COVID Winter Grant inquiry form

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.

The money is Cheshire East’s share of the government’s £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme which will be available from early December 2020 to March 2021 to support those most in need across England with the cost of food, energy (heating, cooking, lighting), water bills and other essentials.

How much families can claim

  • Vouchers are available for £20 per child per week for food or £49 for utilities per household. 
  • You can apply for food vouchers via the inquiry form for additional support. Inquiries will be assessed individually. If multiple inquiries are received for a family the Winter Grants team will contact the referrer/parent (£20 per week).
  • You can apply for multiple utilities support vouchers (total of £98). Please make sure the family are aware Green Doctor will contact them to provide their voucher. If multiple inquiries are received for a family the Winter Grants team will contact the referrer/parent. 
  • 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 can be claimed via the inquiry form if the referrer deems there to be a need. White goods are only to be claimed when an essential risk has been identified by the referrer. Examples may include: if a family’s cooker has broken and the family do not possess the cash flow to replace, or if an individual is fleeing a crisis situation and their new accommodation does not have working white goods. The white goods that can be claimed are: fridge, washing machine, electric cooker and microwave. Multiple white goods claims can be made by a household if the need is identified. Can referrers make recipients aware they may be contacted by Cheshire East Council and will be contacted by the commissioned services to supply their white goods. You should also make the recipient aware that the white goods supplied will not be new and will either be refurbished or recycled.

Who is eligible for the grant

Over 11,000 children and young people have already been identified by the council to receive vouchers.

Band A: those who will automatically receive their voucher

The children and young people who will automatically receive their voucher are 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

The eligibility criteria for additional support is listed below:

Band B: eligibility for additional support

Young people can be eligible, even if they are not eligible for Band A, if they: 

  • 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. 

Top up

You can also submit an inquiry form for a child who has received a voucher from band A. Additional inquiry forms can be completed if more than one allocated voucher is required. One inquiry equates to one week of funding. Multiple enquiries for food, utilities and white goods are available for families in need if there is a need present. If multiple enquiries are received for a family the Winter Grants team will contact the referrer/parent to assess the families support needs. 

Complete the inquiry form

inquiry forms must be completed by the referrer and not the family.

Before submitting this form, check if the family have received the grant as per the band A criteria above. If they have accessed the grant before but you believe they need additional support, you can still submit an inquiry form. 

To complete the form, you will need:

  • parent/carers name
  • parent/carers address, including post code
  • parent/carers email
  • a contact number for the parent/carer
  • parent/carer National Insurance number (only if requesting white goods - this is not essential but will help us process the request quicker.)
  • young person's liquid logic number (if requesting white goods and they have an open case)

If the recipient does not have a phone number or an email address, please supply your own details. This is so that you can provide the voucher to them, or for utilities support, Green Doctor can contact you to advise.

Make sure you press ‘Add Child’s Details’ after entering each child’s details on the form. If you do not press this button, their information will not be saved.

COVID Winter Grant Scheme FAQs (PDF, 210KB)

COVID Winter Grant Scheme Privacy Notice

What happens after you have completed the form

Once the inquiry form has been completed, we will send a confirmation email to the referrer. It will then take up to 5 working days for the recipient to receive their voucher via email. Vouchers can be used at Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, Morrisons or Waitrose.

  • Families and professionals are asked to allow five working days for an application to be processed before any follow up. Chasing any applications before this time could result in delays in vouchers being processed.
  • We will crosscheck each inquiry against our database. If we find a claim which exceeds the maximum amount, the claim will be void.

Requests for utility support

If the recipient requests utilities support, Green Doctor will contact them to provide energy support and advise them on how they will receive the utilities voucher. Allow for 5 days to receive contact from Green Doctor. 

Requests for white goods

The recipient will be contacted by either St Pauls or Click. This may take up to 2 weeks. The referrer is also likely to be contacted by Cheshire East.

Other sources of support

  • If the family require emergency support contact the Emergency Duty Team via 0300 123 5022.
  • If the family require emergency support with food direct them to the local food banks
  • If you feel the recipient is eligible for the free school meals allowance but hasn’t yet registered, apply for free school meals online or by contacting 0300 123 5012. 
  • For emergency help with white goods see Emergency Assistance scheme