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Support funding aims to help the people of Wirral this winter

OVER £ 3million in government funding is available to help families and individuals in Wirral who are struggling this winter.

Funding for household support was secured by the Wirral Council after consultation with community and volunteer partners and other key stakeholders.

The £ 3,049,345 will be allocated to projects helping vulnerable residents and people in crisis (Details are listed below).

Wirral Deputy Director for Neighborhoods, Security and Transport and Humanitarian Cell, Mark Camborne, said: “Although tens of thousands of local people have been supported over the past 18 months, we know some people are reluctant to seek help and continue to experience the ordeal and all its consequences.

“I would therefore encourage anyone in real need who is struggling to get the food, fuel and other things essential to their health and well-being, to look at what is available and to get the help they need. she needs.”

Information on emergency assistance to Wirral’s most vulnerable people in crisis can be found on the Wirral Infobank website (www.wirralinfobank.co.uk), the Council website or by calling the hotline. coronavirus assistance on 0151 666 5050 if you cannot connect online. .

The funding is the latest from the Department for Work and Pensions, which has provided more than £ 3million since December 2020 to support vulnerable residents under the Covid Winter Grant Scheme and Covid Local Support Grants.

The projects to be funded are as follows:

Small Grants Program (£ 600,000) – Community food and social support groups, many of whom have played a key role in the Borough’s humanitarian efforts throughout the pandemic, can ask for up to £ 20,000 to help ensure that food and items Essentials are available for those who need them most in their local communities during the winter months. Applications to the Wirral Household Support Fund can be made at www.wirral.gov.uk/household until Thursday 11 November at noon.

Financial support with welfare needs (£ 500,000) – Emergency support to help people in crisis and extended reach, contributing to necessary items and expenses such as food, essential shoes and clothing, furniture and household items, appliances, fuel and utilities, including telephone and broadband bills, travel expenses, veterinary bills, auto repair bills, and medical bills. All applications are carefully screened against strict eligibility criteria and evidence of need. More information is available at www.wirral.gov.uk/welfaresupport.

Financial support with fuel and with fuel and water debt (£ 430,000) – Vulnerable residents who are unable to afford the fuel they need to heat and power their homes or who are struggling to cope with fuel and water debts can seek help in several ways:

– Those with prepaid meters can apply for gas and electricity vouchers from a national charity, Fuelbank Foundation, through their local delivery partners Citizens Advice Wirral, Involve Northwest and Energy Projects Plus, including Wirral Council through its financial support program.

– Those paying by direct debit can apply for assistance with their fuel and water costs, which will be paid directly to their utility provider after an assessment and referral by Citizens Advice Wirral.

– People struggling with fuel and water debts can seek help with clearing or reducing their debt from Citizens Advice Wirral and Energy Projects Plus. Debt clearance can allow households to switch energy suppliers and switch to more affordable fuel prices, which has very positive financial, physical and mental benefits.

– People in crisis who are unable to repair or replace a broken or obsolete heater and are not eligible for help from other programs can seek help from the local Energy charity Projects Plus as part of the Crisis Support with Heating program.

Emergency school pantry (£ 310,000) – Birkenhead Sixth Form College, along with 34 primary schools and 12 secondary schools in Wirral, will each receive up to £ 6,500 of ambient food to provide a store of essentials for children to take home. The project builds on the success of a similar program conducted in partnership with local charity Neo Community, which saw 112 pallets of food delivered to 40 local schools at the start of this new school year.

Great Wirral Family Cook Off (£ 300,000) – Up to 4,000 families in all parts of the borough will receive food boxes containing ingredients and step-by-step menu cards to together create interesting and nutritious family meals. The project builds on the success of the first Wirral Cook Off, which saw over 17,000 baskets containing 86,925 meals delivered to over 5,000 Wirral homes last summer.

Baby food and essential baskets during school holidays (£ 134,400) – Families eligible for 2-year funding or the Early Years Pupil Bonus (the forerunners of eligibility for free primary school meals) will receive baskets with food and other essentials , which will be provided for the kindergarten / school holidays at Christmas 2021 and the February 2022 semester. Other local families with children under the age of five who may need the same support can contact their children’s center most. close to discuss it.

Financial support with school meal debt (£ 100,000) – The debt accumulated for school meals is a burden for many families in difficulty. Measures have already been taken to cancel the debt for school meals in 43 elementary schools in the district. This funding will help pay off the debt of the remaining primary schools and all secondary schools in Wirral.

Winter coats and uniforms for school (£ 80,000) – Schools will be supported to help struggling families with essential winter coats and uniforms, helping to improve children’s health and comfort as well as reduce financial pressures on vulnerable families.

White goods crisis assistance (£ 45,000) – The funding will allow community partners, North Birkenhead Development Trust and St Vincent de Paul Society (Wirral), to continue providing household appliances and other essentials to vulnerable households who are not eligible for the Council’s financial support program for welfare purposes.

Housing assistance costs (£ 40,000) – The Wirral Income and Benefits Department will allocate funds to support housing costs in exceptional, real emergency cases where existing housing assistance programs cannot be used.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service: Risk Reduction Items (£ 20,000) – Wirral will join other city region councils in an MFRS-led initiative to install a range of heating risk reduction items in the homes of vulnerable people in the borough.

A contingency fund has also been set aside to meet any demand for additional funding due to the high demand for the projects described above. It will also be used to fill any gaps or unforeseen needs that arise as we move from the COVID emergency to a more normal lifestyle.

All projects must spend their allocation by March 31, 2022 next year.

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