Household Support Fund

Cheshire East Council with the help of schools, colleges, early years settings and other family support services are distributing vouchers to the most vulnerable children and families to pay for essentials such as food and energy during the Winter period.

The money is Cheshire East’s share of the government’s £500 million Household Support Fund which will be available from the 6 October 2021 to support those most in need across England with the cost of food, energy (heating, cooking, lighting) and water bills.

Who is eligible for the scheme

Over 10,000 children and young people have already been identified by the council to receive vouchers for the October holidays.

  • 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

These families will receive their vouchers via schools, colleges, early years settings and by a host of support 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 (e.g. GP, Teacher, Support Worker)

How the scheme works

Referrals can be made by any frontline professionals who support these children and families, who have been contacted with all the details on how to request support.

  • Vouchers are available for £20 per child for food or £49 per household for utilities
  • Families who have been identified as meeting the criteria will receive their vouchers via schools, colleges, early years settings and other support services.
  • If a family requires further support, this is available via an additional referral. Families are asked to contact their school, college or trusted professional to put in a request on their behalf.
  • Families are asked to allow five working days for an application to be processed.
  • Multiple claims can be made if the trusted professional has identified a need. Each inquiry form represents one claim, so if multiple claims are required multiple inquiry forms must be completed. Inquiry forms represent one week of support so please do not submit multiple in one week
  • White goods support is no longer accessible through this scheme.

Any families who find themselves in need, and who don’t currently meet the criteria for this grant can apply for free school meals or by requesting support from a professional they are working with.

Other sources of support

  • For emergency support, contact the Emergency Duty Team via 0300 123 5022.
  • For additional emergency support with food ask for a referral to your local food banks.
  • 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