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Coronavirus: a helping hand for residents

This is where you can find information about coronavirus (COVID-19) including what you can do to protect and help yourself.

Published on: 15 January 2021

Last updated: 9 April 2021

Support for families

This year the council has brought together a comprehensive £1M package that supports the families and vulnerable people who have been most impacted by the pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic continues to be a challenging time for many families in Westminster and we want to ensure that no child goes without food or warmth over the winter months. 

Schools and the council are continuing to work to ensure that extra support reaches families. Through the work we do in the community we have the information necessary to ensure that this extra funding package meets the most vulnerable families over the winter period. 

The package consists of: 

  • free school meals 

In December the council delivered more than 6,500 vouchers for eligible children and young people to support families during the Christmas break.  

For February half-term break, vouchers were again distributed through schools to the families of almost 6500 eligible children.

This provision will again be available at Easter for all eligible families. This will ensure that thousands of families will get an extra £30 for Easter per child to help reduce food poverty and support low-income households. Schools will be contacting eligible families directly with more information on how to access this support.  

  • food vouchers to low-income families 

This voucher, which has been distributed to more than 1600 families by the council to date, aims to provide a helping hand to households that have been identified as in most need of extra support. This has supported more than 3000 children over the winter period.

  • vulnerable families grant 

Delivered through our multi-agency Family Hubs, additional discretionary support will be available to identified vulnerable families.

  • housing hardship fund 

We extended support for eligible council housing residents and those with housing needs through the Housing Hardship Fund for food. This is being delivered by our Housing Services team on a case by case basis to tenants that are identified as needing extra support over winter.  

  • other support 

This Easter, we have made £70k available via the Holiday Activity and Food scheme to provide food and activities during the Easter holidays, for children and young people who are eligible for free school meals.

View a list of these events

Previous support has been made available through targeted support to the youth sector (c£30k) for food and activity based offers during the February half term, support for vulnerable adults (c£20k) through local charities and for care leavers.

Residents may also be eligible for help because of an emergency or a crisis, through a Local Support Payment available online. 

The extra funding was provided as part of the governments ‘Winter COVID grant scheme’ and ensured a range of grants for low-income families and vulnerable people. 

If you are worried about your own safety or the safety of your child, please contact the access team on 020 7641 4000 (9am to 5pm weekdays) or email [email protected]

Outside of these times, please call 020 7641 2388