Nottingham City Council will give out over £3.5 million to struggling pensioners, families and the city’s most vulnerable households to help with the rising cost-of-living crisis.
The council’s Executive Board formally accepted the funds from the Government’s Household Support Fund in April.
In previous funding rounds the Government grant has been used towards a package of vouchers for Nottingham residents who receive Council Tax Support. These have included e-vouchers for supermarkets, energy bills and pupils eligible for free school meals throughout the school holidays.
Under the Government’s new grant criteria, a greater proportion of the funding must be allocated to pensioners.
The funding must be allocated as follows:
- A third of the funding must be ring-fenced to support pensioners
- A third must be ring-fenced for families with children
- The remainder of the funding can support other vulnerable households including care leavers, refugees and households in financial crisis – which can include pensioners, single adults and families.
The council has been working with community partners and welfare advice agencies to determine how to best to allocate the support to help the most vulnerable residents within the criteria set out by the Government. By contacting these community partners for help, residents will be able to access a wide range of support including energy vouchers and also supermarket vouchers to help with food, toiletries and essential supplies.
All partners are focused on getting the vouchers to those Nottingham residents who are in financial crisis and need support the most. This funding will help to bolster and expand the amount and type of direct support that is available.
To support families, the 18,000 pupils entitled to free school meals will be allocated £50 supermarket vouchers before the summer holidays begin. Free holiday activity clubs providing free food are also available this summer.
To support pensioners and other vulnerable households, the funding will be distributed along with advice and guidance to help people tackle the financial problems they’re facing.
The vouchers will therefore be given out through Nottingham Advice Centres, Age UK Notts and other local community organisations including Nottingham City Homes and Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing who have the specialism to work with households in financial crisis and provide advice and support alongside the vouchers.
A full list of these organisations can be found on the council’s webpages here: www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/
This ensures the people in financial crisis will receive:
- Advice about welfare and benefits to help people tackle their problems more sustainably over the longer term
- The short-term support of food or energy vouchers to help with their immediate needs
Food banks, advice agencies and charities have the specialist skills to advise people in financial crisis. This can involve helping them to check they are receiving the benefits they are entitled to and putting people in touch with support services such as safer housing, safer borrowing and debt management.
The funding will also be used to support other vulnerable groups in the city, including extra supplies for food banks and social eating locations, care leavers, asylum seekers and refugees who are vulnerable.
Cllr Adele Williams, Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “We are committed to supporting Nottingham people through difficult times and I’m pleased we’ve managed to secure this funding.
“It’s important that the funding and support reach the people who are in the greatest financial crisis. We recognise that energy or food vouchers, though much needed, are only temporary and partial relief to people. The bigger issue is helping people to find ways to manage longer term. So it is important that the conversations are held through support agencies and charities which can advise people about finances and wider support available.
“We hope this support will ease the strain on our most vulnerable households and help pensioners, families and anyone in financial crisis through these difficult times.”
To get support from charities and advice agencies please find your nearest provider here: www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/