Financial and practical Cost-of-Living help for households across West Northamptonshire is available now
West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has worked with partners across the authority to offer a package of financial and practical support to help residents with rising costs of food, fuel and essential daily items over the winter months.
Today we are announcing as available:
- Financial help for low wage workers, households with children, and those most needing help towards rent, council tax, household bills including gas and electricity, childcare costs and important daily essentials. Funded by the third tranche of the Household Support Fund.
- West Northamptonshire Council Online Cost of Living Support Hub
- Cost-of-Living Support Line 0300 126 7000
- Network and directory of 67 Warm Spaces across the whole county
- Directory of food larders run by Northampton's Hope Centre
The full range of assistance can be found on WNC's newly launched Cost-of-Living Online Support Hub which is full of information and advice about the rising cost of living to help all residents find support and help available to them.
The webpage is designed to be easy to navigate and contains lots of information on accessing grants, money and debt advice, government funding, wellbeing tips and links to local community organisations. The drop-down options are tailored to specific users and aim to make the information quick to find and easily accessible, without the need to scroll for a long period of time.
For those who can't access the Internet, residents can also call WNC's customer services team and speak to somebody directly about the support available between the hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Please call us on 0300 126 7000.
WNC has also worked with the public, private, health and voluntary sectors so that anyone who is feeling cold knows where they can go to stay warm and enjoy a little company this winter. Everyone is invited to the network of 67 Warm Spaces, non-judgemental, safe and welcoming places where people in West Northants can come together to stay warm, and perhaps enjoy a hot meal or a cup of tea and a biscuit. The Warm Spaces Directory can be found here.
In line with the council's Anti-Poverty Strategy, financial help is also at hand for 17,620 households who will benefit from the £2,599,628 third tranche of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Household Support Fund announced last month from economic support
Between now and March 2023 financial support will be available:
- To households with children – A £15 voucher was available for October half term and further support will be provided over the Christmas break to families of children who receive free school meals.
- To up to 4,000 households working but receiving a low wage - Online applications are now open to residents earning *£300 or less a week to receive payments totalling £250 into their bank accounts towards winter essentials. The first award of £125 will be credited to the applicant's bank account at the point of approval of the application. The second payment will be credited to the same bank account 60 days later (without the need for a further application). To qualify you must be employed, have a valid bank account, live in the region, not been in receipt of the recent £650 government Cost-of-Living payments (£326 and £324) and be over 18. To apply visit Household Support Fund | West Northamptonshire Council (westnorthants.gov.uk)
*After deductions and including any other benefits claimed. Those who have recently received the £650 government Cost-of Living payments are not eligible to apply.
- The council also plans to provide families with additional financial and practical Cost-of-Living help via community engagement, food banks and further emergency funding in the New Year. This support, which will be provided on a case-by-case basis, may be help towards rent, council tax, household bills including gas and electricity, childcare costs, important daily essentials.
Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Public Health, said:
"The rising cost of living is causing uncertainty, worry and concern for many of us right now, but we want you to know – you are not alone and there is lots happening both in the local community and nationally that can offer support.
"We understand it can be difficult to find out what support is available, so we have worked closely with partners to create a central hub of information to help with this.
"It is vital that you, your family, and those you care about have the resources needed to live well. If you are struggling or would like to know more about the support you may be entitled to, please do pick up the phone or visit our support hub for more information.
"West Northamptonshire Council's Anti-Poverty Strategy sets out how we will work with partners to support people struggling financially, what we will do to stop people falling into poverty and how we will work to get the best deal for the people of West Northants. This work is underway, and we are committed to its delivery."
It is important to note that Community Larders also run across West Northants by the Northampton Hope Centre and are manned by volunteers, providing an invaluable service for anyone facing hardship by providing donated and surplus food at discounted rates. They also support people by signposting them to other support services.
Find out information about other food larders run by the Northampton Hope Centre.
Food Aid Alliance West Northamptonshire (FAAWN) also helps people in food poverty through their network of 40 foodbanks and social supermarkets in the West Northants area. https://goodfoodwnorthants.org/foodaidalliance.html
West Northamptonshire Council's website will be updated if further funds released by the government become available.
West Northamptonshire Council Communications Team
Posted: Mon, 21 Nov 2022 08:49 by Gill Wells