More than 8.9 million grants have been given to families to help with post-pandemic pressures through a fund set up to help the most vulnerable, new figures reveal.
- 8.9 million grants given to families in first round of Household Support Fund, new data shows
- Local Authorities use government funding to help communities with innovative measures
- It “has been an important intervention to provide Help for Households”, minister says
The vital support was given to families in England from the Household Support Fund in the first six months of its introduction, with £400 million spent in support and given directly to those in need.
The Fund has since been extended to the end of March 2023 after receiving another £842 million 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 Minister for Welfare Delivery, David Rutley said:
The Household Support Fund has been an important intervention to provide Help for Households facing challenges with the cost of living.
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. Almost nine million instances of support were given to families who need it most across England.
Those in need of support were told to apply for, or directly received, the help through their local authority, and councils were empowered to use the Fund to support their communities in a way tailored to their needs. It’s clear from the latest data that many around the country have found the Fund useful.
In Leicestershire, the local authority partnered with Leicester City Football Club to put on community cooking events, providing nutritious meals for families while also improving their cooking skills to prepare healthy meals at home. In Darlington, the council worked with local organisations to give families end-of-day supermarket goods at a fraction of their usual cost.
London’s Lambeth Council has used some of its allocation to help fund its Healthy Living Platform food boxes for harder to reach communities, while Rochdale set up a community warehouse that distributed over 700 winter packs with blankets and sanitary products.
To access the latest round of funding available people should contact their upper tier local authority and ask what help is available through the Household Support Fund in their area.
By the end of March 2023, £1.262 billion in additional support will have been given out 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 of 06 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, 8.9 million awards were made 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 on how they use the Fund to reach the vulnerable people in their communities. Some examples from the first round of below:
- Leicestershire: The council created a partnership with Leicester City Football Club – community cooking events during the Whitsun week.
- Hampshire: The Local Authority provided cookbooks, cookery lessons, and slow cookers to help families cook cheap and healthy meals at home over the long-term.
- Lambeth: Lambeth is providing food boxes with a difference via the Healthy Living Platform. They have access to a range of ethnic minority communities and are providing more typically preferred food types in the boxes which are more relevant to these communities.
- Darlington: Darlington worked with a local third party organisation to secure end-of-day supermarket goods to be sold to families. These goods were sold at a significantly reduced price compared to their usual value, with families able to pay £7.50 to get three bags of shopping.
- Rochdale: Rochdale Council set up a community warehouse in the local area designed to distribute over 700 winter packs to families during the coldest months. They managed to distribute over 700 between October 2021 and March 2022.
Published 29 July 2022