Column by the deputy leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Ben Stokes

We are delighted to announce that we have received an additional £133,920 of Government funding to help support those in South Gloucestershire who are struggling to cope financially due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We know that the pandemic has had a significant impact on many families across the country who can least afford it. We want to do everything we can to support people in our area, and since the start of the pandemic, the Council has run a series of grant programmes to help residents manage during these difficult times.

This new Government funding is very welcome and will help us ensure that we can continue to support those who will still need help over the coming months. Even as we move towards reduced restrictions and hopefully a much brighter future, we understand that the financial burden caused by the virus will remain for many people.

The Covid Local Support Grant comes with the same grant conditions as the winter grant funding and focuses on providing food, energy, water and associated financial support. When combined with the previous Winter Grants Programme, it brings the total amount made available to people struggling to cope financially in South Gloucestershire to over £900,000.

We will allocate 80 per cent of this new money to families with children and a proportion of up to 20 per cent will be for vulnerable households without children, including individuals, to ensure that no vulnerable home is excluded.

The large part of this funding will go via schools to families with children who qualify for Free School Meals during the May half-term holiday. Others can access the remaining funds by contacting the Council’s One Stop Shops or Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire in the following ways:

You can contact our One Stop Shop team by telephone on 0800 953 7778 or online at or by emailing

Contact Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire by calling 01454 334961. For more information, please visit

For additional help and support for all South Gloucestershire residents, including vulnerable people, visit