The Knowsley Better Together Hardship Fund was established by Knowsley Council to support residents to “get back on their feet” following the pandemic.
The last 18 months has been a challenge for everyone, but for some, it has had a detrimental impact and they can’t see any way out with many struggling with employment and money issues.
The £2.5m Knowsley Better Together Hardship Fund has allocated funding to organisations and community groups who are working with vulnerable residents and can identify issues and, importantly, how to access support.
Since launching in April 2021, support provided to residents includes:-
- Provision of essential items to families such as food.
- Targeted advice around debt and money worries, ensuring residents know what support they are entitled to and how to access it.
- Three additional case workers have been recruited to help as many residents as possible with welfare benefits and debt management advice. They operate from Prescot Advice and Citizens Advice and they can be contacted at by phoning 0808 278 7839 (Adviceline freephone), emailing email@example.com or advice can be found online at citizensadviceknowsley.org.uk
- A new financial advice service will launch later this month for Knowsley residents engaged with mental health services. The service will give access to specialist housing, debt and welfare rights advice to help break the link between mental health and financial worries. Residents should speak with their mental health worker to be referred into the project.
- Support around fuel costs has been expanded to help those impacted by COVID-19.
- Up to £100,000 has been allocated to 18 local community organisations who have been supporting families over the summer. This includes the provision of children’s packed lunches and supermarket vouchers for families in need.
Cllr Jayne Aston, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “We know that there are a range of challenges our residents are facing as a result of the pandemic. We have listened and ensured that targeted support is available and we’ve also ensured that our partner agencies and community groups can continue to provide that support particularly as we start to move into the winter period when heating issues will be a priority.
“The support provided has been described as a lifeline and we will continue to support our residents with the right support at the right time.”