A £7.7m package of money which can help some of West Norfolk’s most needy people has been announced.
County council bosses say it will partially replace the previous meal vouchers for children which was scrapped at Easter and they say it brings together help for everyone.
£6.7m comes from the Government, with County Hall adding an additional £1m for a Norfolk Cost of Living Scheme to help people struggling to pay essential bills.
County Hall says those in need should call 0344 800 8020 to see what support is available.
Council leader Andrew Proctor said: “The main challenge facing us all is the spiralling cost of living which is hitting a wide number of households hard. That’s why we’ve created a new scheme that is flexible and can reach a broader range of people than previous hardship schemes. This includes families in need, older people and other vulnerable households.
“Previously the focus of our support has been on helping those facing hardship as the economy recovers from the pandemic and providing a bridge between the end of furlough and the Universal Credit top-up. Our new Cost of Living Support Scheme builds on what has worked previously but is able to reach a much wider group of residents, in-line with Government guidance.
The £7.7 million Norfolk Cost of Living Support Scheme, which will run until October, will consist of:
£3.6m to support families with seven monthly cost- of- living vouchers for children eligible for means-tested free school meals. The payments will be £15 per month, per child, with an enhanced payment of £30 for August, to coincide with the school holidays. The total value will be £120 per child, over the course of the scheme. The vouchers will be paid from April (backdated) up to and including October.
£1m allocated to the council’s Norfolk Assistance Scheme (NAS) to support families in hardship, where there isn’t eligibility for free school meals. This support is available to families with very young children, young carers, and families caring for children with disabilities, many of whom may be facing significantly higher energy bills
£2.2m, a third of the Government funding, to support those aged 65 or over by providing cash and voucher help particularly those on Anglian Water tariffs because they are financial difficulty
£840,000 to support others in need, including funding for district, borough and city councils to meet those with immediate housing needs