Summer support package set to benefit thousands of families in need

Thousands of families in Stockport will benefit from a multi-level support package this summer.

Stockport Council has worked in partnership with organisations across the voluntary and community sector to ensure families on the lowest income can access a range of local initiatives, from holiday activities, support vouchers to help with food, and money towards school uniforms.

The council will be providing all families in receipt of benefit-related Free School Meals with a voucher to help with the cost of food, fuel and other household essentials. These vouchers will be sent directly to families by the end of the month. They will consist of 2 x £25 vouchers for primary school children, and 2 x £30 vouchers for secondary aged pupils (due to the longer summer holiday period for secondary school students in Stockport). These will be paid in two tranches dispersed across the summer holidays.

In addition, the Council is extending the voucher scheme to support all families in receipt of Universal Credit. These vouchers will complement the work of our foodbanks and Local Pantry Network who have developed their offer to families this summer. Stockport Foodbank will be able to support their clients with enhanced food parcels including household essential and support with uniforms. Your Local Pantry are offering family memberships for just £6.50 allowing families to choose 20 items of food, retailing at between £30 - £40.

As an additional strand of support, Stockport Council is extending support with the cost of secondary school uniform for all families on means-tested free school meals via the Uniform Grant Scheme.

Families can also benefit from activities through the Holiday Activity Fund (HAF) Fun and Food programme. These activities are free for children on benefit-related free school meals and will all include healthy food alongside fun activities like sports, art and cooking. Paid places are also available for children from other families who might need childcare support this summer.

Cllr Tom McGee, Deputy Leader at Stockport Council, said: “Funding secured from the government has enabled us to offer this vital support to families. We want to help as many households as possible and we are pleased to have been able to extend this scheme to include other low-income families, so as many children are safe and supported as possible over the summer break.”

Cllr Colin Foster, Cabinet Member for Children, Family Services and Education, added: “School holidays can be difficult for families and the impact of this pandemic on the children of Stockport and their families can not be underestimated. We’re committed to supporting all families to ensure our children and young people can thrive. Holiday activities are a great opportunity for children to do that and experience new activities and make new friends, all in a safe and welcoming environment.”

Cllr Amanda Peers, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Neighbourhoods, said: “We are grateful to our voluntary and community sector partners who are working with us to ensure support is available to all families in Stockport who need a little extra help this summer. I would encourage anyone who needs this help to take up this triple-pronged package of support.”

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