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Funding will help many different groups as cost of living remains high

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The homeless, families, those who are suffering from ill health and ethnic minorities and are just some of the many groups who will benefit from funding that we have recently secured.

In total £10m was secured from the fourth tranche of the government’s Household Support Fund to cover the period from April 2023 until March 2024.

It will take Devon’s total level of Household Support Funding, allocated by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), to just over £25 million.

This funding comes with conditions on how it can be allocated and is to support households in most need – those that are struggling to pay for food, energy, water bills and other related essentials.

It is also intended for those that may not be eligible for other government support.

Groups that will benefit include:

  • Families in receipt of Free School Meals, to provide food vouchers that can be exchanged at supermarkets to buy food during school holidays.
  • Eligible low-income households with children and young people via the County Council’s Early Help service.
  • Households that are in greatest financial need and struggling to pay for food, energy and other related essentials; especially those who may not have receive other Government cost of living payments, much of this funding will be distributed via Devon’s District/City councils.
  • Households that are using pre-payment and credit meters, to help with energy costs. This allocation of the funding is through Citizens Advice Devon.
  • Working with the Energy Saving Devon project, the intention is for the fund to be used to pilot a scheme to provide minor but rapid energy efficiency improvements to the homes of eligible households
  • The Food, Fuel and More grant scheme is being managed by

Additionally part of this funding is allocated to a targeted support programme to help those who may slip-through the support net.

Groups and organisations who support communities that don’t always get the help they need are being invited to apply for funding of up to £20,000.

This includes homeless people, those in temporary or insecure housing, or households with disabled residents.

Groups that help those suffering ill-health which has a direct impact on household income and an ability to meet food and energy bills are also encouraged to apply.

Equally, organisations that support Asian, black, traveller, Gypsy, Roma and ethnic minority communities who are not accessing support through other channels are invited to apply.

This is being delivered through the food, fuel & more scheme managed by the Devon Community Foundation.

Grants have been awarded to, among others, the Filipino Community Association and Inclusive Exeter CIC.

Inclusive Exeter CIC helps the Black and Asian community in the city through a drop-in support service – they have received a grant to help those with the cost of essentials such as food and fuel.

A grant has also helped Esteem Team CIC, in East Devon, which supports families with disabled children. They provided things like hot water bottles and blankets to families over the course of the winter.

Alabare Christian Care and Support used their funding to provide weekly food vouchers and additional Christmas food for supported housing residents in Bideford and Barnstaple.

And the Freedom Community Alliance in North Devon were able to continue supporting the homeless and the vulnerable through the coldest and wettest months of the year.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for public health and communities, said:

“High prices of food, energy and other essential household items continue to impact heavily on households, especially those on the lowest incomes. We know that many people are being forced to make some very difficult decisions to put food on the table or heat their home.

“We also know that some members of our community are under-served by other support programmes and are therefore likely to be impacted more severely.

“We intend for this grant scheme to provide fast and flexible responses to alleviate their immediate situation.

“We encourage applications from organisations and community groups that have significant experience and the structures in place to help these groups.”

The Household Support Fund is one aspect of the support that councils across the county are making available to households. 

More information about Food , Fuel & More can be found on the Devon Community Foundation website.

And to find out about the wide range of Household Support available, visit our website.