Croydon residents in need of urgent financial support will get help with food, fuel and other essentials over the winter, through a £3m household support fund administered by the council.
This support is funded by £3m from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and the council is targeting it to help the borough’s most vulnerable residents from now until March 2022.
The majority of the fund – more than £1.7m – will go on supporting families with children under-19 who are in receipt of child-related benefits. Before Christmas, the council provided every local authority school and nursery with funding to issue pupils in receipt of free school meals (FSM) or Early Years Pupil Premium, a supermarket voucher or a food hamper. Throughout the Christmas holiday, school-aged pupils in receipt of FSM can also access 48 free Holiday Activity and Food Clubs (HAF) across Croydon, which provide a healthy meal and snack each day.
Schools have been provided with additional funding to support families who do not qualify for FSM but are in need over Christmas, such as those hit by the pandemic, asylum-seeking families, those with no recourse to public funds, or those with unexpected changes in family circumstances.
The council is allocating a further £307,000 to provide food and fuel for vulnerable households in emergency or temporary accommodation, council homes, those who are at risk of homelessness, and rough sleepers over the winter. Further funding will be allocated on a discretionary basis to support other vulnerable residents, including older people, care leavers, and families experiencing domestic abuse and other hardship.
Residents can also apply direct for support from the fund and to be eligible you must be:
- a Croydon resident
- over 16 years of age
- in urgent financial need
To apply, complete the Household Support Fund application form and return applications to the discretionary support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available on the council’s website.
“Winter can be a really tough time for those who are already struggling, even more so during the pandemic, so we’re targeting this funding to help those most in need. No parent should spend Christmas worrying about how they will feed their child, which is why we have prioritised getting this vital funding out to schools before the end of term and making sure holiday clubs, where children can get a free healthy meal and a snack, are in place for our families. We’ll also be working with our partners across the voluntary sector to make sure that we get this support to residents of all ages who need it the most, right across our borough.”
Councillor Patricia Hay-Justice, cabinet member for homes