Hard pressed families receiving more financial support to help them through the cost-of-living crisis

Published: Friday, February 10, 2023

  • Additional cash payments paid direct to most vulnerable households
  • Part of the council’s £5m Cost of Living support programme
  • Wandsworth’s support scheme is London’s biggest

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The borough’s most vulnerable families are to receive additional financial support from the council as part of ongoing efforts to support Wandsworth households struggling to stay afloat in the cost-of-living crisis.

In line with the council’s priorities of delivering a fairer and more compassionate borough, low-income residents are to receive a one-off winter payment as part of the town hall’s response to the current economic situation.

Low-income households with children will be eligible for a £150 payment, while those in childless households will receive £75. This one-off Winter Payment is being provided to all households that had previously received support since April last year from the Wandsworth Discretionary Fund Crisis scheme.

The payments are made via a voucher that’s redeemable for cash at any Post Office branch. The council has this week issued 2,549 vouchers with further vouchers to be issued before the end of March to the hardest pressed households.

The payments are part of the council’s £5m Cost of Living support programme – the biggest support scheme of its kind in London.

Council Leader Simon Hogg said: “The council is absolutely committed to making sure it does everything it can to help people through this cost-of-living crisis and beyond.

“The council’s actions will be shaped by an unshakeable commitment to deliver a fairer, more compassionate and more sustainable borough. Helping vulnerable residents struggling to heat their homes or put food on the table is at the heart of these commitments.

“We have set aside significant funds to work with our partners and local charities to help provide the best support we can for those people facing the greatest hardship. This includes providing cash to go directly into the pockets of our most vulnerable residents
“All this will be achieved without affecting people’s council tax bills. We will keep the same low council tax – which is the right thing to do as it is a tax that hits those on low incomes the most.”

Other support measures the council has put in place to help vulnerable residents include:

• £185k to the Wandsworth Citizen’s Advice Bureau to employ more advisors
• £1m being given to The Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund
• All eligible households getting a one-off Winter Cost of Living Payment of up to £150.
• Extending free school meals during school holidays
• A School Uniform Support Scheme to help families with the cost of new school uniforms
• The launch of an online Cost-of-Living Hub to help with fuel bills, advice on reducing bills, information on benefits and what to do in a crisis, help available for families, where to get mental health support and links to community organisations and charities that can help.

To support its efforts the council is establishing a Cost-of-Living Commission to hear from residents how their lives are being impacted and help shape what further action can be taken to support them.

For more information about the Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund and the support it can offer please visit the council’s website.