Struggling households in Cornwall will benefit from a new £4.5m hardship fund to help them with the cost-of-living crisis.
Cornwall Council has secured the money through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Household Support Fund (HSF).
The fund will primarily be used to provide one-off cash payments to pensioners in receipt of pension credit and to families with children eligible for free school meals.
The remaining money will be used by the Council and partner organisations such as Volunteer Cornwall, Disability Cornwall and Community Energy Plus to help support those most in need.
The total for this round of funding (October 2022 to March 2023) roughly matches the sum made available to the Council in the last round (April 2022 to September 2022).
In the last round, approximately 15,000 pensioners and the families of 15,000 schoolchildren benefited from the cash payments.
Details on how people can access the fund will be made available in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, a range of support is already available through a number of organisations and schemes, which can be found on the Council’s Cost of Living support webpages.
This spans everything from debt advice and job-seeking to emergency food provision, council tax discounts and crisis grants for people who suddenly find themselves struggling.
The Council and other members of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board have already pledged to work even more closely to help people following the Cost of Living Summit held in Penryn last month.
Cllr Dr Andy Virr, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Public Health, said:
“This is a time of huge uncertainty and anxiety for many of our residents so I am delighted we have again secured this significant funding to help as many of them as possible.
“Hopefully it will go some way to ensure pensioners and parents in particular can afford to heat their homes and put food on the table for their families.
“The money will also allow the Council and its partners to continue working hard to identify and help those most in need in Cornwall and I would urge people to check out the ‘Cost of Living’ webpages to find out what help they can receive and how to access it."
Cllr Barbara Ellenbroek, Portfolio Holder for Children and Families, said:
“The previous round of HSF funding provided a welcome boost to many families on low incomes so I am really pleased we have secured an equivalent amount for the next six months.
“As a Council we are committed to helping anyone who finds themselves in financial hardship. This is why on the back of last month’s Cost of Living Summit we have pledged to work even more closely with other organisations, businesses, community groups and charities to share knowledge, experience and resource. Only by working together can we help people weather this cost-of-living storm.”
People are also reminded that there is a wealth of support available for anyone struggling with their mental health. Visit our mental health support pages.
If you are worried about your own or someone else’s mental health call the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly 24/7 NHS mental health response line on 0800 038 5300. It's free to access by anyone, any age, any time, day or night.