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Cash grants are still available for local people!

Release Date: 16 March 2021

Local families and individuals who are struggling financially due to the impact of COVID-19 and need help and support accessing food, paying for school uniforms, energy bills or other household essentials, can still come forward to apply for financial help!

Last year, the Council awarded a number of grants to local organisations to enable them to support hard pressed families and individuals in Richmond.

A £124,000 Food and Support Grant was awarded to local voluntary organisations to support residents struggling to afford food and other essentials due to COVID-19. Citizens Advice Richmond, Richmond AID and RUILS came together to offer a co-ordinated offer of support. They provide: 

  • Cash and vouchers for individuals and families towards the cost of food and essential items
  • An enhanced advice service to help residents manage their situation and access longer term support e.g. benefits or debt advice
  • RUILS’ Food and Hygiene Hub providing essential supplies to people who are unable to go to the shops, are isolating or cannot afford food

Following this, the Winter Fund was specifically awarded to help people through the winter months. This is a £465,000 fund, with the lion’s share of the cash being used to provide assistance with food, energy bills and water bills, but also other essentials such as hygiene products, warm clothing, boiler services and repairs and crucial household appliances. Over £265,000 was used to support the free school meal voucher scheme during school holidays and £190,000 was awarded to local groups and charities, enabling them to provide food parcels, vouchers, grants and other support.

Support is still available to anyone who needs it, and information is available below on how to access this funding through local organisations.

Cllr Robin Brown, Lead Member for Finance at Richmond Council, said:

"Many families here in Richmond upon Thames have been badly affected by the coronavirus. Some of us have lost loved ones. Others have lost their jobs and incomes, through no fault of their own.

"We need to do all we can to help vulnerable people who are struggling, including parents with young children, so they can continue to cover essential costs.

"Our partners are helping us to distribute this funding, and we want to remind everyone that there is still help available. If you are struggling, if you need support - please contact Richmond AID, Citizens Advice Richmond, Homestart, the River Bank Trust or Crossroads Care."

If you need any financial help, you can speak to one of the below organisations:

Richmond AID and Citizens Advice Richmond

Richmond Aid and Citizens Advice will be working together to assess resident’s needs, offer advice as well as financial assistance to support with food, utilities and other winter pressures.

Homestart Richmond, Kingston, Hounslow

Homestart will support families who are struggling financially and facing food, fuel poverty or who are struggling to meet their housing costs. They will assess the needs of families they are supporting and provide swift and easy access to funding.

River Bank Trust

The River Bank Trust will be supporting vulnerable families specifically in Ham and Whitton. The Trust will be using the money to support families with food, utilities and other winter pressures.

Crossroads Care Richmond and Kingston Upon Thames

The grant will be used to meet the immediate need amongst individuals and families who are struggling to afford food, utilities and other essentials over the winter months with a specific focus on support for carers and the people they care for.

In addition, you can see the other funding available.

COVID-19 Hardship Fund

This is a temporary fund, made available by us, to assist households with children who have been affected by the COVID-19 situation, have had their normal income disrupted and have had to claim Universal Credit. The fund can help households by providing support with groceries in the form of supermarket vouchers.

DEFRA emergency assistance grant

Richmond AID and Citizens Advice Richmond (CAR) may be able to help with a grant for food and essentials. This grant can support people who are struggling to afford food and other essentials due to COVID-19, subject to available funds up to 31 March 2021. The fund is for residents of Richmond who have reduced pay, lost their job, benefit issues, struggling to afford food or have extra costs as a result of COVID-19.

Local Assistance Scheme

For those residents in receipt of welfare benefits, there are crisis grants available to help in an emergency for household items, food and baby essentials.

No recourse to Public Funds Hardship Fund

We will make awards available from the COVID-19 Hardship Fund, which does not count as public funds, to Richmond residents whose income has been affected by COVID-19 and have no recourse to public funds. The fund can help households by providing support with groceries in the form of supermarket vouchers.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P109/21

Updated: 29 March 2021