Leicester City Council helps the needy this winter

By Shantelle Gondo

Leicester residents who are struggling through this winter are being offered help from a new support fund.

The scheme launched on Friday (NOV19) was funded by £3.4 million from the Department for Work and Pensions to help families make ends meet and pay their bills.

The Household Support Fund does not require residents to be on benefits for them to be eligible to apply for the fund, they just need to be on low income – earning less than £365.25 per week.

At least half of the support fund will go to families with children, complementing funding for the Holiday Activities and Food Programmes used for free school meals over the half term.

Leicester City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve provided support for those who need it, we delivered food boxes at the height of the lockdown, and we have run programmes to ensure 16,000 children from low-income families don’t go hungry in the school holidays.

“We welcome the chance to continue offering this support, which we know can be a vital lifeline.

“As winter approaches, we know that there will be families and individuals who are worried about paying their fuel bills and making ends meet, particularly with the recent rises in fuel prices.

“Using our local knowledge and the expertise that has served us so well during the pandemic, we will target support towards those who need it most, ensuring that this fund is used to help our most vulnerable residents.

“No-one should have to choose between heating and eating.”

Members from Citizens Advice Leicestershire will be able to refer people to this fund, including professional workers such as social workers, healthcare workers and housing advisors.

Marianne Williams, 21, a mum from Leicester, said: “I’m so glad they have started this support fund, it has really helped out many people within Leicester and I do hope they carry on with more support funds like this.”

 An estimated 26,000 households in Leicester will face fuel poverty this winter.

For more information or to apply, visit: www.leicester.gov.uk/householdsupportfund or contact c19support@leicester.gov.uk

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