West Northamptonshire Council welcomes the extension of the Household Support Fund

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has welcomed the extension of the Government’s Household Support Fund (HSF) initiative announced in yesterday’s Budget announcement.
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HSF funding is set to be extended for a further six months from the end of March this year following the announcement by the Chancellor yesterday. The initiative has so far seen more than £11m allocated to WNC from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in just over two years with over 251,800 awards of support to households who have struggled financially.

WNC will now await further information from the Government on the future funding earmarked for West Northamptonshire to support residents through the continued cost of living challenges.

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The Council will also continue to work with community and voluntary partners on developing long-term, methods of support available to residents, continuing commitment to the delivery of the Anti-Poverty Strategy.

This includes:

· Continuing to grow the number of welcoming spaces available in Northampton, Daventry and South Northants areas, providing a place for families and residents to pop in for a hot drink, friendly conversation and other activities. These spaces are available throughout the year, all offering something different.

· Working closely with local community and food larders as they provide access to affordable food for anyone facing hardship, as well as providing a sustainable approach to waste. The larders have a range of heavily discounted food and grocery items that offer an alternative to supermarket shopping via a membership programme. For more information please visit Hope Centre Larders and TowFood larders. This includes Food banks to support those in need of emergency food.

Councillor Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adults, Social Care and Public Health, said: “Over the last few years, the HSF has provided much-needed and vital support for many residents in West Northants during the cost-of-living challenges and it is positive to see this extended further. The support has been critical for many families and households, and one that has been made possible through the DWP funding and partnership working with our community and voluntary sector organisations.

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“Together with our partners, we have started to lay foundations for sustainable support for our families facing financial hardship with a great example of this being further investment into money and debt advice services to increase support available for those facing severe financial hardship.

“There is full commitment from everyone to continue to build on this work together. As more information is provided by the Government and Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) regarding the next tranche of the HSF, the Council will share its plans of distribution.”

For a full list of support available for residents to access here: Cost of living support | West Northamptonshire Council (westnorthants.gov.uk) which includes information on local food larders, money and debt advice as well as help with household bills.