Somerset residents who are struggling to pay the bills could be eligible for support with the cost of food, energy, water, and other essentials over the coming months.
Somerset County Council has been allocated £3.8m to distribute before September 30th as part of the second round of funding provided through the Government’s Household Support Fund.
Just over £1.2m will be used during the school holidays to provide food vouchers worth £10 a week to children eligible for Free School Meals and a further £1.3m will be used for one-off payments of £100 to residents on Pension Credit.
Another £1m will be made available for a range of urgent essentials including fuel, food, and white goods.
A total of £200,000 is put aside to help support people who can’t access the internet or online vouchers.
Applications are means-tested and can be made by anyone in urgent need of financial support.
Somerset County Council Executive Lead Member for Children Services, Councillor Tessa Munt said: “The cost-of-living crisis affects us all. Inflation and rising energy prices are hitting households hard and adding a lot to our weekly bills so this help is well-timed, and no one in difficulty need feel left out.”
“I’m pleased we can help families with children eligible for Free School Meals during the summer holidays. We know food vouchers make a big difference in combatting holiday hunger, but these funds also mean there’s more support for families who need it, whether that’s for energy and water bills, or other essentials.”
Councillor Heather Shearer, SCC Executive Lead Member for Adult Social Care added: “We aim to use the Household Support Fund to support as many residents as possible who meet the eligibility criteria and need this help the most.”
“It’s great that we are able to use a proportion of this funding to provide direct support to people receiving Pension Credit in Somerset, ensuring vulnerable elderly residents receive financial support in a systematic and efficient way.”
The Government has announced that the Household Support Fund will be extended until March 2023, with more details to follow.
For more information, visit:https://www.somerset.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/somerset-household-support-fund/
To make an application, please visit:bit.ly/SupportFund22. If you need help to apply please phone Somerset County Council on 0300 123 2224.
This is the second time Somerset County Council has administered the Household Support Fund, with £3.8m successfully delivered to residents between last December and March this year.
Links to organisations who can help with financial advice will come with the online vouchers. Online applications will be administered with the help of Auriga, a public benefit entity owned by the Severn Trent Water Charitable Trust Fund.