Shopping and grants help in Runnymede

Karen Neville

Runnymede Borough Council

Hundreds of families to be offered help with cost of living from the council

More than 700 disabled people, carers and armed forces veterans will be offered a £130 shopping voucher by Runnymede Borough Council, as it steps up practical help for people affected by rising prices.

Funding for the vouchers comes via a Government grant to the Council and will not involve using Council Tax money. The vouchers can be used at supermarkets across the Borough.

As a result of the funding, the Council has also been able to open a third round of grants from the Household Support Fund. Grants of up to £160 are available and can be used to help pay for:

• food,
• sanitary products,
• soap,
• blankets, and
• utility bills.

Residents who think they might be eligible are encouraged to apply though the Council’s website.

Larger grants for more expensive items such as replacing white goods may also be available, up to £800. To access these, residents need to be referred to the Council’s benefits team by either Citizens’ Advice, Surrey County Council’s Adult Social Care team, the Council’s Housing service (for council tenants) or the council’s social prescribing team.

The relaunch of the Household Support Fund is likely to be welcomed by many families in Runnymede as inflation continues to remain high, driving up the cost of many day-to-day items.

Cllr Tom Gracey, Leader of Runnymede Borough Council, said: “The cost-of-living crisis has sadly embedded itself in the lives of many people, so we’re providing direct, practical support through shopping vouchers. These vouchers have been brought in to provide targeted support to those experiencing ongoing challenges with the cost of living and I would encourage any household offered one to take it up and make use of it.

“Equally, the Household Support Fund is a valuable source of direct financial help and I am pleased the Government has pumped in extra money to allow us to help people in our Borough. Please do take a minute to see whether you meet the criteria as they may not be as strict as you think.”

The Council’s online cost-of-living website hub is available to all to find advice on:

• grants for day-to-day help,
• ways to cut costs,
• money to help improve the energy efficiency of your home, and
• support with Council Tax bills.

It also signposts to support for people suffering with the pressure of rising costs and gives ideas on dealing with financial issues. Residents can also contact their local ward councillor for help and advice on finding support.