Councils offer more help for people struggling to pay food and energy bills

Councils offer more help for people struggling to pay food and energy bills
South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have opened a voucher scheme to help people struggling to pay food and energy bills.

More help is on the way for people struggling to pay their food, energy and other related bills.

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have opened a voucher scheme to support households who can’t afford to pay for life’s essentials.

The scheme is part of the Government’s Household Support Fund (HSF), which was extended by the chancellor in the recent budget.

A portion of funds given to Oxfordshire County Council have been allocated to South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils as part of a broader support package across the county, which includes help for children eligible for free school meals through the holidays.

Funding is limited, and the scheme is open initially to people who have not had support from it before. However, the councils will open it to second applications if funds remain.

Councillor Maggie Filipova-Rivers, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Financial issues can affect us at very different times in life. Struggling to afford to pay the bills is a reality for many, and we want residents to access this help for that very reason.”

Councillor Helen Pighills, Cabinet Member for Healthy Communities at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Whether it’s a change in circumstances or the rise in the cost of living that’s causing pressure – we urge people in financial difficulty who have not already received assistance from this fund to apply for the help that’s now available.”

The funds are not restricted to people in receipt of benefits, and there is no requirement that residents must be employed or unemployed. In contrast to previous schemes, a portion of the funds will be allocated specifically to support pensioner households.

To find out about the scheme and to complete an application form, please visit the councils’ webpages:

The scheme will end in September 2022 unless funds are spent sooner.

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