Released: 17 October 2022
West Sussex County Council is working in partnership to support people and families who are struggling the most with the rising cost of living.
The County Council is using its £4.8 million Household Support Fund, from Government, to provide a package of financial and practical assistance to people this winter. Working closely with district and borough councils and charities we will get help to those most in need.
Our Community Hub continues to offer direct support to vulnerable households, providing essentials such as food and supplies, as well as grants to those who are eligible.
Our 36 West Sussex libraries offer a warm welcome to all visitors. Friendly library staff are on hand to help and advise people on a range of topics, from money management to energy saving, job seeking and benefits guidance. Regular library events like Story Time are free for families of young children.
On our ‘Here to help - Cost of living’ webpages, people can find lots of practical advice and information about how to apply for extra local and national support.
Paul Marshall, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said: “Families and households across our county are understandably worried about increasing cost-of-living pressures, in the face of rising energy prices, inflation and interest rates.
“These are national issues, driven in part by international factors, and in response the government has introduced a range of measures to help reduce the pressures on UK households.
“This includes the £4.8m this council has been allocated through the Household Support Fund, which will be going to households most in need and those who support them this winter.
“Together with our partners, we are here to help anyone who needs it, so I would urge those who are struggling to seek the support that is available to them.”
The Council is using part of the £4.8m Household Support Fund to provide food vouchers for every West Sussex child who receives benefits-related free school meals this October half-term and again over the Christmas school holiday. Over 17,000 children will be given a £15 supermarket voucher for October and a £30 voucher for Christmas (£15 per child, per week) through their school, supporting around 10,000 households.
Household Support Funds will also be available through a range of different distribution methods, including via district and borough councils, direct support through applications via the Community Hub and also distributed in partnership with other organisations including Citizens Advice and Food and Fuel Banks.
Over the Christmas school holiday, the Council will again be running its popular Holiday Activities and Food programme for children who receive benefits-related free school meals. Over the summer, 2,395 eligible children took part, and this Christmas we will be offering a range of free holiday club places where all children will be given a nutritious meal.