We know for many people this winter will be challenging for a variety of reasons and Covid has affected people in different ways. Many families in Norfolk are facing unexpected financial hardship this winter and will need help with things like paying the bills and buying food; many of these people have never needed help before. Therefore, Norfolk County Council are launching the Norfolk Covid Winter Support Offer, to ensure our residents get the help and support they need over the coming months.
Help is also available to those who are suffering hardship because they are having to self-isolate or support their children or vulnerable family members to self-isolate.
The Norfolk Winter Support Offer webpage will be www.norfolk.gov.uk/covidwintersupport and we are asking all stakeholders and partners, including VCSE organisations to support residents in applying for support whenever they think the family or household need it.
Funding, which comes from the DWP, is targeted 80% to households with children and 20% to households with no children and is restricted to support with food, essential items and energy costs.
What support is available?
Norfolk Assistance Scheme (NAS)
The NAS already provides hardship support to Norfolk residents, and this offer is being extended to reach a wider audience, over the winter period.
The initial two-week provision includes
Morrisons food boxes
Additional support with household essentials like nappies, formula milk and cleaning products
Paypoint top up emails for gas and electricity
Daily living allowance for living expenses and household bills where needed.
Week three onwards could include
Support with things like broadband and help to get online
Additional support with household items such as washing machines and fridges
Further food and essential support implemented by NAS for as long as is required.
Pink Orange – Ingredients boxes
Some families will already have heard about this offer because they will have been contacted by their allocated social/care worker.
Pink Orange will provide ingredients boxes including recipe guides to targeted families across Norfolk. NAS are able to refer to Pink Orange as part of their wrap around support offer. People or organisations just need to make one referral to NAS and we will do the rest.
Free School Meals vouchers
All schools and educational establishments in Norfolk will have received communication about ensuring that all children who are eligible are signed up for free school meals (the means tested pupil premium element and not the universal free school meals that all children in reception to the end of year 3 are entitled to).
Schools are then able to provide a link and code for EdenRed which is the chosen provider of supermarket vouchers to the value of £15 per child per week, for two weeks over Christmas and a Week at February half term - these vouchers can be used at all main UK supermarkets.
Children who are home schooled and may be entitled are to complete the Norfolk Assistance Scheme form and will be supported to access EdenRed by NAS.
Some residents are also entitled to a self-isolation support payment of £500. To help someone apply for this, or to find out more please click here
When will the scheme run for?
The Norfolk Winter Support Offer will run until the end of March 2021.
How can people access support?
People can go to the campaign website www.norfolk.gov.uk/wintercovidsupport, to apply online using a simple form. Organisations and support workers can also do this on people’s behalf. If people have problems completing the form online, then they can visit their local Library or call us on 0344 800 8020.
What can I do to help?
If you are working with, or aware of, a family who you think may be eligible for free school meals, who are not currently receiving them, please encourage them to speak to their children’s education provider or support them in that conversation where needed.
If anyone else needs emergency help with food or fuel then direct them to the Norfolk Assistance Scheme www.norfolk.gov.uk/NAS or tell them to call 0344 800 8020.
There is also lots of other support for people struggling with a range of issues during the pandemic. You can find out what’s available at www.norfolk.gov.uk/supportathome
How has the scheme been funded?
Funding for the Norfolk Winter Support Offer has come from a range of sources:
A £1m grant from Defra. £200k of this has been allocated to Norfolk Community Foundation and the remainder has been used to supplement the Norfolk Assistance Scheme (NAS)
£500k of additional government Covid grant
£2.7m of Covid Winter Grant, which will be used to fund the Edenred scheme and extend the reach of NAS
£1.15m of the council’s core budgets – including funding for NAS