Covid-related support from County Council for most vulnerable including Holiday Hunger Clubs

PUBLISHED: 14:14 09 November 2020 | UPDATED: 14:14 09 November 2020

Councillor Louise McKinlay. Picture: Supplied

Councillor Louise McKinlay. Picture: Supplied


Essex County Council is to spend £3.7m of coronavirus-related money from government and £200,000 of its own funds to support the most vulnerable through the winter and beyond.

The package includes £623,000 direct support for individuals or families in financial crisis through food vouchers, energy, bills and white goods, to be provided by Essex Essential Living Fund.

This money will also cover discretionary hardship funds to support people required to self-isolate who do not qualify for the government scheme, as well as volunteer practical and emotional support to vulnerable people via Essex Wellbeing Service.

In addition, there will be £866,500 for food, to be distributed by Active Essex and Essex Association of Local Councils, including extra capacity for food banks and more funding for Holiday Hunger Clubs.

This will provide children and families with food packages and activity clubs in the Christmas, half terms and Easter school holidays up to summer 2021.

The council will also provide essential food packages for care leavers as well as targeted support for vulnerable families.

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Also, £910,000 of new government funding is being released to help meet basic support needs, food and essentials for those most vulnerable due to Covid-19.

Meanwhile, £627,000 of new cash is available to provide safe, long-term homes for rough sleepers and others vulnerable to homelessness.

There is also £555,000 for mental health, domestic violence, alcohol and substance misuse services to help people in crisis due to the pandemic.

A total of £134,500 worth of grants will be made to grassroots youth clubs and groups which are facing financial crisis due to lost income or the exceptional costs of making their activities Covid safe.

Borough, city and district councils in the area will use their local knowledge to distribute these grassroots funds.

Community support agencies and voluntary organisations, including the Citizens Advice Bureau, will receive a total of £212,500.

Cllr Louise McKinlay, cabinet member for Children and Families at Essex County Council, said: “This package of support is very comprehensive in its offer and in many cases will provide a lifeline to people during these difficult times.”

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