>The government’s one-off COVID Winter Grant was launched in December to help vulnerable residents who are struggling to afford food and utility bills (heating, cooking, lighting) and water for household purposes (including drinking, washing, cooking, central heating, sewerage and sanitary purposes), or other related essentials. It recently announced that as part of its COVID roadmap, the grant will be extended to the 16 April 2021, providing an additional £59.1 million of targeted financial support for those in need during the pandemic.

Warwickshire County Council distributes its COVID Winter Grant Scheme allocation via the Warwickshire Local Welfare Scheme. Due to the extra funding received, the Local Welfare Scheme will be able to provide additional fuel poverty support and extend its offer under the Scheme through food support grants to foodbanks, charities, and community groups. Act on Energy’s Warm and Well in Warwickshire project is being supplemented to increase their offer to financially vulnerable households, and the Warwickshire Local Welfare Scheme will be running a county wide fuel poverty campaign which launches today and runs until 16 April 2021.

With the support of schools, the council has proactively identified vulnerable families with children eligible for benefits related free school meals who automatically qualify for support during school holidays. This cohort was supported to buy food over the school Christmas and February half term breaks and will be receiving food and fuel support during the Easter holidays. These families will automatically receive a supermarket voucher for food to cover 17 days away from school during this holiday period (2nd to 18th April) and a fuel cash voucher to be used towards energy costs.

In addition, we will also be continuing to support the following vulnerable children: 

  • Siblings of children who are eligible for benefits related free school meals but who are not yet attending school.    
  • Children who are eligible for benefits related free school meals but are not on a school roll
  • Children with an EHCP not on a school roll 
  • Children in early years settings who are eligible for benefits related free school meals
  • Children (post 16) who attend college and are eligible for benefits related free school meal.

Other families and individuals who are struggling financially can apply for support from the scheme or other sources by contacting the Local Welfare Scheme directly.  Call:   01926 359182 or 0800 408 1448