Families who are struggling financially with the extra pressures of COVID-19, staying at home and home-schooling will be supported by Calderdale Council’s new lockdown support fund.
The Council is boosting its ongoing help for families facing financial hardship, by offering a £15 direct payment for each child who receives free school meals, and to families on low income so that younger children, who are not yet at school age, are also supported.
As the February school half-term approaches, this will help to ensure that the most disadvantaged children and young people are kept warm, well-fed, safe and healthy at home.
Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:
“The third national lockdown since January has been especially challenging for many local families. The colder weather combined with many pupils learning from home has had a big financial impact on our communities. Some families are struggling to make ends meet.
“The COVID-19 rates in Calderdale are still high, so it’s vital that we all stay at home and avoid mixing with other people to reduce the spread of this deadly virus. We know this puts more pressure on family budgets, with many struggling to keep their homes warm and put food on the table.
“We are doing everything we can to support our most vulnerable residents and help them to do the right thing by staying at home. In addition to our existing support, we’re proud to launch our new lockdown support fund. We hope this will help the families most in need to cope with home learning without needing to call on support from others, thereby reducing the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19.”
The new payments build on Calderdale’s successful, ongoing Never Hungry Again campaign, the Laptops for Learning Appeal and the Government’s COVID Winter Grant Scheme which helps the most vulnerable families with food, energy and water bills until after the February half-term.
The Laptops for Learning Appeal continues to grow thanks to the kindness of our communities. The first 80 laptops and 175 dongles to provide internet access are due to be delivered to children across Calderdale very soon. Donations are still welcome to this appeal and to the Never Hungry Again fund – please visit https://localgiving.org/charity/cffc/project/laptopforlearning/(external link) and https://localgiving.org/charity/cffc/project/neverhungryagain/(external link) to help.
The Council remains committed to helping lower-income households make their homes healthier, warmer and cheaper to heat and has a range of heating and insulation schemes available. Please visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/warmhomes for advice.