Thousands of families across Stockport will receive support from the Council for the cost of their food and utility bills this Christmas.
Families of 7,500 school age children, who are eligible for income-based Free School Meals, will receive a £30 voucher per eligible child to help with the costs of food, utilities and other essentials this winter. A second payment will follow in the New Year. The scheme has been funded by central government, as well as contributions from Stockport County FC following a fundraising campaign from the club.
The vouchers will be sent directly to families in the coming weeks via email. Those families without email access will receive their vouchers by post.
Eligible families do not need to apply. The Council is working with Stockport schools and colleges to identify the vulnerable families in need of support and will issue vouchers directly. This is just the start of the Council’s support for vulnerable families on low incomes over the winter period.
Over the coming weeks the Council will be working with businesses, schools, colleges, early years settings and its voluntary and community sector to ensure that other vulnerable families in need of financial help are able to access support with the additional costs that winter brings.
Cllr Tom McGee, Deputy Leader of Stockport Council, said:
Funding secured from central Government has enabled us to offer this vital support to families and we want to help as many households as possible. We know that many of our generous businesses and residents will want to play their part in addition to what we are doing.
“The community response through Covid-19 has been amazing. Our communities have come together as One Stockport to support those most affected by the pandemic.
“In addition, our partners at Stockport County Football Club are working with Stockport’s voluntary, community and social enterprise support agency, Sector 3, to raise vital funds and this is just one of the ways people can help those who may be in need this Christmas.”
The Stockport County-led campaign has already raised more than £150,000 to support Stopfordians, which when combined with the resources secured from Government brings the total amount to almost £1 million. Mark Stott, owner of Stockport County Football Club, added:
We are delighted to be working in partnership to support our community and we are asking that people can give what they can, to ensure no child goes hungry this Christmas.”
Any resident who needs assistance can call the Council’s Coronavirus Welfare Line on 0161 217 6046 or visit the council website for advice.
Residents can support Stockport County’s Food for Christmas campaign via the club’s JustGiving site.