Taken from Wokingham Borough News Centre
Residents struggling with risings costs in Wokingham Borough can now apply for additional financial support.
A new round of the Household Support Fund is now open for applications, so anyone who has been supported between October 2022 and March 2023 can apply again.
The funding is an extension of the Household Support Fund and has been allocated by the Department for Work and Pensions to councils in England, so it can be used to support those in need in their local area.
In Wokingham Borough the fund is split into two pots. These are:
- Household Support Grant – £100 grants open to all struggling with food, energy and other essential household costs
- School Meals Grants – open to families with children who receive free school meals for helping during school holidays (£15 per week, per child) until Easter 2024. Families who have had support from First Days Children’s Charity for this since October 2022 do not need to apply again, they will get payments automatically
The Household Support Fund can help you with money.
People who received support between October 2022 and March 2023 can now reapply 🙏
— Wokingham Borough Council (@WokinghamBC) April 26, 2023
How to apply
There are various ways to apply for the Household Support Grant.
If you received a grant between October and March, you can now reapply. To apply you can either:
- Call Citizens Advice Wokingham One Front Door on 0808 278 7958
- Apply on Citizens Advice Wokingham website
- Call Age UK Berkshire on (0118) 959 4242
- Email Age UK Berkshire
If you child receives means-tested free school meals you should apply for a School Meals Grant.
This is for£15 per week, per child during school. You can:
- Apply on the First Days Children’s Charity website
- You do not need to reapply if you’ve had support from First Days since October 2022, you will get payments automatically
An outline of all the support available to help with the cost of living crisis can be found on the council’s website.
Cost of living support continues
Amy Garstang, chair of the Hardship Alliance and manager at Wokingham United Charities, said: “Winter may be coming to an end but we know the cost of living crisis continues to impact the borough’s communities.
“This new round of the Household Support Fund means people can come forward again for more help from the Hardship Alliance.
We’ll continue to show those who come forward the range of options for support they can use, as well as providing initial grant payments.”
The Hardship Alliance
The Hardship Alliance was formed last year and is made up of a group of five local charities, Citizens Advice Wokingham, First Days Children’s Charity, Age UK Berkshire, Wokingham Foodbank and Wokingham United Charities, alongside Wokingham Borough Council.
During the winter the Hardship Alliance helped more than 2,000 households who were struggling with the cost of living through the Household Support Fund.
Many got more than just a grant and were advised or sent to other types of help available across the borough, depending on their needs.
Sally Watkins, Chief Operating Officer for Wokingham Borough Council, said: “We’ve helped thousands of residents this winter but we know many continue to struggle.
“And with rising costs continuing to impact everyone, we know hundreds more could use this support having not had to come forward before.
“If you can’t buy food or pay your bills then we can help you. Please apply to the Household Support Fund grant schemes if you need it.”