Household Support Fund

VCSE Grant Scheme April to September 2022

 

Introduction

  1. This is an opportunity for organisations in Plymouth who support vulnerable people to bid for grant funding of up to £10k, under the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) Household Support Fund. The objective of the Household Support Fund is to provide support to vulnerable households who most need to help with significantly rising living costs.

Funds have been distributed to Plymouth City Council to help those who are struggling to afford energy, water, food and other essentials because of the rise in cost of living. The funding is available to be spent between April and 30 September 2022. The majority of aid, particularly for energy, will be distributed through Citizens Advice Plymouth, Age UK Plymouth, and Plymouth Energy Community.

Funds have also been identified to support Voluntary and Community Sector organisations with distribution of aid, particularly for households with pensioners and households with children.

Restrictions 

The DWP have placed restrictions on which households the funding can support:

  • at least one third of the total funding will be ring-fenced to support households with children, 
  • at least one third of the total funding will be ring fenced to support pensioners 
  • up to one third of the total funding to other households genuinely in need of support. 
  • This may include households not currently in receipt of DWP welfare benefits

Eligible spend includes: 

  • Energy and water. The Fund should primarily be used to support with energy bills for any form of fuel that is used for the purpose of domestic heating, cooking or lighting, including oil or portable gas cylinders. It can also be used to support with water bills including for drinking, washing, cooking, and sanitary purposes and sewerage. 
  • Food. The Fund should also primarily be used to provide support with food whether in kind or through vouchers or cash.
  • Essentials linked to energy and water. The Fund can be used to provide support with essentials linked to energy and water (including sanitary products, warm clothing, soap, blankets, boiler service/repair, purchase of equipment including fridges, freezers, ovens, etc.), in recognition that a range of costs may arise which directly affect a household’s ability to afford or access energy , food and water. 

Eligibility for grant applications

  1. Please note that given the criteria from government of at least 1/3 spent on households with children, at least 1/3 spent on households with pensioners, and that the Household Support Fund will be funding supermarket vouchers for the school holidays to support families with children eligible for free school meals, priority for this grant will be given to organisations planning to provide support to households with pensioners
  2.  
  • Grants will only be awarded to organisations not to individuals. 
  • Grants will be given to groups, charities and social enterprises who can support with energy costs and/ or provide food and essential items to individuals and families in need either through buying, storage or distribution. 
  • We expect applicants to demonstrate how this funding will provide additional support to those in need through an expanded service or an increase in numbers. The funding will not pay for current levels of activity
  • The organisation will need to be constituted, not for profit and have a bank account in the name of the organisation.
  • The organisation will need to demonstrate they have experience in reaching vulnerable groups, distributing aid, and managing grant funds.
  • Groups must be able to supply Management Information in a timely manner in order to collate and return information to DWP at a city wide level.
  • Grant applications must clearly show how much of the grant will be used to support households with children, households with pensioners and other households. 
  • Reasonable costs for administration may be included up to a maximum of 10% . 

Criteria for the award of a grant

Please note that given the criteria from government on households with children and households with pensioners,  and that the Household Support Fund will be funding supermarket vouchers for the school holidays to support families with children eligible for free school meals, priority for this grant will be given to organisations planning to provide support to households with pensioners. 

To be considered for the award of a grant, applicants will be expected to:

  • Demonstrate your previous track-record in providing support and distributing aid to the target cohorts.
  • Describe the areas of the city which will be most impacted by your project.
  • Describe how you will link with other partners and organisations to ensure that as many people as possible are aware of the project.
  • Describe your organisations mission statement and target beneficiaries, demonstrating how this grant fits within this. 
  • Forecast how many additional households with children you estimate will be supported.
  • Forecast how many additional households with pensioners you estimate will be supported.
  • Forecast how many other households you estimate you estimated will be supported 
  • Forecast how your aid will be distributed, i.e. amount of support for energy, amount for support with food, and amount for support with essentials.
  • Describe how any administration charges will be used, administration costs should only reflect costs incurred to distribute this grant and not cover any existing core costs that would be incurred without the grant. Must not exceed 10%.
  • Advice and mortgage costs cannot be funded form this grant.

Please note that there are limited funds available and not all applications may be funded. Decisions will be made on how applications contribute to the overall government criteria on allocations to households with children and with pensioners. This does mean that some applications may not be funded, not because of quality but because of the need to meet spend criteria on household types. 

 

Eligibility of beneficiaries

The grant is to be used to ensure that support for energy, food, and essential supplies are available to those in need. Eligibility for support is not reliant on employment or welfare benefit status. It is important to stress this covers a wide range of low income households in need including families with children of all ages, pensioners, and other low income households, particularly those who cannot increase their income through work, to prevent escalation of problems. 

The target groups include but are not limited to: 

  • pensioners, elderly, frail, or confused older people
  • households with child(ren) entitled to free school meals or who are considered at risk of food poverty
  • anyone suffering severe financial hardship, and/or fuel poverty
  • someone age 24 or under with an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC)
  • someone age 19 or under classed as not in education, employment or training (NEET)
  • people who are homeless or living in temporary accommodation
  • a person who has a physical or sensory impairment, learning disability or mental ill-health 
  • people who are seriously ill or have a severe long term health condition
  • recently unemployed people
  • care leaver
  • adult carers and young carers
  • those fleeing domestic abuse

 

Making an application:

Applications must be submitted by midday on Monday 16 May 2022.

Application will only be accepted via the online application process. Follow this link to access the form.

https://plymouth-self.achieveservice.com/service/Household_Support_Fund_Grant_Application

 

For any enquiries relating to making a grant application please contact Mark.Collings@plymouth.gov.uk