Shropshire Council

Household Support Fund

In the Spring Budget, the UK government announced that they will be extending the Household Support Fund for six months. This grant scheme runs from 1 April 2024 to 30 September 2024 and is funded by the UK Government.

Shropshire Council has been given a further grant of £2.1 million from the scheme. This money is to help people in Shropshire to meet immediate needs and help those who are struggling to afford household essentials including energy and water bills, food, and wider essentials.

Shropshire Council and partner organisations are continuing to work together to ensure that people most in need are supported with this funding, in line with guidance set out by HM Government.

The fund can be used to support households with:

  • Energy and water bills
  • Food
  • Essentials linked to energy, water and food
  • Wider essentials
  • Housing costs (in special cases) but not for mortgage payments

The Fund is intended to cover a wide range of low-income households in need, including families with children of all ages, pensioners, unpaid carers, care leavers and disabled people, larger families, single-person households, and those struggling with one-off financial shocks or unforeseen events.

Support available

The fund will be delivered through both targeted and application-based support to ensure help is available to a wide range of vulnerable households in most need with the cost of essentials.

Targeted support

One-off payments

A £400 payment to approximately 3,000 households on low incomes who meet the following criteria:

  • In receipt of council tax support and
  • Have a dependant resident in the property (the property much be classed as the dependants main address)

Those who meet this criteria will be identified by Shropshire council and will be sent a letter with instructions on how to apply for the payment.

There will also be an award made to those who are of working age and in receipt of Council Tax Support but who are liable to pay 20% of their council tax liability before their entitlement is calculated.

These customers will receive a maximum payment of up to £60 towards their outstanding liability dependant on their remaining balance after Council Tax reduction scheme, discounts and disregards have been applied. These claimants will be identified by the Council and the award automatically applied to their council tax account. There will be no application process for this support.

Free school meals

The fund will continue to provide free school meal holiday vouchers. Children in receipt of benefits-related free school meals in Shropshire schools and children in receipt of 24U funding and Early Years Pupil Premium in early years settings will continue to receive support, usually through meal vouchers.

Funding is for five weeks during the remaining 2023/24 academic year. It supported 7,500 children during the second week of the Easter holidays and will support 8,000 children for May half term and three weeks of the Summer break, at an equivalent to £15 a week of support during these holiday periods. Distribution will be via the relevant education settings.

If you’re on a low income and you think you could be eligible for free school meals, please visit our free school meals pages.

Application-based support

Housing

This includes:

  • Keep Shropshire Warm Energy Advice and Support Service
  • Help-to-heat vouchers to qualifying households and those in sustained energy arrears.
  • Discretionary grants provided to support applications to Sustainable Warmth Shropshire programme for necessary ancillary/enabling works

On average, for every £1 spent with the Household Support funding, an additional £4 can then be accessed through the other Government funds to carry out much-needed improvements to the homes of vulnerable Shropshire residents.

If you’re on a low income and you think you could be eligible for help with energy costs and grants for home improvements to help reduce energy costs please visit our affordable warmth and energy efficiency pages.

Welfare Support Team

Shropshire Council’s Welfare Support Team offers support to low income and vulnerable households in need. Households can apply for help with food, energy
and water bills, and with other essential living costs. For more information, and to find out how to apply, please visit our Welfare Support Fund team page.

Partner organisation hardship grants

Provide support to meet the emergency need of vulnerable households in financial distress or hardship to meet the cost of unaffordable essentials. This includes energy bills, white goods, (cookers, washing machines and fridge/freezers) and energy efficiencies to help with reducing future energy costs.

Please note All applications must be referred by a 3rd party organisation.

Tenbury NILS Scheme provide residents in financial need with a grant to help with essential household items.

Only provide goods, directly purchase on people’s behalf, whatever the emergency need including white goods (washing machines, fridges, freezers), slow cookers/ air fryers, and items which will assist with energy efficiency.

Can assist with returning to work, a new position or transportation.

Support vulnerable families in need of help and support, and vulnerable individuals including Care Leavers, bereavement, at risk of homelessness, fleeing from Domestic Abuse.

Community Resource provide residents in financial need with a one-off hardship grant payment between £50 - £500 to help keep their home warm.

Energy Saving Champion will offer energy saving advice and/or signpost vulnerable households to partner organisations for relevant targeted support.

Grant payments usually paid direct to suppliers. For those households on heating oil they will also be offered membership of our Community Oil Buying scheme to enable them to reduce their future heating costs.

Support vulnerable households, including households with children, with pensioners or with a disabled person, who are in or at risk of poverty due to increased energy costs.