Vulnerable Windsor & Maidenhead families supported during Christmas

VULNERABLE families in the Royal Borough will be provided food vouchers during Christmas time – thanks to a funding boost.

The Government has granted £200,000 to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to establish a new winter support scheme to support the most vulnerable families with children and individuals.

The scheme will run from December 1 to March 31 and covers the Christmas, half-term, and Easter school holidays for children who qualify for free school meals.

What the scheme means is that over the Christmas holidays, each child who qualifies for the scheme will receive a £30 voucher for a food retailer or their choice.

Voucher codes, which can be converted to a voucher for a food retailer of their choice, will be issued by Edenred, the same supplier that was used to distribute vouchers nationally earlier in the pandemic.

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Local foodbanks and community groups will also get a slice of the fund to help their efforts of supporting vulnerable families in the borough.

Councillor Stuart Carroll (Conservative: Boyn Hill), cabinet member for adult social care, children’s services, health and mental health, said: “This new funding is a welcome boost to support those who need our help the most, and help has never been more needed than it is now.

“The council is the organisation that’s best placed to coordinate local efforts to ensure the appropriate winter support is provided. We will be working with schools, colleges and nurseries, along with charities, voluntary groups and local health and social care practitioners to identify those most in need this winter.

“By working with local partners, we will be able to directly help the hardest-hit families and individuals in the borough, as well as provide food for children who need it over the school holidays.

“We are pleased to have received this extra Government funding, which will be focused on our most vulnerable residents. We will continue to work with Government to outline the future funding needs given the severe impact of this awful pandemic”.

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School aged children who are already signed up to the free school meals programme, and individuals or families with pre-school aged who qualify for low-income support for childcare are automatically signed up to the scheme by the council.

Those families who qualify for free school meals, but who haven’t yet signed up, can do so through their school in order to receive the additional vouchers, along with the normal free school meal entitlement.

Young people aged between 16 and 18 (on 31 March 2021), who are in education and are eligible to receive the vouchers, will receive a voucher code from their school, sixth form or college.

To find out more information about the new winter support scheme, visit: www.rbwm.gov.uk/home/schools-and-education/covid-19-winter-support-scheme or email winterfund@achievingforchildren.org.uk.

The COVID community helpline can be contacted on 01628 683820 or 0203 5148117.

Royal Borough Observer | News WIndsor