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FINANCIAL help is still available for people struggling to feed their families or heat their homes this winter as a result of the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Oxfordshire County Council, in partnership with the county’s district councils and Citizens Advice services, is offering support to vulnerable residents through a Winter Support Grant.

Oxfordshire was awarded £400,000 by the government in December to fund the cost of food, electricity, heating and other essential items, and the financial help is available for households to claim by March 31, 2021.

Households with children can claim up to £350, while those without children can receive up to £175. The support teams provide the funding through supermarket vouchers, cover costs for pre-payment meters, or make sure that a heating or water bill is paid.

If a resident has received a food voucher from a previous scheme, they may also be eligible to have one from the Winter Support Grant. Applications can be made through district council websites, see:

• Oxford: oxford.gov.uk

• Cherwell: cherwell.gov.uk/wintergrant

• Vale of White Horse: whitehorsedc.gov.uk/winter-grant

• South Oxfordshirl: southoxon.gov.uk/winter-grant

• West Oxfordshire: westoxon.gov.uk/wintergrant

Teresa Archer, of Citizens Advice Oxfordshire, said: “The Winter Support Grant is a lifeline to people across Oxfordshire that are struggling to cope with so many changes. We are seeing people that have lost jobs, are juggling working from home with home-schooling, facing reduced incomes and greater expenses with having family at home. And, of course, some have lost loved ones.

“The grant is providing essential food and fuel support that can help families cope during these life changes imposed on them by the pandemic. People who might be eligible can be referred by any local agency that is already working with them, or they can get in touch with their local Citizens Advice for more information.”