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Council helps most vulnerable at Christmas

Published: Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Havering Council is working with the local voluntary sector to ensure nobody is left behind this Christmas.

The Council is donating some of its emergency food stocks, held in its distribution hub, to help ensure vulnerable people in the community can access food through local charities and community organisations.  

The Council has agreed to donate excess food and household supplies to key voluntary organisations, which have been supporting vulnerable people throughout the Covid 19 response.

This includes approximately 100 frozen meals to Hope4Havering, with other food and household goods to all three local Food Banks, to support families in need.

Further help includes winter grants for vulnerable households, emergency food supplies, and support for those most at risk of coronavirus. 

The Covid Winter Grant Scheme, which was announced earlier this month, means the Council can help the most vulnerable households, as well as families with children, that have been worst affected by the pandemic. 

Following a successful assessment, low-income families will be able to claim cash payments of £170 per month to help with heating and other essential utility bills.

In October, Councillor Damian White, Leader of the Council, announced that Havering would provide Free School Meals during the October half term, and we will also be doing the same for Christmas and February 2021 half term. 

The Council also continues to look after vulnerable people on the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) list – particularly those who already receive support and advice.

People who received a Government letter advising they are on the CEV list are also able to register on the National Database (NSSS) for support, including access to supermarket delivery or click and collect slots, as London returned to Tier 4 at the weekend. 

The Council has also contributed to Marcus Rashford’s Hunger Map initiative to publicise the hunger-related schemes in Havering this winter.

Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“Covid 19 has affected so many people in different ways,

"This includes devastating loss of loved ones or dealing with the difficult after effects of the disease, as well as job-loses and financial insecurity, so it’s up to us to do everything we can to help. 

"Our work with our voluntary partners means we can offer peace of mind to help those most in need at a time where many households and families are struggling to put food on the table, or are worried about heating their homes over the coming months. 

"We continue to monitor food supplies to ensure that, should we need to step in and protect our most vulnerable, we are in a position to do so.

"This means that our most vulnerable adults and children will get the vital help they need.

“I would like to thank all Council officers voluntary sector partners, our NHS colleagues and so many others, for their service and dedication to our communities this year.

"Coronavirus has hit us all and I’m proud of how Havering continues to pull together through this crisis.”