In the last week, the Government and other key agencies have announced a series of plans to help families and other low income households.

Winter Grant Scheme to support vulnerable households in England during the pandemic.

The grant scheme will be administered by local councils and will:

  • be ringfenced, with at least 80% to be spent on food and bills
  • cover the period between now and March 2021
  • enable Councils provide food for children who need it over the holidays

Also, the Government has said it will:

  • fund a Holiday Activities and Food programme across England during Easter, Summer and Christmas 2021
  • increase Healthy Start scheme payments (which apply in England and Wales) from April 2021
  • provide an extra £16 million of funding for food distribution charities

We'll publish more information on how Councils will distribute the funding when we have it.

Help with childcare costs:

HMRC have announced that working parents who receive support through a Government COVID-19 related support scheme (such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or Self-Employment Income Support Scheme) will still be eligible for childcare support through Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) and 30 hours free Childcare, even if they or their partner’s income falls below the normal minimum requirement.

This support will align with the duration of the schemes (currently 31 March 2021). Additionally critical workers that have worked extra hours because of the pandemic will still be eligible for childcare support if they or their partner’s income goes over the £100,000 upper threshold in the current tax year (March 2020-2021).

Working Parents already using TFC across the UK and/or 30 hours free childcare in England are encouraged to re-confirm their eligibility as normal.

Help with water bills:
Southern Water have reviewed the Essentials tariff which comes into effect immediately and runs until 31st March 2021.
This means that customers who have an annual household income of less than £21,000 per annum may now be able to get help with the cost of their bills.
They also have other schemes available to help those who are having difficulty paying their bills.
Please contact us for more information and advice on the help available to you.
Call: 0800 144 8848
Complete the webform here