Winter Grant Scheme payments launched to support family households and individuals over winter

14 December 2020

Residents in Cheshire West and Chester could get help with their bills during the cold weather with one-off grant payments. 
 
Cheshire West and Chester Council is co-ordinating the government’s Winter Grant Scheme locally. 
 
It means that families and individuals who have been struggling throughout the Covid-19 pandemic can get help with essentials, such as the cost of food, fuel and water bills over the winter period.

There is a payment of £45 per child or young person for food support as well as a payment of £35 per household for eligible children and families to support around fuel and water bills.  

To qualify for the Winter Grant Scheme payment, families or individual households must meet one of the following criteria:
  • Families with children receiving free school meals on 1 December 2020.
  • Families receiving either a Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction on 1 December 2020 and with children below the age of four, or children between the ages of 16 and 18 inclusive.
  • Individuals who have left the care of Cheshire West and Chester Council and are below the age of 25 on 1 December 2020.
The Winter Grant funding will also help provide support through the Council’s Help in Emergencies for Local People (HELP) Scheme, enabling the scheme to administer additional eligible requests for both families with children and individuals.

The HELP Scheme is a discretionary scheme offering local welfare assistance, including:
  • Support for exceptional needs.
  • Limited payments for emergency funding in a crisis.
  • Help with moving out of care.
Information on the HELP Scheme can be found at: Citizens Advice Cheshire West in conjunction with The Fuel Bank Foundation will also receive £25,000 from the fund to work with people who are struggling to meet their fuel bills. Whilst Disability Positive has also been awarded £15,000 to support individual children and adults it works with who have long-term health conditions, helping them access food, energy or water bill support. 

The Welcome Network is commissioned by the Council to coordinate local food provision across the borough. Details of local food offers in Cheshire West and Chester over the Christmas period are being compiled on the Welcome Network website.

Cheshire West and Chester Council is committed to tackling poverty in all its forms in the borough and recently declared a Poverty Emergency.
 
Councillor Carol Gahan, Cabinet Member for Legal and Finance said: “We know how difficult the pandemic has made lives for many of our residents across the borough. 
 
“We hope that the Winter Grant Scheme payments will go some way to helping families and individuals with the costs of food, fuel and water over the winter period.”
 
Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said: “The pandemic has hit many of our families and households in Cheshire West extremely hard. This means that some of our residents cannot afford the things that should be necessities. 
 
“These payments will help to reassure and support family households and individuals with the basics of food, fuel and water during this difficult time. I would urge all those who think they need this support to find out if they are eligible to claim their payment.”
 
The Winter Grant Scheme payment can be applied for from today, 14 December by visiting: For telephone enquiries:
  • HELP Scheme: 0300 123 7065
  • General enquiries: 0300 123 8123
  • Dedicated helpline for people who need support: 0300 123 7031

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