Last updated: 7 July 2023

Next review: 7 July 2024

London Borough of Waltham Forest has been allocated £4.65 million from the Department of Work and Pensions’ Household Support Fund to support vulnerable households facing a rise in energy bills and the cost of living.  The funding is available from 1 April 2023 and must be spent by 31st March 2024. 

For further information on the Government’s Cost of Living support please visit Cost of Living.

The Household Support Fund gives those who qualify, help towards food, energy and water and other essential items.

Local Welfare Assistance Scheme

Part of the funding will be distributed through the Local Welfare Assistance (LWA) scheme which will be amended to reflect this additional source of funding and the resulting changes on eligibility criteria.

This additional funding is to support households who would otherwise struggle to buy food or pay for essential utility bills or meet other essential living costs.  This funding will be available until 31 March 2024.

You will need to apply for this help and can complete the application form at Waltham Forest's Local Welfare Assistance / Household Support Funds.

London Borough of Waltham Forest will continue to deliver face-to-face information, advice, and guidance (IAG) services to residents in a range of locations across the borough offering guidance on available help within the Household Support Funded schemes as well as through other methods.

This fund will also support Community Living Rooms providing welcoming spaces in which people can relax or socialise as well as visit to seek advice or guidance on available cost of living support, council services and voluntary sector support. More information on locations and opening times will be provided from June.

The Household Support Fund will also contribute funding directly to local food banks and assistance to our Community Partners to provide wider essentials such as baby products, period products and winter items.  For more information on the support available through Community Partners visit the Council's Cost of Living Support page.

As well as the groups that have been supported previously, the Household Support Fund will enable the Council to extend this support. All payments up to March 2024 have now been agreed and are outlined below.  If you are within these eligible groups, you do not need to apply as eligible households will receive notification directly through the Children and Families’ and Benefits services.

Unless stated, payments will be made using Post Office, Supermarket vouchers and / or direct credits to bank accounts.

Families

Families eligible for benefits related free school meals, based on low income, and attending a school or nursery in Waltham Forest, will get Eden Red vouchers that can be used at most supermarkets.  These will be distributed through your child’s school in April 23 for Easter holiday, May 23 for half term, July 23 for summer holiday, October 23 for half term, December 23 for Christmas holiday and February 24 for half term.  For further information about benefits related free school meals please visit Free School Meals for details on eligibility and how to apply.

Primary Schools in Waltham Forest will be given funding for the Breakfast for Learning scheme to enable them to identify and support those children most affected by the cost-of-living crisis.  Schools are using the funding to supplement free breakfasts already provided within the school as well as set-up new provision, including a wide range of hot and cold food available before school and “grab and go” snack items that can be picked up during the morning.

Families with children aged 0 to 19 and up to 25 with a disability supported by the Early Help and Prevention Service, will be awarded supermarket vouchers issued through Eden Red and/or direct cash awards to help with food and energy and water bills.  For further information on Early Help and Prevention Service visit Early Help and Support for Families.

Families with children aged 0 to 17 supported by Children’s Social Care will get supermarket vouchers, issued through Eden Red, to the value of £75 per household to help with food costs and costs linked to energy and water bills.

Young Carers age 18 or under, being supported by Early Help and Children’s Social Care services will get grants of up to £350 to help with essentials linked to food and energy and water costs.  For further information on Young Carers and how to get support visit Young Carers.

Care Leavers aged 16 to 24 who are leaving our care will receive supermarket vouchers, issued through Eden Red, to value of £75 to help with food and costs linked to energy and water.  For more information on what support is available for Care Leavers visit Care Leavers Offer.

Households within the following categories will be issued with Post Office vouchers to the value of £100 to support with energy and water costs.  These will be issued directly to households:

  1. Household members are aged 80 or over and not in receipt of certain state benefits aimed at the most financially vulnerable
  2. Working age persons providing care to vulnerable residents where the person providing care is in receipt of Carers Allowance and has less than £1000 capital
  3. Working age single persons over 35 with less than £1000 capital
  4. Working age single parents with less than £1000 capital
  5. Working age couples with no children with less than £1000 capital

New households for services outlined above will automatically be eligible for support from the Household Support Fund.