support for families on reduced incomes during the pandemic
Written by Harvey Williamson on November 26, 2020
The Council continues to support families under extra financial strain due to the pandemic through a wide range of schemes, including vouchers to help families on low incomes with their food costs, ahead of the Christmas holiday.
There is a range of benefits and support available for families on a reduced income due to coronavirus, from the Government, the Council and other partner organisations across the borough.
The Council has grouped all the support available in one place, on the coronavirus website – www.telford.gov.uk/coronavirus – I am a resident, to make it easier and quicker for everyone to check eligibility for various schemes and apply.
Council Tax reduction, Test and Trace support payments, Emergency Welfare Assistance (for anyone unable to afford essentials, such as food or heating), Job Box services (helping residents to find employment) and many others are among the support schemes listed.
Additionally, all the families across the borough registered for free school meals and for pre-school benefits, such as early years pupil premium or funded childcare places for 2 year olds, will receive (prior to their children’s school holiday) a winter voucher worth £15 per child per week (during the two weeks Christmas holiday), to use at a range of local supermarkets.
Families will also be able to use the vouchers online at a number of shops, for example, if they need to self-isolate.
The Council is encouraging families who are not registered yet for free school meals or pre-school benefits but who might qualify now due to changes in circumstances, to apply by latest Monday, 7 December 2020 – to ensure they can receive their winter voucher for the school holidays.
If the child you care for is in school – go to www.telford.gov.uk/FSM to check eligibility and apply for free school meals.
If the child you care for is age three or four years old and in any of these pre-school settings (childminder, pre-school/playgroup, nursery) – go to www.telford.gov.uk/eypp to check eligibility and apply for extra support.
If you send your application by Monday, 7 December 2020 (for any of the support schemes above) and your application is confirmed– you will be automatically entitled to the winter voucher worth £15 per child per week (during the two weeks Christmas holiday), to use at a range of local supermarkets and you will receive the voucher prior to the children’s holiday.
Councillor Paul Watling Cabinet Member for Co-operative Communities, Engagement and Partnerships said: “We know that the pandemic has seen the financial circumstances of many families change for the worse across the borough.
“Many of them will find it even more difficult while their children are at home during the Christmas holiday, due to the increased costs. We want to make sure families get the help they need so that their children don’t go hungry this Christmas.
“With the winter voucher, we want to help these families who usually rely on their children being fed at pre-school or school.
“If you are not registered for free school meals or pre-school benefits but you believe you might now qualify due to changed financial circumstances – please apply by 7 December on www.telford.gov.uk/FSM (free school meals) or www.telford.gov.uk/eypp (pre-school benefits) so you can receive the winter voucher support you may be entitled to.
“All families already registered for pre-school benefits or school meals support will receive their vouchers before the school holiday.”
“Please help us spread the word, if you know someone who could benefit. “
Councillor Shirley Reynolds, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People, Education and Lifelong Learning said: We would like to encourage as many parents and carers as possible to apply for free school meals or Early Years Pupil Premium, if they are entitled to and have not done so yet.
“In addition to the benefits that this brings to school aged pupils in terms of school lunch provision, every application of this kind means extra-funding to schools and pre-schools settings that they will use to support the children’s learning.”
The winter vouchers will complement other help for families that the Council will continue to fund over the Christmas holidays. This includes free breakfast boxes containing breakfast items for 5 days for children on free school meals. This scheme, which started in June, is now available across the borough and is being delivered in partnership with a number of community groups.
If you are eligible for free school meals, you will also be able to register for breakfast boxes.
To register and to check where your nearest collection point is, go to www.telford.gov.uk/breakfast
For more information on Coronavirus support and advice, visit www.telford.gov.uk/coronavirus