As part of the Government’s Winter Support fund initiative, Southampton is set to receive £900,000 funding as part of a grant scheme announced last month.

It is designed to directly help families and individuals who have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with the majority set aside to ensure that the city’s children do not go hungry during the winter months.

Southampton City Council will receive the first lump sum from the Government this week, which must be spent by 31 March 2021.  The council plans to begin passing it on to families straight away.

Food vouchers for families

All children in the city that are eligible for free school meals will be able to receive this extra help directly from their schools. Other families may also be eligible to receive assistance, such as those whose teenage children are not currently in education, employment or training. View full eligibility details.

There will also be a separate winter grant scheme for teenagers that have recently left care, and direct support to families of young children that would be eligible for the pupil premium, including those who have a parent serving in the Armed Forces.

Additional support with food and utility costs

The remainder of the funding will be available for any other residents that find themselves struggling this winter. This money will provide support towards food costs, utilities and other essential items. Access to support is available through a professional’s referral network, meaning that residents should be able to access help via the professionals that they are already in contact with. Find out more about how you can get extra support.

The funding from the Winter Support Grant is only available for a limited time. More information can be accessed on the Government website.