Rotherham residents facing financial hardship during the cost of living crisis will receive further support as part of a £2.4 million package agreed by the Council’s Cabinet, including an extension of free school meal vouchers and an expansion of grants to help with energy bills.
Cabinet has agreed that the funding be allocated to the following:
- £899k to continue to fund free school meals vouchers during the school holidays for eligible children, which will continue until Easter next year
- £1.4m to expand the Council’s Energy Crisis Support Scheme
- £45k allocation to support care leavers
- £30k to support local voluntary organisations to support an estimated 300 vulnerable families over Christmas and New Year
- £90k to supplement crisis food parcels provided by local food banks
- £25k to provide additional non-food products for inclusion in crisis food parcels, such as personal hygiene, sanitary and household products.
Already more than 1,000 households have received payments of up to £250 through the Council’s Energy Crisis Support Scheme, which helps residents with bills that have put them in an impossible position.
As a result of this additional funding, from this week, anyone eligible for the support will be able to receive up to £400 as a one-off payment. Households which received support in the first round will now be eligible to apply again, if they need to do so.
Rotherham Council’s Leader, Councillor Chris Read, said: “The current situation is having a monumental effect on residents in Rotherham and as we go into the winter months that situation seems likely to only get worse. That’s why we have moved quickly to ensure this grant funding finds its way to residents who need it most. There are a wide range of services and advice on the Rotherham Council website so if you do have concerns or worries, go to http://www.rotherham.gov.uk to see how we can help.”
The funding will ensure that almost 12,000 children across the borough will be able to access free school meals during the Christmas and Easter holidays. Free school meals during the October half-term holidays will be covered by previous funding through the Household Support Fund.
Care leavers, such as young people leaving foster care or living independently after leaving care, will also be supported through the funding so that they are able to continue being independent.
Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, Councillor Victoria Cusworth, said: “Our children and young people are some of our most vulnerable residents in Rotherham and I am pleased that Cabinet have agreed these funding streams to support families and individuals.”
“It is my belief, as well as the Council’s, that no child should be made to go hungry due to the cost-of-living crisis. If your circumstances do change, please see if your children are eligible for free school meals by going to the Rotherham Council website.”
Funding from the government’s Household Support Fund Grant for the support has now been confirmed. To see the full range of support and advice available visit the Rotherham Council website here