Help at hand for Worcester families experiencing hardship this winter
A far-ranging package of support is available to support local families who are at risk of becoming homeless or are facing hardship this winter.
Financial and practical assistance is available to help low income families in Worcester pay for food, heating, clothing and other essential items.Help is also on offer for people who are struggling with debt or are at risk of becoming homeless.
"If you are struggling to pay for basic costs such as food and heating or are at risk of losing the roof over your head, then come and talk to us as soon as possible," says Cllr James Stanley, Chair of Worcester City Council's Communities Committee.
"The City Council has a range of financial and practical support it can offer depending on your individual circumstances. Please make contact now so we can help you to resolve issues and plan ahead for the future."
You can contact the City Council on 01905 722233 or at www.worcester.gov.uk.
Financial help so families can access accommodation
The City Council's Spend to Save scheme helps to remove financial barriers from people trying to access or sustain a tenancy. It can help to pay landlords a month's deposit up front - or support Worcester residents facing rent arrears.
Help to pay for essential items
The City Council runs a Discretionary Welfare Assistance Scheme which helps vulnerable low income Worcester households in crisis.
Following referrals from partner agencies, grants can pay for emergency food, energy bills, essential white goods such as washing machines, fridges and freezers, baby consumables, school uniforms and essential work items.
More details are available at www.worcester.gov.uk/housing/benefit-advice/discretionary-welfare-assistance-scheme.
Tackling fuel poverty
Funding is available to help Worcester residents pay heating bills and to make their homes more energy-efficient through better insulation. Full details, including how over-60s can claim winter fuel payments and cold weather payments, are available at www.worcester.gov.uk/housing/housing-grants/warmer-worcestershire-financial-support.
Worcester City Council is identifying around 60 properties occupied by families on low incomes.They will be offered free energy efficiency measures, saving them an average of £150 a year on their bills. The scheme is possible thanks to a successful application to central Government's Green Homes Grant scheme.
Helping families with food costs
The Government has agreed to provide food vouchers for children who receive free school meals over the Christmas holidays.
Worcester City Council has received a Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies from central Government.
Part of the funding will ensure soup kitchens in the city centre can provide at least 70 meals a day, six days a week for four months for homeless and vulnerable people. The City Council is also using the funding to support the Worcester Foodbank.
Local community groups including the Worcester Community Trust have also received funding to help local families with pre or primary school aged children to combat food poverty.
Support from local charities
Health and Hardship grants of up to £3,000 are available to charities and volunteer organisations which support Worcester residents suffering from hardship or poor health this winter. So far over xx grants have been paid to local groups.