Support is available for Peterborough residents who are struggling to pay for food or household fuel because of the rising cost of living.
People who are in need can now apply for support from the Household Support Fund thanks to a partnership between Peterborough City Council and Citizens Advice Peterborough (CAP). The scheme launches today (Monday).
In March the Government announced the extension of the scheme, which initially ran between November and March, awarding Peterborough an additional £1,824,636 to support those in need across the city.
As part of this funding more than £100,000 is available to support adults in the greatest need with applicants having the option of a voucher worth up to £50 for food or household fuel.
Households living in the Peterborough area are eligible if they have children under the age of two, or children not in receipt of free school meals, are between the ages of 18 and 66, liable for power supply at the property, are the tenant or mortgage holder and are in receipt of universal credit, income support, personal independence payment or disability living allowance.
The council is aiming to provide financial support within a few days of application, as well as provide information and guidance on longer-term support to help maximise and manage finances.
This support is available in addition to £703,633 which has been set aside to provide families with food vouchers over the school holidays and eligible families have already received £10 per child during the May half term school holidays and will receive a further £45 per child to cover the summer holidays. Schools and childcare settings, childminders and eligible parents will be contacted directly about this scheme – there is no application process.
The council will also be shortly launching its £554,000 support fund for pensioners in conjunction with Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with more details to follow shortly.
Councillor Steve Allen, cabinet member for communication, culture and communities, said: “It’s been a tough couple of years for so many people which is why we want to offer residents in the greatest need some additional support to buy food and heat their homes.
“Not only do we want this money to give people breathing space in the short term, we want to use it to help them get a grip on their finances longer term, for example by making sure they are receiving all the benefits to which they are entitled or getting the best deal from their energy company.
“If you think you might be eligible, please get in touch with us.”
Keith Jones, chief executive of Citizens Advice Peterborough, said: “Our advisers have been working flat out to help individuals and couples who can’t pay the bills and find money for food or utilities. We’ve repeatedly raised the alarm about this crisis and as a local charity we are glad to be working in partnership with the council to help vulnerable people struggling at this time.”
Those seeking support from the adult element of the Household Support Fund should apply to Citizens Advice Peterborough by calling 01733 447 933 or by completing the following form https://forms.office.com/r/B1iXzMY7GE.
More information is also available by visiting www.peterborough.gov.uk