Council supports residents in cost of living crisis and urges others to come forward
- Council pays out almost £80K in support
- Over 400 residents West Lancashire residents have benefited from the scheme so far
- Residents of West Lancashire who are in need of assistance are urged to apply before the scheme comes to an end in March 2022
West Lancashire Borough Council has paid out £78,355 in Household Support payments to more than 400 residents since the scheme launched in mid December.
The Household Support Fund grant from the government is for people in West Lancashire who need help with essential items over the winter period who may be struggling to pay essential bills or put food on the table.
This grant can be used to help towards the cost of:
- Energy / water needs
- Essentials linked to energy / water needs
- Wider essentials such as household bills, clothing, and white goods e.g. fridges and washing machines
- The cost of travelling to COVID-19 vaccination appointments
Councillor Jenny Wilkie, portfolio holder for Financial Inclusion, said: "We are facing a serious cost of living crisis in this country and we know people are having to make the impossible choice of deciding whether to 'eat or heat' as fuel and food bills rise.
"We are here to support the most financially vulnerable in our communities, and our financial support officers have been working incredibly hard to help those who are in need. I'm delighted we have been able to assist so many families, so if you are struggling to pay bills, replace necessary white goods or buy food, please check our website to see if you are eligible for this grant."
"And if the cost of getting to a vaccine appointment means you haven’t been fully vaccinated, please come forward to see if we can help you. Cost should not be a deciding factor when looking after your health and protecting you from COVID-19."
Grants will be awarded if you are eligible and if you have no alternative means of helping you meet your bills.
The fund will not cover housing costs as there are other benefits and support available to help with these for example Discretionary Housing Payments.
It is also not intended to cover debt advice or general financial hardship support which is not linked to food, warmth and/or hygiene.
However, the scheme can signpost you to other sources of advice and support to ensure you get all the assistance you are entitled to. This may include a referral for advice and assistance with finance, debt and/or welfare benefits, to help address your long-term needs.
To find out if you are eligible and to apply, visit our Household Support Fund page here https://www.westlancs.gov.uk/bills-benefits/help-and-money-advice/household-support-fund.aspx or click on the link on our homepage.