Helping Families Stay Warm this Winter

08/01/2021, PR-9779

​A voucher scheme endorsed by Wakefield's Recovery Board to allocate a further £441,000 of funding through the Covid Winter Grant Scheme to help children, young people and their families to stay warm and fed this winter is being rolled out next week. 

​The vouchers will benefit approximately 18,000 children and their families in the district and can be spent in local supermarkets for quick and easy use.

Letters are being sent out to families who are eligible, during week commencing 11 January.

Following lobbying by Wakefield and other councils to the government for support, Wakefield received a £1.3m grant to help support vulnerable households with food and warmth over the winter months.

At Wakefield's Recovery Board meeting in December, the remaining £441,000 of the allocation was agreed - and £360,000 of the funding will help children and young people to stay warm this winter, through the issuing of vouchers, to spend on things like warm clothing, bedding and food.

Approximately £65,000 for the Council's Emergency Fund and will help other vulnerable households.

An additional £15,500 will go to Wakefield Food Aid Network to enable them to increase their food stocks over the winter period and help those in need.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Chair of the Wakefield Recovery Board and Leader of Wakefield Council, said: "We know how difficult the current situation continues to be for residents and communities. As we enter a third national lockdown, I am very pleased that we can begin to roll out the allocation of this money to those who are eligible for this support, in our district.

"We know this will make a difference to the lives of many people and I am pleased that we are able to offer this support."

The Council has already allocated around £847,500 to provide approximately 18,000 children eligible for this support, with a £30 per child, voucher to spend on food over the Christmas holidays and a further £15 voucher per child for food for February half term.

Cllr Maureen Cummings, Cabinet member for Environment, Communities and Poverty, said: "These schemes are extremely important, as we must do all that we can to support those who are vulnerable and I am very pleased that we are rolling this out now, as it will make a difference and help keep children safe and warm this winter."

The Recovery Board is playing a vital role in the district's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It supports the development of partner led recovery initiatives for residents and the economy, including the provision of support through nine community hubs via the Help at the Hub initiative, such as access to experts offering welfare advice.