Household Support Fund

Cheshire East Council with the help of a wide range of local partners, are distributing vouchers worth £2.2 million on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions, to support the most vulnerable households across the county with food, utilities, and other essentials over the winter period. 

The money is our share of the government’s £500 million Household Support Fund which will run from 6 October 2021 until the 31 of March 2022. The fund is available to support both adults (without dependent children) and families with children and will be made available to vulnerable households who need additional financial support.

Who is eligible for the scheme

Children and Families

Support for children via the grant will be delivered in line with the previous COVID Support Grant for those who:

  • are in receipt of income related free school meals
  • are in receipt of early years pupil premium and two-year funding
  • are care leavers up to age 25
  • are not in education, employment or training aged 16-18
  • are young carers for their parents/carers
  • are known to domestic abuse services

More children, young people and their families have also been identified by the council who qualify for these vouchers, including those who:

  • are known to children’s social care and early help services
  • are parents/carers who are experiencing financial hardship due to being unable to work as their children are self-isolating
  • are vulnerable due to financial hardship and can be referred by a partner agency (for example GP, Teacher, Support Worker)

Vulnerable Adults

Referrals are invited from trusted practitioners/professionals supporting vulnerable adults and couples without children in Cheshire East, who are in situations of ‘genuine need’. For example, fleeing domestic abuse or identified as financially vulnerable. Referrers must detail the individuals’ circumstances in line with grant eligibility.

What support is available

  • Shopping vouchers of £20 per child, £40 per single adult or £60 per couple
  • Utilities voucher to the value of £98 per property
  • White goods – electric cooker, washing machine, under-counter fridge, washing machine
  • Help with heating for homeowners through boiler repair or replacement
  • Help with housing costs for renters in exceptional circumstances

How the scheme works

  • Referrals for vulnerable adults and families are completed by a trusted practitioner/professional via a link they have been emailed.
  • This scheme is not designed to resolve emergency or urgent requests, requests will take up to 10 days to be resolved, any urgent requests are directed towards the Emergency Assistance (cheshireeast.gov.uk)
  • Children who have been identified as meeting the criteria will receive their vouchers for school holidays via schools, colleges, early years settings and other support services.
  • The food vouchers are sent via email from Cheshire East.
  • Utilities vouchers are provided by our partner Groundwork.
  • White goods are supplied by a commissioned service - these items are only to be claimed when an essential risk has been identified by the referrer. For example: household cooker has broken, and the customer does not have financial means to repair or replace it, or an individual is fleeing a crisis and their new accommodation does not have working white goods.
  • Referrers should obtain adult/parent/carers National Insurance number and the young person's liquid logic ID number (if they have an open early help or social care case). This will support the Household Support Fund to provide the white goods more quickly.
  • You are asked to allow five working days for an application to be processed.
  • Each inquiry form represents one claim.
  • Multiple claims can be made if the trusted practitioner or professional has identified a need. An inquiry form must be completed for each claim.  More information in support of a subsequent request may be required

Other sources of support

  • For emergency support, contact the Emergency Duty Team via 0300 123 5022.
  • If you believe that you are eligible for the free school meals allowance but have not yet registered, you can apply for free school meals online at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/fsm, or phone 0300 123 5012 and we will arrange for a voucher to be issued to you via your school or setting.
  • For other emergency support you can apply for our Emergency AssistanCE scheme
  • For individuals looking for support via holiday clubs, see the holiday activity fund
  • For additional emergency support with food ask for a referral to your local food banks.

Page last reviewed: 29 November 2021