Council welcomes £4.8m funding boost to support struggling households

Buckinghamshire Council has welcomed the news that it is to receive £4.8m of funding to continue supporting households and residents in Buckinghamshire who are struggling with the ongoing cost of living pressures.

The funding has been allocated through the government’s Household Support Fund (HSF) and enables local authorities to use the money to directly support residents and households facing hardship and challenges brought on by cost of living pressures.

Speaking about the announcement, Steve Bowles, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “This is good news for Bucks residents. Previous HSF money has enabled us to set up a wide range of direct support and assistance for those in our local area who really need it and this further funding will allow us to continue to develop and expand this support where it is most needed.”

Steve added: “This funding will cover the full year from this April, through to the end of March next year. Previous allocations have been for six-month periods but having the funding up front for the whole year will allow us to plan more effectively how best to use it. Over coming weeks we will set out how this new funding can be best put to use to support our local communities.”

Previous HSF funding in Buckinghamshire has been used to support residents via the council’s Helping Hand service which processes applications for financial help. The money has also been used to fund digital food vouchers for vulnerable groups and to support local organisations including charities and food banks and other schemes to target priority groups who are struggling the most.

The Helping Hand service has managed nearly 22,000 requests for support from Buckinghamshire residents in the past 12 months.

Last year the council jointly set up a local crisis fund with charity, Heart of Bucks, to provide additional support for those in need. To date the fund has raised more than £180,000 in donations which is being used to support Buckinghamshire residents facing hardship.