Coventry has been handed £1.3 million to support those most in need this winter as part of the Government’s COVID Winter Grant Scheme.
The grant, handed to Coventry City Council, will go towards supporting a variety of vulnerable groups, including by providing free school meals for eligible children over the upcoming Christmas holidays and February half-term.
There is a particular emphasis on children, with grants to support Coventry school to provide additional warm clothing for some pupils because of the need for greater ventilation in classrooms during the pandemic which may mean windows could be open on cold days.
Councillor Kevin Maton explained, “something as simple as a fleece or a woolly hat could help children beat off winter illnesses and prevent the spread of germs and so help us battle coronavirus.”
“This is always an expensive and difficult time of year for a lot of families and this will help to take a little bit of the stress away”, Cllr Maton concluded.
The City Council will dictate exactly where else the funding will be directed at a local level, with a working group already been set up to determine the best areas to allocate the money.
Support for struggling families
Some of the funding has already been assigned to assist struggling families and individuals with essential food, energy and water bills. Those in need of such support can find out more and apply on the City Council’s website.
The money could also help people with things such as repairs for boilers and appliances, though it cannot be used for expenses such as rent.
The overall aim is to give vulnerable households peace of mind in the run up to Christmas and over the winter months, “so every children will be warm and well-fed this winter”, the City Council explained in a statement.
The scheme will run through to at least 31 March 2021.
Councillor David Welsh said that the funding will give those who need extra support this winter “the security of knowing there are warm meals and clothing for their children.”
Further details on other areas of funding allocation are expected to be announced soon.