Children and families will get extra support this winter, with Cumbria County Council given new funding to ensure vulnerable households do not go hungry or without essential items.
As part of the Government’s £170m Covid Winter Grant Scheme, Cumbria County Council are to receive £1,496,417.79 of ring-fenced funding, with at least 80 per cent being earmarked to support families and individuals, as well as provide food for children who need it over the holidays.
This week’s funding announcement builds on the £63 million distributed across local authorities back in June to help those struggling to afford food and other essentials due to coronavirus.
Cumbria County Council received £554,554.83, which saw £200,000.00 allocated to the Ways to Welfare scheme, providing individuals with urgent help and emergency support, including basic food and essential items.
The remaining £354,554.83 of funding went directly to the Community Grants fund to support community groups and third sector organisations who work with those people most in need due to Covid-19 including, Phoenix Enterprise Centre Food Pantry, Calderwood House and West Cumbria Baby Bank.
Rachel Holliday, Director of Calderwood House in Egremont, said: “We were awarded £3078.00 to enable our residents to plant vegetables and grow their own food at our Allotment provided by the Egremont Town Council. Not only is being outdoors in our allotment a positive use of time for our residents, it lifts the mood of those who are struggling with their circumstances. By having this opportunity to grow our own food, we are working towards a more sustainable food budget and the residents enjoy learning new skills outdoors and, in the kitchen, too.
“We are very grateful to Cumbria County Council who have provided us with this vital grant during these unsure times. We are hopeful, in time to come, we will be able to grow more produce to share with those most in need in our community. At Calderwood House we strive to ensure no-one is left without and those who fall on hard times, we are there to offer a helping hand and understanding.”
Whitehaven Town Mayor, Brian O’Kane, said: “The winter package provided by Government will hopefully provide those folk who are needing help within our community with invaluable support during this horrendously difficult period. Guidance and high-level support is available from dedicated Copeland staff and can be reached on 01946 598300.”
Since April, Cumbria County Council has received £1.43m additional funding to help tackle Covid-19.
MP for Copeland, Trudy Harrison, said: “In Copeland we are blessed with a kind and generous community spirit with many organisations working hard to help the most vulnerable in our society.
“I’m pleased that charities and other groups will once again be able to benefit from such significant funding from Government.
“The challenges of poverty and hunger, education, healthy foods and homelessness are complex and require more than a voucher system - we know that, and as promised in our 2019 Manifesto we are doing something about it.