Barnsley Council is launching a COVID-19 winter grant scheme using almost £1m of funding provided by the government boosted by a further £300K of council funding to enhance the offer.
The scheme will provide support to vulnerable households across the borough over the winter months, focusing on households with children who access Free School Meals, including those in pre-school.
Families will receive a £15 voucher for each child for each week of the Christmas and February half-term holidays. There will be no need to apply if you are already receiving free school meals. Details of how to access vouchers will be distributed to families before the Christmas break. If you think your child may be entitled to a free school meal, please see the Free School Meals page on our website.
Additional funding will be provided to help the same families eligible for Free School Meals with fuel and energy costs over the winter months. Families will be able to claim a one-off grant payment of £80.
If you received the £15 payment for October half term, you do not need to apply as we already have your details, and a payment will automatically be made. If you did not receive a payment in October, you will need to apply for the winter grant payment.
A wider package of support is also available to help families through the extension of the healthy holidays programme delivered by the Good Food Barnsley Partnership with Area Councils and other local organisations to provide food to the most vulnerable in our community.
Councillor Sir Stephen Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: “The pandemic has hit families in our borough hard and caused a lot of financial hardship in the past nine months.
“Being in Tier Three, followed by another national lockdown, and now returning to Tier Three restrictions has made it more difficult for people to support their families.
“Therefore, we welcome the government support, which will help approximately 11,000 children and 6,500 households in Barnsley during this continued difficult time and supplement the ongoing work of our emergency financial hardship funding, which remains available for our residents.”
To access the funding, visit barnsley.gov.uk/money-advice-and-support. This page also has details of other financial support available, including the Local Welfare Assistance (LWA) scheme.
Please note if your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 and in receipt of universal free school meals, you will only qualify for the above payments if your child would be entitled under the benefits-related free school meal scheme.
For enquiries, please contact (01226) 787787 and select option 3.