Finance and welfare support for people struggling this winter
People who are finding it hard to manage their household bills or struggling with their welfare this winter can access support and advice from Shropshire Council.
Our teams can offer both financial and wellbeing support, or signpost you to organisations who can, to help households who are having difficulty meeting their essential bills and essential outgoings over the winter months. These include:-
- Household Support Fund – If you’re one of the 3,600 households who have received a letter from us advising that you’re eligible for a one-off payment of £115 to help with essential costs this winter.
- Local Support and Prevention Fund (LSPF) – LSPF is targeted at helping vulnerable people to meet their immediate short-term needs in the event of a crisis, and also to support vulnerable people to live independently in the community. All awards made are non-repayable, and may be made up of awards ‘in kind’, such as food parcels, furniture or fuel credits.
- Winter support service – We’re working alongside the British Red Cross, Age UK Shropshire Telford and Wrekin, and the wider Wellbeing and Independence Partnership, to ensure that residents have easy access to support where needed this winter. The service can offer assessment and ongoing support to people identified as needing help.
- Free school meals – If you claim certain benefits and your child attends a Shropshire Council-maintained school or an academy school, you may be able to claim free school meals.
- Food banks and furniture schemes – These are community organisations or enterprises that can help people who can’t afford food, other day to day essentials and household items.
- Keep Shropshire Warm service – The service can provide free and impartial energy advice to those who are struggling with energy costs this winter, in particularly as a result of the pandemic.
- Benefits information – Residents can also find out what benefits they are entitled to such as council tax support, housing benefit and NHS Test and Trace support payments (if you have to self-isolate).
- Support for homeless people – We offer help and support to those who are homeless or worried about becoming homeless, and give advice based on individual circumstances.
Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said:-
“Winter can be a time of worry for individuals and families who are struggling to find money to pay essential bills and other outgoings. Especially for those who have been affected by the pandemic and have never found themselves in this position before.
“I would therefore urge anyone who has found themselves, and continues to find themselves, struggling to make ends meet or need that extra support to improve their wellbeing, to contact our dedicated and supportive advisers. We are here to help.”
Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education, added:-
“We know the pandemic has affected, and continues to affect, many families across Shropshire.
“Children and families can get extra support this winter, with councils given new funding to ensure vulnerable households do not go hungry or without essential items. So please, if you or someone you know is finding it hard to support their family, get in touch with us.”
You can find out more about these services and what other winter support is available at www.shropshire.gov.uk/wintersupport.
The council’s 5 ways to winter wellness website also offers further advice and information to support your health and wellbeing throughout the winter months.