29/05/2024 - Permalink

Support for Shropshire households continues with the extension of the Household Support Fund

Related topics: Cost of living / Finance and budget

Shropshire residents struggling with cost of living and affording to buy household essentials could receive support from the Government’s Household Support Fund to help with energy and water bills, food, and wider essentials.

Shropshire Council has been given a further grant of £2.1 million from the scheme, and are continuing to work with partners in the voluntary and community sector to ensure that people most in need are supported.

Supports available includes application-based support and targeted payments:-

Free school meals (FSM)

The fund will continue to provide free school meals holiday vouchers for five weeks during the remaining 2023/24 academic year. For children in receipt of benefits-related FSM in Shropshire schools and children in receipt of 24U funding and Early Years Pupil Premium in early years settings.

If you’re on a low income and you think you could be eligible for free school meals, please visit our free school meals pages.

Application-based support

Tenbury NILS Scheme provide residents in financial need with a grant to help with essential household items.

Community Resource provide residents in financial need with a one-off hardship grant payment between £50-£500 to help keep their home warm.

Welfare support team  Shropshire Council’s welfare support team offers support to low income and vulnerable households in need with food, energy, and water bills, and with other essential living costs.

Affordable warmth and energy efficiency offers support to residents through Keep Shropshire Warm energy advice and support service, Help-to-Heat vouchers to qualifying households and those in sustained energy arrears, and discretionary grants (criteria applies).

One-off payments

A £400 payment to households on low incomes who are in receipt of council tax support and have a dependant resident in the property (criteria applies).

A maximum payment of up to £60 for customers of working age and in receipt of council tax support (criteria applies).

Household Support Fund 2023 to 2024

Household Support Fund success March 2023-March 2024 infographic

Household Support Fund success March 2023-March 2024

In April 2023 the council was allocated £4.1 million by the Department for Work and Pensions under the Household Support Fund to help our residents for 12 months until 31 March 2024.

The funding enabled the council to deliver additional support from the Household Support Fund to more than 14,000 households to support residents with the rising cost of living.

The council worked with their partners in the voluntary and community sector to decide how best to share the funding, to ensure most benefit for local residents in need. The money supported a wide range of people with cost-of-living support, including 7,027 households with children, 3, 893 households with pensioners, and 846 households with a person with a disability.

This has enabled Shropshire Council to support households with the cost of living:

  • The revenues and benefits team have made targeted payments of £270 to 6,281 eligible households to support them with the cost of living.
  • The learning and skills team have ensured that 8,017 children entitled to Free School meals have received meal vouchers in the school holidays.
  • The affordable warm and energy efficiency team have supported 1,346 households with advice, energy debt fund relief and winter enabling grants.
  • Our community partners have also supported a further 361 households with hardship grants to support the cost of essentials.

Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for finance, corporate resources and communities, said:-

“I’m really pleased that we can continue to support those who are badly affected by the cost of living increases, thanks to the Government’s decision to extend the Household Support Fund.

“Like many other councils we face huge financial challenges, but we still want to help those who need it most.

“The Household Support Fund has been a vital help for many people in Shropshire. I’m impressed by how we have supported so many families and I’m grateful to our teams and partners who have delivered the grants and support to our local communities.

“For anyone who is finding it hard to pay for everyday expenses, please visit our cost of living help webpages for advice and support.”

You can find out more about the Household Support Fund at Household Support Fund | Shropshire Council

Further information

In the Spring Budget the Government announced it is providing further funding to enable the extension of the Household Support Fund, from 1 April 2024 until 30 September 2024.