New Household Support Scheme to help families this winter

Published Wednesday 1 December 2021 at 15:55

A new scheme is being launched in advance of Fuel Poverty Awareness Day on 3rd December to give support to families and children and other vulnerable adults through the winter period to access food, support with utility bills and other essentials to help keep people warm and fed.

The Household Support Scheme will be run by the Council and partners and will help with food, energy and water bills. It can also be used to support households with essential costs related to those items such as boiler servicing and repairs and with wider essential costs.

Announced by the Government, it is replacing the Covid Local Support Grant, which ran throughout last year in response to the pandemic. It has been brought in to support those most in need this winter during the final stages of economic recovery.

The programme will run until 31st March and is for families with children and other vulnerable people who may or may not meet the threshold for benefits but may be affected by increased fuel prices, job losses, self-isolation etc.

Funding may be available for:

  • Blackburn with Darwen children, families and vulnerable adults who have an annual household income below £21,152 for single claimants and below £31,731 for couples.

These applicants must also meet at least one of the following additional criteria:

  • Recipient of income related benefits, such as Universal Credit claimants.
  • Facing financial hardship due to winter pressures
  • Diagnosed with a severe mental health disorder (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizoaffective disorder)
  • Diagnosed with a long term medical condition related to respiratory or cardiovascular
  • Diagnosed with long COVID

You must be able to provide evidence for those that apply to you above.

The Household Support Scheme helps with:

  • Support with utility bills – we have three local organisations supporting residents who may be struggling to pay fuel and water bills over winter.  United Utilities is also partnering with us to help the most vulnerable with their water bills.
  • Support with essential items – support is available to replace broken washers, cookers, fridges and freezers, for boiler servicing and repairs and where families are struggling to afford essential toiletries, sanitary products, warm clothing and blankets.

The Council is working with a number of local organisations including Blackburn Foodbank, Darwen Food Larder, Care Network, BwD Healthy Living, BwD Age UK, BwD Carers, Rummage Rescuers, Jubilee Tower Credit Union, United Utilities, Community Business Partners, Community Centres in BwD, and THOMAS.

To see if you qualify for support, you need to complete the online referral form at:

Councillor Julie Gunn, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:

This new scheme is very similar to the Covid Winter Grant which helped so many people most in need in the borough over the last year. It is here to help us support struggling families and vulnerable people wherever we can.

It is really important that people get the help they need, especially during the cold winter months where extra support for heating and bills may be needed, especially with the rising fuel prices we are seeing at the moment.

Heating bills will be a big pressure, along with other issues as we enter the winter. I would urge anyone who thinks they might be eligible should contact our Help Hub to see what support could be available to them.”

Councillor Vicky McGurk, Executive Member for Finance and Governance, said:

We really welcome this government funding to help struggling families with food bills and other essentials to help keep warm this winter.

We have made it as simple and easy as possible for people to get the support they need using different methods such as referral by professionals, people contacting the help hub, working closely with our schools and working directly with community groups and our brilliant food banks.

Our aim is that by everyone working together we use this funding as an opportunity to further improve things and improve the lives of vulnerable families and people in our borough.”





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