Hampshire County Council has announced plans for how £14.2 million of additional funding will be used to help local households struggling with the cost of food and energy prices.

The funding is an extension of Government’s Household Support Fund (HSF) until the end of March 2024.

In a change to previous HSF rules, the county council has now been able to allocate up to £200,000 of funding to provide locally-based food and energy advice services, alongside practical help with costs.

The funding allocations also include:

Hampshire-wide grants

  • £880,500 to Citizens Advice to support households with utility costs;
  • £800,000 to support the community pantry network;
  • £500,000 in grants for organisations supporting vulnerable residents across Hampshire;
  • £440,000 to the Environment Centre to provide guidance and support to households on energy-related issues;
  • £361,000 to organisations supporting unpaid carers;
  • £240,000 to extend the community wellbeing service for vulnerable older people.

Community grants

  • £800,000 in community grants for locally based organisations to support residents.

Grants to District/Borough Councils

  • £3,441,870 to provide food vouchers;
  • £1,001,000 to support with exceptional housing costs.

Grants through education settings

  • £2,845,622 for schools, colleges and early years settings to offer support at their own discretion to families most in need of help.

Hampshire County Council social care support

  • £460,000 in direct fuel support to vulnerable adults;
  • £715,000 in food vouchers to foster carers and connected carers;
  • £177,400 to supply food vouchers to care leavers.

At his decision day on May 11, Councillor Edward Heron, Hampshire’s lead  member for children’s services, approved the funding and said: “We are pleased that we can extend the Household Support Fund for a further year to provide a lifeline for low-income households and people facing financial hardship.

"As before, we will be targeting vital support to those most in need, including working households experiencing food and energy price rises but who may not meet the criteria for other Government help.

“We will continue to work closely with other local organisations including district and borough councils, education settings, charities and neighbourhood groups to ensure that eligible households receive support with food, energy and water bills and assistance with essential household items.”

For full details of the grant allocations, see the Decision Day report here.

The connect4communities website brings together information on the Household Support Fund and the Department for Education-backed Holiday Activities and Food programme for children during school holidays. The site includes further details both for households seeking help and organisations looking to deliver support.

The site is currently being updated with the latest news and details. Information on applying for community grants will be added when available.