More than 7,000 children in Wigan Borough have benefitted from school uniform vouchers, thanks to a new initiative supporting families with financial strains.
Wigan Council received almost £417,000 in Emergency Grant Funding to extend its welfare support offer in response to the pandemic. The local authority used some of the funds to distribute school uniform vouchers to families in receipt of free school meals.
Since becoming available in August, 7025 children have benefitted from a £25 voucher each, with many families contacting the council to express thanks for its support.
Councillor Terry Halliwell said: “The uptake of this scheme has been unprecedented and is unlike anything we have seen before. By offering this scheme, we have hopefully helped to lessen financial strain at an otherwise uncertain time for some of our families.”
The rest of the fund was used to extend the council’s existing support, including providing supermarket vouchers, increasing the value of gas and electric vouchers, and offering free white goods to families in crisis.
Eligibility criteria was in place with most of the funds going to residents eligible to access the council’s welfare support service.
Coun Halliwell added: “Teams from across the council have come together quickly in order to pull together a comprehensive package for this money to be spent in a way that will benefit those residents most in need.
Since March, council staff and community volunteers have been managing seven community hubs borough-wide to ensure local residents have access to essential services and food and prescription deliveries.
If you’re self-isolating and need support, please call 01942 489 018 or fill in the self-isolation form at www.wigan.gov.uk/coronavirus