Nottinghamshire County Council have recently made us aware of the COVID-19 Winter Grant Scheme (CWGS) and how residents may make a claim.
If you are not currently in receipt of free school meals and are struggling financially because of COVID, you can request supermarket vouchers and may be able to get assistance with your energy and water bills. Families who are eligible for free school meals may still be referred to the scheme, but we are asked to prioritise those that are not. If you decide to apply, please let us know whether you are currently in receipt of free school meals.
If you meet one of the following criteria, and would like to apply for supermarket vouchers, please let the office know (in complete confidence):
— The household is in receipt of or has made an application for Universal Credit or other Income Related Employment or Support Allowance (ESA), Income or Jobseekers Allowance income based.
— The household has no recourse to public funds.
— There is considerable in-work poverty (which may be temporary).
— The household has been assessed by a professional as in urgent need as they do not have the means for essential food, energy or water
The following considerations and restrictions must be applied: The value of each voucher should not exceed the following allocations:
— Supermarket vouchers can be used to purchase food and other essential items.
— £30 vouchers can be allocated per household member. If there are more than 3 members of the household, we can only issue a voucher up to £90.
— Households can claim vouchers through this scheme no more than 3 times between now and the end of March 2021. In exceptional cases this can be extended with prior approval from the COVID Winter Grant project team (email below).
— Households can access up to £178 total per household in respect of utilities (up to two fuel payments at £49, one water payment of £80).
— Repeat requests will be monitored in order to signpost to effective long-term support and advice.
— Supporting evidence of need and eligibility should be seen and recorded for audit purposes, if the referring agency is in doubt of the families’ needs.
— Those who live outside of the Nottinghamshire County Council borders will be excluded from this scheme and will need to approach their own Local Authority. Children and young people who live out of area but attend a County School/College or Early Years setting will still receive February half term vouchers from Nottinghamshire County Council. — Housing costs are expressly excluded. The scheme is not intended to cover payment of rent or other housing costs because these are not directly related to food or utility bills and other benefits and support is available to cover these costs.
— The grant will not be used for white goods e.g. a fridge. But schools can register to use the BBC Children in Need Emergency Essentials Programme to request items such as white goods and furniture on behalf of households with children.