Help to pay bills and buy food, shoes and school uniform among £350k council support
More than £350,000 will be spent helping people who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
Worcester’s share of government ‘household support’ funding for the next year will total £353,686 and the city council has said it will be spending the money on schemes to help struggling households pay for food and buy white goods such as fridges, freezers and washing machines.
Some of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) money will also be put aside to fund food vouchers to be given to preschool children and college students that can be used at supermarkets during school holidays alongside £100,000 for Worcester Foodbank.
Cllr Lynn Denham, who chairs the council’s health and wellbeing committee tasked with signing off on the proposals, said reading a list of the funding was a “sad indictment of life in Britain today.”
Worcester City Council said it will use some of the £350,000 to pay for accommodation deposits for homeless residents and grants to help cover the rent of those aged over 65 who are struggling to pay energy bills.
A breakdown of the funding, on top of the donation to Worcester Foodbank, includes £106,000 for the council’s ‘discretionary welfare assistance scheme’ which will be used for emergency payments to help households pay food and energy bills, £78,000 for the school holiday meal vouchers scheme and £60,000 help pensioners struggling to pay energy bills.
Worcester City Council also revealed how it will finally be spending almost £50,000 to tackle food poverty – almost two years after it was first set aside.
The bulk of the money will go to helping those struggling with £40,000 set aside to pay for clothes, school uniforms, shoes, beds and bedding. Up to £6,800 will go to charity Action for Children’s crisis fund.
In March 2021, Worcester City Council promised to spend at least £50,000 on measures to deal with rising food poverty until now the money had remained unspent.
Worcestershire has been given almost £8 million to help people struggling with the increased cost of living and ever-rising energy bills, with some of the money shared among the county’s six district councils to use.