Nottingham City Council is taking part in a national awareness campaign this week to highlight financial support available for struggling residents.

The  Government’s Household Support Fund Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday, aims to show how the fund has supported financially-vulnerable people with their essential living costs – and that support remains available.

To further help households with the rising cost of living, the Government allocated £842m to local authorities in England to extend the Household Support Fund (HSF) for a year, with the City Council successful in its bid for a further £7.1 million.

This is on top of the £8.5 million which has been distributed by the Council in the previous three phases since the HSF started in 2021.

The fourth phase of the scheme started on 1 April this year and runs until 31 March 2024. The HSF is there to help households most in need with the rising cost of living, including families, pensioners, unpaid carers, care leavers and disabled people and has enabled the council to help residents in the city through:

  • Free school meal vouchers
  • Supermarket vouchers
  • Energy vouchers
  • Food bank support
  • Social eating projects support
  • Care leaver support
  • Asylum / refugee support
  • Mobile food supermarket support

Councillor Cheryl Barnard, Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education at Nottingham City Council, said: “During the cost-of-living crisis many families in Nottingham have sadly become dependent on support from the Government, the Council and charities.

“The Household Support Fund has been vital for many families and I’m proud of everything we’ve been able to deliver over the past two years to help those most in need with their food and energy bills through vouchers, foodbanks, holiday activity clubs for children and much more.

“I would urge anyone who is eligible for supermarket and energy vouchers who has not already done so to apply for it as soon as possible, as these are limited on a first come, first served basis.”

Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression, Mims Davies MP, said: “Our £842 million extension to the Household Support Fund this year is delivering vital support at a local level to some of the most vulnerable families in England.

“Whether it be providing energy-efficient white goods to help save on costs, running free budget cooking classes or offering support for families with their finances, this Household Support Fund Awareness Week and beyond, I encourage anyone struggling to get in touch with their local council to find out what support is available in their area.”

Support for households in Nottingham has been split into two periods with the first having started on 1 April 2023 and coming to an end on 31October 2023 while the second will run from 1 November 2023 until 31 March 2024

Residents who are eligible for support can apply manually to the advice agencies and community organisations involved in distributing the supermarket and energy vouchers, or may automatically receive funding or support if they have previously applied for and received it since 1 October 2022, subject to availability.

For further information on the support available that is available and ways to apply, residents should visit The Household Support Fund page on the City Council website.