Food and energy vouchers are available to support the most vulnerable children and families over winter.
Cheshire East Council with the help of schools, colleges, early years settings and other family support services across the borough are distributing vouchers on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions, during the winter months to the most vulnerable children and families to pay for essentials such as food and energy.
The money is Cheshire East’s share of the government’s £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme which is available from now until the end of March 2021 to support those most in need across England with the cost of food, energy (heating, cooking, lighting), water bills and other essentials.
Over 11,000 children and young people have already been identified by the council and will receive their vouchers over the next few weeks. These families will receive their vouchers via schools, colleges, early years settings and by a host of support services.
The following children, young people and families will automatically receive a voucher:
· Those in receipt of free school meals
· Those in receipt of early years pupil premium and two-year funding
· Care leavers up to age 25
· Young people aged 16-18 who are not in education, employment or training
· Children and young people who are young carers
· Children living with parents who have been exposed to domestic abuse and are known to domestic abuse services.
If you are working with a family that is in need of a voucher you can request support for them by completing this form. A £15 supermarket voucher is available per child per week for a maximum of three weeks, and/or a £49 fuel voucher per household.
Before completing the form – please check if the family meets the criteria above as if so, they will automatically receive a voucher. If the family have already received a voucher but still need additional support, you can complete the form to request additional payments.
You will need the following information to complete the form:
The parent/carer’s name
The parent/carer’s address, including post code
The parent/carer’s email address - If the parent/carer does not have an email address, please put your email address so you can provide the voucher to them.
A contact number for the parent/carer – please provide your own if this is not available.
If you are entering information for multiple children - please make sure you press ‘Add Child’s Details’ after entering each child’s details on the form otherwise the information will not be saved.
Please allow five working days for the family to receive the voucher via email. Please note that any applications received after 1pm on 22 December 2020 will not be processed until 4 January 2021. If emergency support is needed during this time please contact the Emergency Duty Team as usual on 0300 123 5022.
If the family is likely to be eligible for free school meals please encourage them to apply online at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/fsm - this will mean they will be automatically eligible for further support in future.
For emergency assistance Cheshire East has a host of food banks that operate across the borough which can be found by visiting www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/livewell and searching for ‘food banks’.
For further information please see our website https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/wintergrantinquiry