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Connect4Communities

Availability of financial support for families in your communities who are struggling financially due to COVID-19

As part of our connect4communities programme, and in addition to the funding distributed to childcare providers, schools and colleges for food vouchers and discretionary grants, we have provided Citizens Advice IW funding to help families and individuals with energy bills over the Winter period.

If you are being approached by parents and carers for support with financial hardship, please ensure that those parents and carers are aware that they can approach Citizens Advice IW for assistance with energy costs – gas, electric and water.

Additionally, we would welcome your help in making parents and carers aware of this help through your usual communications to them e.g., within a newsletter.

Parents and carers can use these contact details

Telephone 01983 823859 or press the red button on http://islehelp.me/  

Please note that the team will complete a quick eligibility check and financial or other practical support will be provided to the family or individual seeking help.

The eligibility criteria for this support – to heat homes – is wide-ranging to ensure the money is as accessible as possible and is as follows:

Families with children:

•          Families in receipt of benefits related free school meals

•          Families including 16-18-year olds previously eligible for Free School Meals

•          All children with a social worker

•          All children open to Early Help

•          All households with 2 – 4year olds accessing childcare and eligible for Early Years Pupil Premium

•          Households with a young carer

•          Those who it is believed will struggle to afford to heat their home adequately and/or maintain a reasonable standard of living this winter

Households without children:

•          Care leavers

•          Households that have been identified as going into debt for the first time

•          Households or individuals with no other way of obtaining funds, e.g. those who face choosing to pay either rent or bills (considered unmanageable debt)

•          Those who it is believed will struggle to afford to heat their home adequately and/or maintain a reasonable standard of living this winter

Support from this fund, distributed by the Citizens Advice IW, can take the form of:

•          Pre-paid energy cards or the payment of a fuel bill on behalf of an eligible household

Other sources of welfare support

Local sources of other welfare support can be found through:

•          Connect 4 Communities on Isle Find It https://islefindit.org.uk/item/connect4communities/

•          Connect to Support Telephone Helpline and Connect to Support Online Resources:

https://www.iow.gov.uk/council/OtherServices/Public-Health-Coronavirus-COVID-19/Advice1

About connect4communities

‘connect4communities’ is a programme of support provided by Isle of Wight Council, in collaboration with other agency, voluntary and charitable partners. It is funded by the Authority’s £2.89 million Covid Winter Grant from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).