Over £147,000 provided to support residents in need across the Forest of Dean
Since April 2023, Forest of Dean District Council has provided over £147,500 to those most in need in the Forest, with a further £82,500 to be supplied before April 2024 as the cost of living continues to rise. The funding has been distributed by the Council on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, from the Household Support Fund.
Cabinet Member for Thriving Communities, Cllr Jackie Dale said:
“This past year has seen an increase again in the cost of living which has severely affected many in our district. As a council, we are committed to helping all residents in our communities and have used the Household Support Fund from Government to provide a helping hand to those who are most vulnerable.
“This funding makes a real difference for those in need in the Forest, helping to provide healthy food and essential household items and ensuring they receive the correct assistance when it is required.
“As a Council we have a small team of people working on a range of initiatives to help us all through this crisis, and information and advice on funding that you may be eligible for is published on the Council’s dedicated cost of living support webpage. We encourage anyone who needs help to get in touch and we can support.”
To find out more about available support if struggling with living costs, visit: https://www.fdean.gov.uk/council-tax-and-benefits/help-if-you-re-struggling-with-living-costs/
Financial contributions from the Household Support Fund were made to several local causes to assist residents, both young and old across the district. This includes £50,000 being issued to the Forest of Dean Baby Bank to support families with food, formula & milk & wider essentials such as nappies, blankets, bedding & clothes, including school uniform.
There were also contributions made to groups that help residents with food essentials, with over £65,000 being split between the Forest Foodbank, Lord’s Larder Foodbank, and the Salvation Army. The Citizens Advice Bureau received £25,000 to help those in significant fuel poverty who rely on off-grid fuel.
Further projects involve providing £25,000 to target people receiving Council Tax Support with at least one child. Eligible residents have been written to and supplied with a voucher to purchase energy efficient products to bring about a long-term reduction in energy use and household costs. The project is working with local suppliers to support the local economy.
A spokesperson from the Forest of Dean Baby Bank said:
“The volunteers would like to send a huge thank you to the Forest of Dean District Council for trusting us with such generous funding, so that we can be a lifeline to so many families in the Forest of Dean.
“This funding has reduced enormous amounts of worry and stress. It has clothed hundreds of children and babies, fed hungry mouths, and kept children warm and equipped for school.”
To find out more about the help that the Council can provide, please visit the dedicated Cost of Living support page: https://www.fdean.gov.uk/council-tax-and-benefits/help-if-you-re-struggling-with-living-costs/support-available-in-your-community/