Warwickshire County Council has said it is continuing to support residents experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, poverty during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The council’s Local Welfare Scheme is there for the county’s most vulnerable residents at times of unavoidable crisis when they have no other means of help.
It can provide financial support and advice for people to meet the costs of food, energy and other essentials.
It also points people in the direction of further support available from other services around the county.
In addition to crisis support, between December 2020 and April 2021 the Local Welfare Scheme distributed £1.89million of Government funding to families and individuals to support them with the costs of food and fuel.
In total, almost 62,500 vouchers were issued to families with children eligible for benefits related free school meals and others in need.
The funding was Warwickshire’s allocation of the COVID Winter Grant Scheme from the Government’s Department of Work and Pensions.
It was a lifeline for thousands of people, helping them to afford to keep their families fed and warm over the winter months.
A Warwickshire parent in receipt of support from the scheme said: “The Local Welfare Scheme is offering a brilliant and amazing service, which really helps families like mine.”
This success has led to a scheme extension and the renamed COVID Local Support Grant will provide further funding of £330,000 to the council to help people until 20 June.
Once again the Local Welfare Scheme will be responsible for administering the grant, and families eligible for free school meals will be prioritised.
Rob Powell, Warwickshire County Council’s strategic director of resources, said: “More people are finding themselves facing hardship as the financial consequences of the pandemic are realised.
"Our well-established Local Welfare Scheme has been able to offer help to many and the COVID Winter Grant Scheme has enabled us to do even more.
“We are pleased that the scheme has been extended and we will be able to offer a little extra help over the coming months to families eligible for free school meals and others finding things hard financially.
"Throughout the pandemic we have collaborated with public, community and voluntary sector organisations to make sure those most in need have information and access to support and this will continue as we do all we can to make Warwickshire the best it can be.”
People can contact the Warwickshire Local Welfare Scheme for a confidential discussion about their circumstance on 01926 359182 or 0800 408 1448.
More information about the scheme can be found at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/localwelfarescheme
For information about wider support from the council and other services, go to www.warwickshire.gov.uk/facinghardship