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Help available for families experiencing hardship

Adjusting temperature on radiator

Bracknell Forest Families with children, who are struggling to pay for heating and food, have until Friday 9 April to apply for support through the COVID Winter Grant Scheme.

The grant scheme, which is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, provides help with food, gas and electricity costs. It is targeted to help those families with children who have been most affected financially because of the pandemic.

Since it was launched last December, more than 400 Bracknell Forest families have received this important short-term financial support towards utility bills and food. More than 2,000 children have also received support for food over the school holidays. It has been a vital lifeline over the tough winter months for families who are experiencing hardship. This could be for a range of reasons, such as they have seen reductions to their employment hours, or have been furloughed or lost their jobs.

Families, individuals and adult only households will need to fulfil the criteria to be eligible for support. This is that they should live in Bracknell Forest, have less than £3,000 in cash, savings and investments, and they don’t have enough resources to access food, gas or electricity due to the impact of COVID-19.

Cllr Paul Bettison OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, said:

“We’re pleased that there is to be an extension to the scheme, as this will allow even more families to access vital support when it’s most needed. We understand the pandemic has caused a huge pressure for the community. We want to make sure families are supported during this difficult time, and, above all, no one should go hungry or be unable to pay their bills.

"If you are a family in urgent need of financial support, please come forward and apply for help as early as possible to avoid longer term hardship. The application form is available on our website and we are able to offer help to anyone requiring assistance with completing it.”