South Gloucestershire Council has been allocated almost £570,000 in Government funding to provide additional support to vulnerable children and families this winter.

The funding – totalling £569,161 – comes as part of the new Covid Winter Grant Scheme, providing £170 million to local councils in additional ring-fenced funding to provide direct aid to those hardest-hit in their communities.

At least 80 per cent of the funding is earmarked to support with paying for food and bills and will cover the period to the end of March 2021.

During the recent half term, South Gloucestershire Council made use of the Emergency Assistance Grant funding and the additional £2 million in un-ringfenced funding from Government to support local families eligible for free school meals with payment cards as well as working with local suppliers and schools to provide food parcels.

Councillor Sam Bromiley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “Winter can be a tough time of year for many families, but there is no excuse for allowing a child to go hungry, whether they qualify for free school meals or not. "We are pleased to welcome this funding from Government as it will help to make a difference to those in our communities who might be struggling to get by, giving them the vital support they need with food and bills and giving them more opportunity to enjoy the festive season without worries over making ends meet.”

The Winter Grant Scheme is intended to enable Local Authorities to provide direct assistance to vulnerable households and families with children particularly affected by the pandemic.

This will include some families who normally have access to Free School Meals during term time.