Wakefield Council give 'Half a million quid to keep kids warm and fed'

Wakefield Covid board gives cash to help young people.

Thursday, 24th December 2020, 12:30 pm
Wakefield Town Hall

Wakefield’s Recovery Board has endorsed the allocation £411,000 of funding to help children, young people and their families to stay warm and fed this winter.

Following lobbying by Wakefield and other councils to the government for support, Wakefield received a £1.3m grant to help support vulnerable households with food and warmth over the winter months.

The Council has already allocated around £847,500 to provide approximately 18,000 children eligible for this support, with a £30 per child, voucher to spend on food for the Christmas holidays and a further £15 voucher per child for food for February half term. Letters have gone out to 9,083 families about the scheme.

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

At a meeting of Wakefield’s Recovery Board, the remaining £411,000 allocation was agreed – with approximately £282,500 of the funding to help children and young people to stay warthis winter, with vouchers being provided, to spend on things like warm clothing and bedding.

The vouchers will be redeemable in supermarkets and distributed in the same way as the food vouchers. There would also be approximately £113,670 for the Council’s emergency fund (Local Welfare Provision) to help other vulnerable households

An additional £15,500 will go to Wakefield Food Aid Network to enable them to increase their food stocks over the winter period and help those in need.

Coun Denise Jeffery, Chair of the Wakefield Recovery Board and Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “It has been an extremely challenging year, and we know it has been a huge struggle for individuals, families and communities. I am very pleased that we have agreed the allocation of this money to those who are eligible for this support, in our district at this time to help them during the winter months.

“The Recovery Board has, and will continue to, work in partnership to support residents and businesses as we face the ongoing challenges of the pandemic

“A huge amount has been achieved by the Board and together we will continue to find solutions and work closely to support our district’s recovery.”

The Recovery Board supports the development of partner led recovery initiatives for residents and the economy, including the provision of support through nine community hubs via the Help at the Hub initiative, such as access to experts offering welfare advice. Since November 176 people have sought help from Citizen’s Advice at the districts hubs, with almost half requesting benefits advice.

Other support developed includes:

The WF Connect programme, which aims to provide children, young people and college students with digital access and equipment – through a £64,000 programme funded by Wakefield Council and donations of equipment from businesses and partners.

The development of a Kickstart Board - to maximise the uptake of young people accessing the Kickstart scheme as a route from unemployment into work, and ensure that wherever possible this is a positive experience.

Agreement to form a single multi-agency front door access portal for business support, which will aim to triage and signpost to the right support from the right agency at the right time.

A range of local help and support is available to people who may be struggling with less income due to coronavirus. Residents are encouraged to contact their nearest community support hub or visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/hub for more information.