Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Household Support Fund: Executive allocate funding

Friday, 12 April 2024

At a meeting held on Tuesday (9 April), our Executive made a decision about how to allocate almost £1.5million of government funding to support local families.

The Household Support Fund, which is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, has been extended for a further 6 months after originally being due to end in March 2024. We have been awarded £1,483,074 from the fund.

Some of the funding has already been distributed; supermarket vouchers have already been provided to every child eligible for free school meals in Central Bedfordshire to help with food costs. Over the Easter holidays families received a £35 voucher; in total 7,969 vouchers were distributed, worth £278,915.

Support for these families will continue over the May half term and the summer holidays.

Following the Executive meeting, as well as children entitled to free school meals, care leavers (young adults aged between 18 and 25 years old that have previously spent time in care before they were 18 years old) are also entitled to support. Those eligible will be contacted by us directly.

We have also allocated around £150,000 to third sector organisations, enabling them to distribute food and offer vouchers to offset utility and wider essential support to eligible households.

Councillor Hayley Whitaker, Deputy Leader  and Executive Member for Families, Education and Children, said:

We welcome the government’s decision to extend the Household Support Fund for a further 6 months, as it will allow us to continue to support households across the area. Not only are we able to support families and care leavers with food costs, but we made the decision to allocate further funding to third sector organisations to ensure they can continue offering support. With the last round of funding from the Household Support Fund, we allocated funding to 13 voluntary organisations who were able to support over 12,000 households across Central Bedfordshire. Previously our partners have used this funding to provide hot food parcels for families over the winter, and to provide grants to support unpaid carers who support a family member, friend, or neighbour with care needs and supermarket vouchers. We are really pleased to be able to be able to allocate more funding to these valuable organisations so they can continue their support over the next 6 months.

More information about the Household Support Fund and the organisations who will be receiving funding is available on our website.