COVID Community Update & Support Funds
COVID community update – 11 November 2021
Household Support Fund
The Government recently announced a new Household Support Fund that runs until 31 March 2022. The Fund is designed to support those most in need over the winter months.
- Last year there was a Winter Support Fund. This scheme is similar.
- Cambridgeshire County Council received approximately £3.5 million and are encouraged to work closely with partners, including the district councils.
- Like the Winter Support grant, much of the money must be spent on households with children in need.
- Cambridgeshire is using some of the grant to fund supermarket top up vouchers during holiday periods for families with children who receive free school meals. This will be October half term, the Christmas holidays and February half term.
- The other main areas the fund can be spent on is food, energy or water bills (including essentials linked to this such as a boiler repair). There is also a limited amount of flexibility to pay for other essentials or housing costs if other support schemes do not meet the exceptional need.
- As part of the winter support scheme, the County Council and district council partners set up a direct award scheme. This is a one-off payment of up to £50 for food or fuel for those in urgent and immediate need. This scheme of support is
- . Please ask anyone in need to contact us on
However, we know there is a range of support needed for people, especially with changes to Universal Credit and higher energy bills putting pressure on family finances. That is why we have a dedicated officer in our benefits team ready to help.
Often people will find asking for help the hardest part. If someone in your community needs extra support, please ask them to contact us on . We can then help ensure they get all the support they need.
Cambridgeshire is now in an Enhanced Response Area status and as such Cambridgeshire County Council have provided the following advice:
- Legal requirement – Complete a risk assessment which includes the COVID risks (this can be as part of the normal Health and Safety risk assessment and/or Event Management Plan). For the indoor part of the event, please note any indoor area needs sufficient ventilation. You need to assess the level of ventilation in indoor spaces, as per the HSE guidance, and include that in your risk assessment. A simple ventilation toolkit to assess the ventilation can found online.
- As we are now in an Enhanced Response Area we strongly recommend:
- that you use the NHS Covid Pass system as per Government guidance for events
- face coverings to be worn by staff and attendees indoors and in crowded areas outside, on public transport (including for any transport arranged for attendees e.g. coaches, taxis, and/or car sharing)
- set up the event to enable social distancing
- if any attendee show symptoms of COVID, they should not attend
- staff and attendees should carry out lateral flow testing prior to the event and for four to five days after the event.
- the use of the NHS QR code to help trace and stop the spread of COVID
- regular and frequent cleaning of high frequency touch points
- regular hand washing and the provision of hand sanitisers at all events
- make COVID-safe arrangements for any food and drink offered during the event
- continued used of COVID-safe messages and posters reminding attendees to take common sense COVID precautions such as wearing face coverings, keeping a social distance, washing hands and so on, including online messaging via the event organiser’s website encouraging vaccine uptake (both COVID and Flu vaccines) and COVID testing.
Our Environmental Health Team can clarify any of this advice and answer your questions if needed. Please contact them on .