Swindon receives further £1.5m to help families with the rising cost of living

Households across Swindon will benefit from over £1.5m of funding to help those most in need to cope with the rising cost of living.

Published: Friday, 25th November 2022

new fund opened

The same amount given in each of the first two allocations has been used to help support those residents who need it most, with funding issued to residents either automatically or through referrals from organisations such as Warm and Safe Wiltshire to help with energy costs.

The rest was distributed by the Council to directly support residents with housing costs and other essentials, as well as some being given to charities across the Borough, including the Pattern Church, Boxes of Hope at Gorse Hill Baptist Church, the Salvation Army, the Swindon Food Collective and the Wiltshire Women Empowerment Program, so they could continue to assist residents in need across Swindon.

As with previous allocations, a portion of the new funding will be distributed automatically as vouchers for food and energy to low income families in Swindon, including continuing the provision of food vouchers through the school holidays (Holidays Activities and Food Programme).

For other households who need immediate or short-term support to meet their family’s essential needs, a new fund has been opened which residents can apply for.

Residents must meet an eligibility criteria in order to be successful, and will be granted vouchers to help towards the costs of energy, water or food.

The new fund is for those that have not already received the £650 cost of living payment from the Government, and those that whose expenditure is more than their income, or have experienced an unexpected expense which affects their ability to meet the cost of energy, food or other essential bills.

Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Health Inequalities and Housing, Councillor Cathy Martyn, said: “With the rising cost of living challenges, this Household Support Fund package will provide some short-term relief for those Swindon residents who need it most.

“As with the previous grant, some funding will be allocated to charities to support them to continue providing services which have been shown to benefit residents financially. For example, Citizens Advice Swindon have been able to help those residents who’ve asked their Advice and Financial First Aiders for help, by increasing their income through eligible benefits by an average of £2,500 each, as well as helping them to reduce their outgoings.

“I encourage anyone who needs financial support to apply straight away. Please also have a look at the advice available on the Council’s website, where other financial support is also sign-posted, including how to check whether you’re eligible for any benefits: www.swindon.gov.uk/costofliving.”

If you need any help to apply for benefits, residents can contact Citizens Advice Swindon on 0808 278 7813 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm), or go to one of their weekly drop-in sessions in the Borough. More information is available on their website: www.citizensadviceswindon.org.uk

If you need expert, tailored, energy advice, Warm and Safe Wiltshire can offer support over the phone and in some cases, free home visits can be arranged to help families save money on energy. Residents can contact Warm and Safe Wiltshire, which is part-funded by Swindon Borough Council, by calling 0800 038 5722 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Details of other support which residents can access to help with the cost of living is available on the Council’s dedicated webpage: www.swindon.gov.uk/costofliving

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