Helping Hand service continues to support families in Buckinghamshire

Helping Hand service continues to support families in BuckinghamshireHelping Hand service continues to support families in Buckinghamshire
Helping Hand service continues to support families in Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire Council continues to provide its Helping Hand service and is preparing to provide all eligible pupils with a £15 school meal voucher for February half-term break.

Following the success of the Christmas voucher scheme, it will give our most vulnerable families support to buy food over the one-week half-term holiday week starting on 15 February.

10,500 children and young people received support over the Christmas holidays (a total of £315,000 worth of vouchers) and with more parents becoming aware and applying for eligibility for free school meals, we expect this number to increase.

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This is being funded from the government COVID-19 Winter Grant Scheme to target families with children and young people eligible for free school meals. As well as the vouchers, the council is using the funding as a ‘Helping Hand’ to provide support to any household worried about food or warmth this winter.

The council will send a letter to parents and carers, via schools, before the end of term to give them the details of how to claim and activate the £15 digital food vouchers which can be used at Asda, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer Food and now also Aldi.

Councillor Anita Cranmer, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills said: “The vouchers provided at Christmas proved to be a great success and enabled families to have choice on where they shopped to feed their families. We are really pleased that Aldi has now joined the scheme as they offer families excellent value for money.

I would also like to say a huge thank you to all our schools who have been supporting families during the first part of the spring term; it’s been a tough time. Not only are they providing free school meals but are offering remote learning for the majority of students studying at home and in-school learning for the children of key workers.”

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Councillor Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health said, “The Helping Hand service has been a welcome relief for many families in the county providing support in many different ways to suit individual families.

"From sourcing winter clothing, providing referrals to foodbanks through to accessing grants to support people with fuel bills or fixing broken boilers, the team are on hand to continue helping throughout the colder months.

"If you need help, or you know someone who need help, please contact our team on 01296 531151 or complete the contact us form.”

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