Winter Support Grants available to help people hit financially by pandemic
Financial help is still available for people struggling to feed their families or heat their homes this winter as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oxfordshire County Council, in partnership with the county’s district councils and Citizens Advice services, is offering support to vulnerable residents through a Winter Support Grant. Oxfordshire was awarded £400,000 by the government in December to fund the cost of food, electricity, heating and other essential items, and the financial help is available for households to claim by 31 March, 2021.
Teresa Archer, of Citizens Advice Oxfordshire, said: “The Winter Support Grant is a lifeline to people across Oxfordshire that are struggling to cope with so many changes. We are seeing people that have lost jobs, are juggling working from home with home-schooling, facing reduced incomes and greater expenses with having family at home. And, of course, some have lost loved ones.
“The grant is providing essential food and fuel support that can help families cope during these life changes imposed on them by the pandemic. People who might be eligible can be referred by any local agency that is already working with them, or they can get in touch with their local Citizens Advice for more information.”
What help is available
Households with children can claim up to £350, while those without children can receive up to £175. The support teams provide the funding through supermarket vouchers, cover costs for pre-payment meters, or make sure that a heating or water bill is paid.
If a resident has received a food voucher from a previous scheme, they may also be eligible to have one from the Winter Support Grant.
How to apply
- If you live in the Cherwell District Council area, visit www.cherwell.gov.uk/wintergrant
- Visit the Oxford City Council website for details if you live in that area.
- If you live in the Vale of White Horse District Council area, visit whitehorsedc.gov.uk/winter-grant
- If you live in the West Oxfordshire District Council area, visit www.westoxon.gov.uk/wintergrant
- If you live in the South Oxfordshire District Council area, visit southoxon.gov.uk/winter-grant
The teams will then carry out the appropriate checks to see if you are eligible for financial help. Grants are available until the end of March.
Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “The pandemic and the lockdown are continuing to affect so many people, not least financially, in an unprecedented way. That is why these Winter Support Grants are so vital. No-one likes asking for help, but please, if you are struggling to pay for the essentials, then get in touch with your local authority and see if you are eligible for some financial help. We’re here to help you.”