Stockport Council launch winter support vouchers scheme to support families with the cost of living

As part of the drive to help all residents stay warm and well this winter, Stockport Council is providing a Winter Support Voucher scheme to help thousands of families.

Funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Household Support Fund, the vouchers will provide support to families over the winter period.

Eligible families include those in receipt of Free School Meals (FSM), early years and Post-16 equivalent, plus those in receipt of Local Council Tax Support and/or Housing Benefit (as paid by Stockport Council). Eligible families will receive a £60 voucher per child to provide support with the rising costs of energy over the winter period.

All vouchers will be distributed during the week commencing 21st November. Vouchers for children in receipt of free school meals will be sent by email, where the Council holds an email address for the qualifying family, with residents encouraged to check their spam folder to ensure that they receive the voucher; otherwise the parent will receive a voucher by post. For families with children in receipt of free school meals for which the Council does not hold an email address, and for those children eligible for a voucher by means of Local Council Tax Support and/or Housing Benefit paid by Stockport Council, vouchers will be sent by post.

Councillor Malcolm Allan, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources at Stockport Council, commented: “We know the difficulties people are facing because of the cost-of-living crisis, and we want to do all we can to support residents across the borough, especially those with young families. I’m pleased to announce that as part of the DWP funded Household Support Fund, we are providing Winter Support Vouchers to 8,500 families, benefiting some 13,000 children and young people.

We are further supporting these families by using the grant to extend the Holiday Activities and Food programme, thus ensuring that activities are available to young people during the February half term. This is in addition to the Holiday Activity Fund (HAF) Programme over the Christmas holiday period.”

Recognising that other households also need support over winter, the Council will use its trusted partners to target support to these residents using the Household Support Fund.

In addition, residents can apply for Support Funds for help in a financial crisis. Support could include a food bank referral, help with the cost of gas and electricity, Council Tax or rent. For more information and to apply for help, visit the Stockport Council website.

The Council remains committed to using available resources to maximise support to our most vulnerable residents and sees the cost-of-living challenges faced by our residents as a key priority.

The Council has set up a dedicated cost-of-living webpage, which lists the range of support available, and more information on the Winter Support Voucher scheme can be found here: www.stockport.gov.uk/winter-support-voucher