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Household Support Fund set to support residents throughout summer months

Residents struggling with the cost of living crisis will be given extra support over the next six months, which includes help to pay for food and energy bills.

Plymouth City Council expects to receive a further £2.2 million from the Household Support Fund. The fund, which is provided by the Department of Work and Pensions, was due to close at the end of March but has now been extended by the Government for a further six months after extensive campaigning.

More than £1.4 million will be used to provide food vouchers during school holidays to families with children that are eligible for Free School Meals, to the value of £13 per child, per week. This will include the upcoming Easter holiday, May half-term and six-week summer holiday.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Housing, Cooperative Development and Communities, said: “While we welcome an extension to the Household Support Fund, we’re disappointed that it is only for six months which greatly limits the amount of support we can provide.

“It does mean that we’ll be able to provide eligible families with food vouchers over the upcoming school holidays – particularly the long six-week summer break – which I know will be a great relief to many parents and carers, but we’re only able to provide this level of support with the help of additional funding.

“We will continue to campaign for longer term support and more funding for our residents. The cost of living crisis isn’t going away and we know that many people are still struggling to pay for essentials like food and fuel.”

Around £275,000 will be distributed directly to residents by Citizens Advice Plymouth via an application process. Eligible applicants will receive food and fuel vouchers, as well as help to purchase essential household goods. Details of the application process and key dates will be shared on the Council's website.

Some of the funding will be used to provide targeted support to vulnerable households, including those at risk of homelessness. Local organisations and charities will also receive funds to help their work, including Plymouth Energy Community, who support people on a referral basis, and foodbanks, who have seen high demand for emergency food parcels.

If you need support, please visit the cost of living hub.