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Extra £20,000 to help families during festive break

Extra £20,000 to help families during festive break

15 December 2022
[ Zoom ]
Plates laid out with festive decorations on a dinner table

Families in Wokingham Borough will be given more than £20,000 to help with the cost of living during the festive break.

More than 1,200 households will receive an additional £15 per household if any child they have receives means-tested free school meals.

This will top up the £30 per child they will already receive during the two-week Christmas school holiday. 

Money comes from Wokingham Borough Council’s use of the Government’s Household Support Fund scheme.

Working together to help residents

The council is working alongside three of its Hardship Alliance partners to administer the fund. These are Age UK Berkshire, Citizens Advice Wokingham and First Days Children’s Charity.

More than £500,000 will be spent this winter to help those who are struggling with the cost of living.

A chunk of the money is earmarked as £15 per week, per eligible child, during school holidays. This applies for half terms, Christmas and Easter holidays.

There are some families who are eligible for payments who are yet to come forward to claim it. These will be back paid as families come forward.

Extra help at Christmas

The total amount you get depends on the number of children in your family who get free school meals, such as £120 for one child or £210 for two children.

Emma Cantrell, chief executive of First Days, said: “This extra support will help thousands of children in Wokingham Borough during the Christmas school holidays. Every pound to help towards food will make a huge difference during the festive period.”

Cllr Rachel Bishop-Firth, executive member for equalities, inclusion and fighting poverty, who is leading the council’s response to the cost of living crisis, said: “We continue to work alongside all our partners to help as many residents who need it this winter.

“This money will help children and families in the area who need it most. But there are funding options for others too.

“Anyone struggling to pay energy bills or buy food can apply through Citizens Advice or Age UK.”

Apply for a grant if you're struggling

Residents who are struggling to pay their energy bills or buy food can also apply to the Household Support Fund. 

Our partners can provide £120 with a food, fuel or cash voucher:

The Hardship Alliance is here to help

The Hardship Alliance is leading the borough’s response to the cost of living crisis. It was formed in January 2022 to tackle poverty in the borough. 

Members of the Hardship Alliance are Age UK Berkshire, Citizens Advice Wokingham, Wokingham Foodbank, Wokingham United Charities First Days and Wokingham Borough Council. 

All the latest cost of living help and advice for the borough can be found on the cost of living help hub.

More from Wokingham Borough Council


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