Cost of living support for pensioners through Household Support Fund
West Berkshire Council is allocating £200,000 to four local charities to help pensioners with the significantly rising costs of living.
Available via the Household Support Fund, which is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), this funding forms part of a bigger grant of £694,000 we received during the pandemic to support vulnerable households most in need of help with rising living costs and free school meal vouchers.
With pensioners among those likely to be most affected, some of the £694,000 grant stipulates that money needs to be set aside specifically for residents of pensionable age. To help provide this assistance, £50,000 is being allocated to each local charity: Greenham Trust, Age UK Berkshire, Age Concern and the Volunteer Centre West Berkshire. It will help them provide additional support to pensioners, including both new and existing users of those services who these organisations either already work with or those accessing their services for the first time.
Cllr Lynne Doherty, Leader of West Berkshire Council, said:
"It is important that we continue to support the most vulnerable residents in our district. I am pleased that this funding will provide some short term relief and enable these four local charities to continue their good work for our residents.
"We also have our £100,000 Emergency Cost of Living Crisis Fund that we launched in early September with Greenham Trust to match fund the £100,000 already pledged for charities to provide emergency assistance to disadvantaged families and individuals.
"We want to support as many residents as possible and alongside the remarkable voluntary organisations and charities in our district, this funding will help during these forthcoming unsettled times."
This is part of a wider range of support available for residents which is being introduced in the coming weeks. As well as the Household Support Fund and Emergency Cost of Living Fund, a new Cost of Living Support Hub is being set up, and West Berkshire Council has also created a new online resource to help residents worried about paying bills find out about help available locally.
More information is available on our website: https://www.westberks.gov.uk/cost-of-living.