Knowsley Council has been awarded a further £3.724m from the Government’s Household Support Fund to provide essential support to residents from 1 April 2023 through to 31 March 2024.
In addition, the Council is investing a further £1.470m into the Knowsley Better Together Hardship Fund, meaning a total funding pot of £5.194m to support residents over the coming year.
The Household Support Fund was established to support those in need through rising inflationary pressures and the cost of living crisis.
This latest funding will be used to provide ongoing support to residents to access heating, food, provision of free school meals to eligible pupils through the school holidays, funding allocated to community groups to ensure local needs are being met, along with schools, Adult and Children’s Social Work teams being able to identify needs and provide tailored support. In addition, the Council is working with Knowsley Carers Centre and Knowsley Disability Concern to co-produce a support package that is aligned to residents’ needs.
Given the variety of challenges facing Knowsley residents, the Council established the Knowsley Better Together Hardship Fund in May 2021 to ensure residents received the right support at the right time. At the time, it was described as a “lifeline” to many people who were struggling with spiralling debt and increased costs for essentials such as food and heating.
The Knowsley Better Together Hardship Fund will continue to provide essential debt advice through the employment of extra dedicated Money Advisors both in the Council and partner organisations, along with food and essentials distributed through community groups, the provision of Warm Hubs in the Borough’s libraries, support to Registered Social Landlords and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to provide a range of targeted support to residents, emergency boiler and heating repairs, mental health support, employment support as well as tailored support to those who are in rent arrears.
Cllr Jayne Aston, Cabinet Member for Resources, said:
It’s still an extremely challenging time for our residents who need our support more than ever. Our latest funding package will provide essential support over the year to our residents when they really need it.
“Our Knowsley Better Together way of working has proved to be paramount in our response to both the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis. Organisations, community groups and communities have all come together to ensure our residents receive the support that they need.
It’s really important that people know that they aren’t alone and if they are struggling, we can help.”