New lifeline is offered to Banbury area households who are struggling to pay for essentials

A new lifeline is being thrown to households in the Banbury area who are struggling to pay their essential expenses this winter.

By Roseanne Edwards
Monday, 8th November 2021, 11:51 am
Updated Monday, 8th November 2021, 11:52 am
Cllr Andrew McHugh who is encouraging struggling households to apply for vouchers to help pay for expenses this winter
Cllr Andrew McHugh who is encouraging struggling households to apply for vouchers to help pay for expenses this winter

Cherwell District Council is encouraging such residents to talk to Citizens Advice about a new voucher scheme.

The new, targeted programme has been set up by the council using money from the government’s Household Support Fund. It will help pay for vulnerable households’ food, energy and water bills - but other costs can be covered too, including clothing and replacements or repairs for white goods or essential transport costs.

Councillor Andrew McHugh, Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “For people on benefits and others whose income has been affected by the pandemic, this may be a tough winter.

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“We have responded quickly to the call to distribute this funding and set up the new voucher scheme. I am pleased for the additional security and reassurance that it will provide to vulnerable households in Banbury, Bicester and the north Oxfordshire villages.”

Anyone who believes they will need this support is invited to contact Citizens Advice North Oxfordshire and South Northants (CANOSN).

The scheme is not only open to those on benefits. Instead, the funds are awarded based on a household’s specific situation and needs. CANOSN will distribute the vouchers to anyone who is eligible using Huggg, a secure and simple smartphone app.

The funding to pay for the voucher scheme is part of a £3.4 million package of support allocated to Oxfordshire County Council from the Household Support Fund.

As is the case in Cherwell, the other district and city councils are working in partnership with the voluntary and community sector to make best use of the funding. At county council level, further support for children and young people eligible for free school meals is also being administered using monies from the same fund.

People can call the CANOSN Household Support Fund helpline on 0300 303 0993. They should leave their details in a voicemail and wait for a call back to be assessed.