Council reminds families of support available over the winter holidays

13 December 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council is working alongside partners and community groups to remind families of the support available to them over the upcoming winter holidays.

A full list of all the support available to families during the holidays can be found on the Council website. It includes information and advice ranging from where to find plenty of activities to keep little ones busy, library offers, and leisure offers, to mental health, financial and employment support.
Information about the Household Support Fund is also included on the web page. The Council is supporting families by providing funding to local schools to be used over the winter period to help families who have children that receive free school meals. 

During the summer holidays 4,729 children and young people accessed holiday provision, provided by 54 providers who were funded by the Department for Education's Holiday Activities and Food Programme. Information on the winter programme can also be found on the Council website. 

Councillor Robert Cernik, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to put a strain on families across the borough, many of which may be struggling. We want to ensure that all children, families and residents across the borough have food and support available to them throughout the winter period and urge anyone who needs help to reach out.”

Support is also available through the Council’s Winter Poverty Fund, to help residents with essentials including food, energy and water bills.
This can be accessed through some of our community sector organisations including the Welcome Network, Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA), Citizens Advice Cheshire West, Age UK Cheshire, Dial West Cheshire, Cheshire and Warrington Carers Trust, Cheshire, Halton and Warrington Race and Equality Centre (CHAWREC) and Women’s Housing Action Group (WHAG).

Food support for all residents is available all year round, including during the school holidays, through the Council-backed Welcome Network. 

Local community groups, currently providing food and support across the borough, have been mapped on the Welcome Network website, so that residents can access the information in one place. 
Those delivering food support who aren’t currently on the live, interactive map are encouraged to add their details so people needing food support in their area can access their services.
In late 2020, the Council declared a Poverty Emergency. The Council continues to be committed to tackling poverty in all its forms across west Cheshire.

Stephanie Ellis, Manager of the Welcome Network, said: 

“A coordinated approach to food support across Cheshire West and Chester continues to be extremely important. At the Welcome Network, our aim is to bring together all those charities and community groups providing food support to make sure everyone in the borough can get the help they need. Our live, interactive map is a really useful tool so people can quickly find the support available in their local area. It also helps us find any gaps in food support across Cheshire West and Chester and look to put solutions in place.”

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