Helping the council help those experiencing hardship
Creating a digital service to support the Household Support Fund application process
This week the council invited local residents to apply for the Government backed Household Support Fund. The Fund offers support to those most in need, with help for household costs such as energy bills, food, clothing and housing costs in exceptional circumstances.
Whilst in the past council staff would now be dealing with a mountain of paperwork or email, the process from applying online to the resident receiving a payment is digital.
Working with our Housing service the council's Digital Services team repurposed the form, code and process we created for last year's COVID Winter Support Grant in our digital platform, meaning from start to finish it took less than a week to stand up.
An online form on our website allows residents to apply and upload evidence to support their application. Council staff are then able to review and approve applications electronically which are sent to our Finance team to make a payment into the applicant's bank account.
Not only does this make the whole process more efficient than using paper or email, it means we can get money from the Fund to those who need it quicker.
West Berkshire Council is amongst the first local authorities in the country to make this fund available to residents, and the Digital Service team are proud have played a part in helping to deliver something that can make a difference to local residents, in this case to those suffering hardship.
West Berkshire residents can apply for the Household Support Fund here..