This summer will see a £460,000 boost to the support available during the school holidays for vulnerable families and children on the Island and the voluntary organisations that support them.

The distribution of the grant funding is being organised through the ‘connect4communities’ programme, which is led by the Isle of Wight Council in collaboration with community partners such as schools and Early Years providers, as well as voluntary and charity organisations.

Community grants are also available to fund food and utilities support for families in need.

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Councillor Debbie Andre, Cabinet lead for children’s services, education and skills, said:

“I am really pleased we are able to continue helping families who are struggling during these difficult times.

“Even though coronavirus restrictions are gradually easing, the pandemic has meant that many people are dealing with challenges they have never had to face before.

“We know that the school holidays can be a particularly difficult time for families, when these pressures are heightened, and want to help ensure children and young people do not go without necessities.”

The funding has been awarded to the authority by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) under the COVID Local Support Grant Scheme.

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Free school meal and food vouchers

  • A £365,175 grant to schools, colleges and early years providers for them to purchase and provide 1X £15 food voucher per child per week for the summer holiday period, for all eligible children.
    An estimated 4,869 children will receive these vouchers.

Support for care leavers

  • Up to £11,250 in funding for Children’s Services to purchase one £75 food or fuel voucher for each care leaver not in receipt of vouchers through the free school meal voucher offer.
    An estimated 150 care leavers will receive these vouchers.

Young Carers

  • A grant of up to £2,000 to the YMCA to support young carers not in receipt of vouchers through the free school meal voucher offer.

Fuel support for households

  • A grant of £5,000 to Citizens Advice to financially support households with fuel bills over the summer period.

Beaulieu House, Newport

  • A grant of £1,500 to deliver targeted food and fuel support to the families it works with.

Community grant awards

  • Community grants totalling up to £55,000 will help support families, with food, energy and water bills.
  • Voluntary and charitable organisations who understand the needs of their communities are encouraged to apply. Examples of how these grants could be used include activity and food packs, fuel vouchers as well as food boxes.
  • Schools and other education settings can apply to this grant to support families who do not necessarily meet the criteria for the free school meal vouchers.

Further information for providers who are interested in finding out more about applying for a community grant is available on the connect4communities website.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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isle of wighter
isle of wighter
2 months ago

jeez – anything else – perhaps you would like us all to go round and do the dishes for them

perhaps the rest of us should just give up work and sponge as well – then we can benefit from the freebies/handouts and anything else you get given for absolving yourself of personal responsibility for the financial support of yourself and your kids.

Reply to  isle of wighter
2 months ago

well said 100%agree
but wait for the idiots who’ll thumbs ya down when truth is spoken on here! it’s also unfair only nhs are getting given freebies and discounts online…of which some sit in offices .they’re paid too do there job…like rest of our hard working key workers.on lot less money too

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
Reply to  jon
2 months ago

exactly jon

Truth Outs
Truth Outs
2 months ago

The food at McDonalds and KFc is so expensive these days, I can why so many families need help to fatten up their kids.

Islander born & bred
Islander born & bred
Reply to  Truth Outs
2 months ago

Not to mention all the ready meals and other junk food they buy. Actual fruit and vegetables work out much cheaper in all than all the junk, but cooking and preparation of them would be too much trouble for them I guess.

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