Special help will again be made available this Christmas for eligible families as they continue to recover from the pandemic.

Cambridgeshire County Council is continuing to operate the Household Support Fund, which runs until March 2022.

As in previous holidays, financial support will be offered to vulnerable families through the Direct Food Voucher Scheme. This will cover the Christmas holiday from 20 December until 4 January.

The scheme offers parents a voucher for a choice of supermarkets. These vouchers will be sent to eligible families automatically using school data and information held by the local authority. Those eligible for the voucher will be pupils who meet the following criteria:

  • Early Years Pupil Premium
  • Children eligible for income related funded two-year-old education
  • Eligible for Free School Meals
  • Students eligible for 16+ bursary.

The Council will issue each child or young person, eligible on or before the 6 December, with a £30 supermarket voucher on December 17 to cover the holiday period. The voucher will be sent by email and/or text to the nominated parent or carer. The voucher does not need to be used in a single shopping trip and once claimed will last for at least a year.

Wider forms of support are also available for families and individuals over the winter months, whether or not they are eligible for the Direct Food Voucher Scheme. This could take the form of access to food, household heating, and other essential supplies.

Details of the support available and how to access it can be found at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/household-support-fund

Cllr Bryony Goodliffe, Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee said: “I am delighted that we have received funding for this excellent scheme to continue throughout the Christmas holidays and across the whole of the winter period. It provides essential help to those families which need it most and I am proud to be able to support it again.”