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County Council-backed schemes delivering vital cost of living


Residents are being urged to tap into a number of Lancashire schemes that have been bolstered by new funding to support the most vulnerable people this winter. 

As part of its response to the rising cost of living, Lancashire County Council has distributed almost £900,000 to a range of existing initiatives that provide support to people in Lancashire.

This includes a £132,000 contribution to the Under One Roof scheme, which provides essential items and help to residents with no other means of support. The scheme is run by Social Enterprise Lancashire Network (Selnet) and is open to people in the 12 Lancashire County Council districts.

The additional funds have helped to pay for the provision of additional items including floor covering, bedding packs, kettles, pans, crockery and cutlery packs for those in crisis/immediate need. The items are distributed by various local charities, including Gift 92 in Fulwood, Emmaus in Preston, Open Door Furniture recycling in Nelson and Furniture Matters in Morecambe

Liz Tapner, CEO of Selnet, said: “The services we offer are a real lifeline to many individuals and families in Lancashire.

“We are so pleased the services have been enhanced ahead of what we know will be a difficult winter for many.

“The team are able to help in a number of ways so don’t hesitate get in touch now.”

Gift 92 and Selnet staff with Cllr Michael Green at Gift 92's warehouse

Gift 92 and Selnet staff with Cllr Michael Green at Gift 92’s warehouse

Another vital service that has received additional funding ahead of winter is the Improving pension benefits uptake service, which has received a £348,000 contribution from the county council.

Delivered by district councils in collaboration with Lancashire County Council’s Welfare Rights service, this service contacts over-75s and asks them to apply for a free and confidential benefits check, to ensure they are claiming everything they are entitled to.

ICANN (Independent community advocacy network north), a charitable advocacy organisation empowering and supporting people across Lancashire, has received £170,000 for two projects.

ICANN’s Form-Filling Project helps residents to fill in their forms for disability-related benefits such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP), while its Benefits Assessment and Appeals Advocacy Service supports residents at their PIP and work capability health assessments and appeal tribunals. They also help people to access their medical or care records to support their benefit claim or appeal.

A £75,000 contribution was also made to Citizens Advice in Preston to deliver the British Gas Energy Trust Fuel Debt Project (BGET) over the 12 Lancashire County Council districts. The service supports those in financial difficulty, with a focus on gas and electricity debt. The additional money will allow for increased capacity to process more referrals for specialist fuel debt advice.

On top of this, Lancashire County Council’s usual allocation to the affordable warmth scheme, which is delivered through district councils, has been doubled to £1m. Working with Cosy Homes in Lancashire, the scheme provides access to home energy support such as boiler and insulation measures.

The allocation to the Lancashire Community Food Grant Scheme, which is aimed at local organisations within the voluntary, community and faith sector that deliver projects to tackle food insecurity, has also had its allocation increased to £250,000 for the year 2022/23.

Cllr Michael Green, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Lancashire County Council, said: “To help Lancashire residents this winter, we have taken a number of steps that build on the significant support provided by the Government.

“We recognise that there are many organisations offering vital support to people who really need it, and we want to maximise the uptake of these existing initiatives.

“These initiatives, such as the Under One Roof scheme, are a real lifeline to many people in Lancashire and I cannot thank the people behind them enough for the valuable work they do.”

“It is also important that people get their flu and Covid-19 vaccines as they are two of the most effective things we can do to keep you and others around you safe this winter.”

To find out more about these services and schemes, and also what other support is available, visit lancashire.gov.uk/costofliving



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