Residents in Cherwell district who need help to buy food and heat their homes this winter can now apply for the Winter Support Grant Scheme.
Cherwell District Council has been working with Oxfordshire County Council and other district councils to distribute nearly £1.4m, given to Oxfordshire by the Department for Work and Pensions in December to address food and fuel poverty.
Councillor Andrew McHugh, Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We know that COVID-19 is making life very difficult for a lot of people but there is help available to those who need it. No-one in Cherwell should be going hungry or be worried about turning on the heating or cooker because they can’t afford it. Anyone who is in need, or friends, relatives or neighbours, should not hesitate to contact Citizens Advice. The COVID Winter Support Grant Scheme is there to help.”
The main part of this grant has been used to make sure children in the county have access to free school meals over the school holiday periods of Christmas, February half-term and Easter.
The remaining funds have been allocated to councils to offer support to households that are struggling to afford food or pay their fuel bills because of the coronavirus pandemic. The distribution of the grant is being managed by the council in partnership with Citizens Advice. Cherwell has been allocated £118,000.
Citizens Advice is delivering the support as part of a wider assessment of residents’ needs. Support will be offered in the form of help with food and fuel costs alongside advice to ensure that residents are aware of any other help they may be able to access.
The Winter Support Grant scheme launched on Monday 11 January and will close on 31 March 2021.
For information on how to apply, residents should visit www.cherwell.gov.uk/wintergrant