Further support to Knowsley residents has been confirmed.
Firstly, the Government has allocated Knowsley Council a further £1.862m from its Household Support Fund to provide essential support to residents over the winter period.
This is the third allocation of £1.862m (£5.586m in total) and it is to be used between October 2022 and March 2023.
This third allocation can be used to support local need and a package of support has been agreed which includes:-
- Continuing to fund Free School Meal vouchers during school holidays (October, December, February and April school holidays) for means tested pupils – this provides support to 8,500 children across the Borough.
- Fuel support for vulnerable residents identified through the Council and partner agencies.
- Funding allocated to Knowsley Foodbank to ensure there is sufficient supply of food and household essentials for residents over the coming months
- A further funding allocation to community food partners across the Borough, providing essential supplies to residents from the heart of our communities
- Funding to support residents and families identified through the Council’s Adult Social Care and Children’s Services teams to offered tailored support to target hardship issues facing these vulnerable residents.
In addition to the Household Support Fund, the Council has bolstered its Knowsley Better Together Fund by a further £415,000 to provide tailored support to residents. This additional funding will support residents by:-
- Allocating funding to offer practical support to pupils in our schools (such as helping to fund school uniforms, shoes and winter coats)
- Extending Library opening hours (on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons) to provide a safe and warm place for residents during the cold period
- Allocating funding to community groups to ensure facilities are open to extend the Warm Hub offer
- Supporting housing partners to provide tailored support to their tenants
The Council has now invested over £3.4m in the Hardship Fund to support our residents on top of the Government money that we have received.
Cllr Jayne Aston, Cabinet Member for Resources, said “We know that the cost of living is a real concern for our residents. This is a consistent theme coming through from the consultation we are currently carrying out to help us to develop the Knowsley Offer – a package of support that will help residents to thrive and not just survive.
“This latest Household Support Fund allocation, along with our own Knowsley Better Together Hardship Fund, is being used to target those areas that we know our residents need and rely on – food and heating are the key priorities.
“We know that food supplies in our Food Banks and through the community food partners are running low and demand for such support will only increase over the coming weeks and months. It was essential that they are effectively funded in order to provide essential food supplies to our residents when they need it.
“The funding we have received so far from the Government is nowhere near enough to support our communities and we are once again having to fill the gap. We have had to bolster the Knowsley Better Together Fund to provide residents with Warm Hubs for example.
“We are doing all that we can to support our communities through the cost of living crisis. We know that more needs to be done and we are working with our partners to identify where we have gaps and how we can effectively fill those gaps.
“We are also continuing to lobby the Government for fairer funding – areas have different challenges and needs, and funding allocations need to reflect that.”