Food and fuel support extended for Island families in need

Published: 10 May 2024

A hand clasping another hand in support. Getty Images

Extra funding has been awarded to the Isle of Wight Council to continue to provide crisis support to vulnerable households in most need.

This is the fifth tranche of the government's Household Support Fund (HSF) that the authority has received.

The latest grant amounts to £1.1 million and will enable the council to provide support until September 2024. The sum boosts the Island's total funding to more than £6.7 million since the fund's launch.

The funding is to support those struggling to afford household essentials such as food as well as energy and water bills.

Councillor Debbie Andre, Cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said: "I am very pleased that the HSF has been extended again for another six months as it will continue to provide crucial support to the most vulnerable local households during these challenging times.

"As well as looking at how the council can distribute this fund, we have also recognised the expertise our local partners bring and provided them with funding to strengthen the delivery of their own services. By working together we have been able to do the best by local residents and make this funding as effective as it can be.

"As we head into summer, high prices of food, energy and other essential household items continue to affect households, especially those on lowest incomes. This fund has been a lifeline for local residents, and this further round will ensure this vital support continues to be available for families and households who are struggling.”

The schemes that will be delivered across the Island as a result of the new funding include:

  • Food vouchers — Up to two £25 food vouchers will be available to those in crisis with a one-off £25 food voucher for up to 10,000 households in receipt of Local Council Tax Support.
  • Grant funding to Help Through Crisis to support people with utility bills, crisis food support and energy efficient white goods where the need is identified.
  • A grant pot of £130,000 to be used to support and expand the network of community pantries across the Island.
  • Community grants for charities, community organisations and town, parish and community councils to help meet needs within their local communities.

The latest instalment of HSF follows the previous funding round from the Department for Work and Pensions which ran from April 2023 until March 2024.

During this time the council has been able to allocate the funding to 80 charities, community organisations and education providers to support more than 32,000 Isle of Wight households.

This has included the provision of food hampers, hygiene hampers, heated blankets and support with transport costs as well as helping people with their utility bills and to improve energy efficiency reducing their household expenditure.

For more information about available support on the Island, visit the council's dedicated cost of living web pages.