in the first round of the Home Support Fund, new data shows
- Local authorities use government funds to help communities with innovative measures
- “It has been an important intervention to provide Help to Homes”, says Minister
Life support was provided to families in England from the Home Support Fund in the first six months of its introduction, with £400m spent on support and given directly to those in need.
The Fund has since been extended until the end of March 2023 after receiving a further £842m in funding through two extensions.
Local authorities administer the fund on behalf of the government to help vulnerable households across the country access support to help with the rising costs of energy, food, water and other related essentials.
Department for Work and Pensions Social Welfare Minister David Rutley said:
The Household Support Fund has been an important intervention in providing help to households facing cost of living challenges.
Local authorities know what support works best in their areas. It has been good to see the different ways they have used the Fund to enrich the lives of people in their communities.
With the extensions announced, local authorities can now provide that vital support through Christmas and beyond.
The latest figures show how the first round of the Fund was used from October 2021 to March 2022. Nearly nine million instances of support were provided to families most in need across England.
Those in need of support were told to apply for or receive help directly through their local authority, and councils were empowered to use the Fund to support their communities in a way tailored to their needs. It is clear from the most recent data that many across the country have found the Fund useful.
In Leicestershire, the local authority has partnered with Leicester City Football Club to organize community cooking events, providing nutritious meals for families and improving their culinary skills to prepare healthy meals at home. In Darlington, the council worked with local organizations to give families end-of-day supermarket produce at a fraction of their usual cost.
Lambeth Council London has used part of its allocation to help fund its Healthy Living Platform food boxes for hard-to-reach communities, while Rochdale set up a community warehouse that distributed over 700 winter packs of blankets. and health products.
To access the latest round of funding available, people should contact their local top level authority and ask what help is available through the Household Support Fund in their area.
By the end of March 2023, £1.262m in additional support will have been delivered in England to help people with rising costs. Devolved governments will have received a total of £238 million through the Barnett Formula.
- During the period from October 6, 2021 to March 31, 2022, 8.9 million prizes were awarded to families across England.
- As part of the government’s £37 billion support package, an extension of the Household Support Fund was announced in the Spring Statement and again in May 2022.
- Local authorities have had some autonomy over how they use the Fund to reach vulnerable people in their communities. Some examples from the first round below:
- Leicestershire: The council created a partnership with Leicester City Football Club: community cooking events during Whit week.
- Hampshire: The local authority provided cookbooks, cooking lessons and slow cookers to help families cook cheap and healthy meals at home for the long term.
- Lambeth: Lambeth is providing food boxes with a difference through the Healthy Living Platform. They have access to a variety of ethnic minority communities and are providing more typical types of preferred foods in boxes that are more relevant to these communities.
- Darlington: Darlington worked with a local third-party organization to secure grocery items at the end of the day to sell to families. These products were sold at a significantly reduced price compared to their usual value, with families able to pay £7.50 for three shopping bags.
- Rochdale: Rochdale Council has set up a community store in the local area designed to distribute over 700 winter packs to families during the colder months. They managed to distribute more than 700 between October 2021 and March 2022.
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