Support: Fuel and gift vouchers are being issued to families this festive season (photo credit: Getty Images)
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Support for 1,700 Liverpool families at Christmas time
MAYOR of Liverpool Joe Anderson has announced plans to help around
1,700 families and individuals this festive season.
total of 1,000 households with a child under one who
are in receipt of housing benefit or council tax support, or who have
been affected by the benefit cap, will be able to claim a £40 voucher to help
them with their winter fuel bills. The city’s 200 care leavers who live
independently will receive a £30 fuel voucher and £20
cost of the vouchers – around £50,000 – is coming
from the Mayor’s Hardship Fund and the city council’s not-for-profit gas and
electricity supplier, www.theleccy.co.uk.
Care leavers are also getting other gifts, including vouchers from
a health research project that council staff were involved in and hundreds of
gifts from Liverpool City Council staff.
In addition, the city’s Children’s Centres are issuing supermarket
vouchers with a value of between £20 and £50 in the run up to Christmas to help
more than 500 local families have a good festive season.
It is part of a comprehensive programme to support people in
crisis, at a time when people are struggling due to welfare reform and the
roll-out of Universal Credit.
Letters offering the winter fuel vouchers are being sent out this
week to the families who are eligible, letting them know how they can claim
their fuel voucher over Christmas. Vouchers need to be claimed by end-January.
The council has invested £23m in supporting people and families in crisis, such as those on low income or at risk of losing their home, including £2.7m in crisis payments to help people with the cost of food, fuel and clothes and £3.05m to protect people from reforms to housing benefit payments.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Christmas
is meant to be a time of celebration but we know there are some families that
spend months worrying about how they will make it special for their loved ones
because they are struggling to make ends meet.
“Demand for foodbanks and crisis support continues to grow in our
city due to a combination of austerity and welfare reforms. What we are doing
here is working with our benefits team and foodbank organisations to identify
those who need support to give them extra support.
“Christmas Day is the one day of the year when no-one should go
without a decent meal, and this funding will help give families some much-needed
cheer this festive season as well as helping with heating bills as the weather
“This is just one element of the support we are providing to those
most in need in Liverpool and follows on from our recent appeal for people to
drop foodbank donations off at our buildings, which had an overwhelming
Debi McAndrew, Liverpool Children’s Centre co-ordinator, added: “We know
from our work with families that thousands of households will really appreciate
the extra support that this will give at this time of year.”