Frontline groups share more than £500,000 to help struggling residents

26 August 2022
Cllr Janette Williams, Leader of the council is pictured with the founding director of Equilibrium North West, Sharon Munroe
Cllr Janette Williamson, Leader of the council is pictured with the founding director of Equilibrium North West, Sharon Munroe

More help is available for struggling residents after £556,000 was awarded to Wirral-based community, voluntary and faith sector groups to enable them to provide food and welfare support in their local neighbourhoods over the summer months.

Funding for the scheme was provided by the Small Grants Programme, which is part of a £3.05 million package of support from the Government’s Household Support Fund (HSF).

Although bids to the scheme were over-subscribed, 32 local groups successfully applied for up to £20,000 to address welfare needs in their area. Up to £2,000 was also awarded to each organisation to help with the overhead costs of running their projects. The Leader of Wirral Council, Cllr Janette Williamson, visited two of the organisations providing local assistance through the scheme – Equilibrium North West CIC and Heart of Egremont – on 24 August to see how they are helping in their areas.

The Council Leader said:

“After talking to service users and the staff and volunteers of organisations on the frontline in our communities, it is clear that the cost-of-living crisis is worsening by the day, with more and more people finding it difficult to make ends meet. “And just as they did through the pandemic, Wirral’s community groups are using their incredible local knowledge to make sure help is given to those who are most in need and in the most accessible and appropriate way.” The current (Summer) round of HSF funding is the latest from the Department for Work and Pensions which has provided more than £6 million since December 2020 under the COVID Winter Grant Scheme and COVID Local Support Grants.

The founding director of Equilibrium North West, Sharon Munroe, said:

“We all get an unexpected bill now and again, but for more and more people – including many who are in work – it can be enough to push us into a crisis situation. The grant funding we received allows us to give them a ‘Reprieve Pack’ containing all of the essentials needed to get them through for a few days. And while they are in our centre, we link them up with other local agencies such as Age UK, Energy Projects Plus and Involve Northwest, to see if they can get the help and advice that will assist them for the longer term.” The Coordinator at Heart of Egremont, Gary Dodd, said:

“Although the past few years have been hard, we are seeing even more walk-ins now as cost of living issues really start to bite. So many people just don’t know where else to turn. The grant pays for ‘Support Bags’ for people who need food help and our team of volunteers then make sure they know what other help is available on-site, including our community shop, café and activities programme. We also link them in with other support agencies to make sure they know what other help is available.”

Information about other support available to people in need is available on the Wirral Council website at www.wirral.gov.uk/welfaresupport or by calling the helpline on 0151 666 5050 if you are unable to go online. The helpline can also advise on assistance that may be available from Age UK Wirral for anyone digitally excluded.

Information about other support for residents is also available on the Wirral Infobank website at www.wirralinfobank.co.uk

Organisations providing food and welfare support through the Small Grants Programme 

Organisation

Grant Awarded

Project Summary

Age UK Wirral

£16,425.00

Food hampers / shopping, white goods and support with fuel bills for struggling residents.  School uniform support for refugees/asylum seeking families studying English

Big Help Project

£21,800.00

Emergency food and essential items provision

Wirral Change Limited

£22,000.00

Emergency delivery service for Wirral's vulnerable BAME households

Nightingales Recovery Café CIC

£19,800.00

Provision of a hot food carry out, cooking classes for families and meals on wheels

Neo Community

£20,000.00

Provision of food hampers and essential items

Café Number 7

£20,000.00

School holiday hampers and stocking of citizen's supermarket

Tomorrow's Women Wirral

£8,710.00

Creation of Food Pantry at the Centre, as well as some hot meals for service users

Equilibrium North West CIC

£20,000.00

210 family reprieve packs with essential food items, 10 white goods for in need families, 60 baby essentials packs

Birkenhead Forum Housing Association

£17,585.00

The following essential items to be provided to support tenants: fresh fruit and vegetables, personal hygiene products, essential cleaning items

Rock Ferry Salvation Army Community Church

£4,850.00

Food hampers, hot meals for families and older people, food stock available for emergency request

Rapid Response North West

£14,840.00

Food parcels, emergency fuel vouchers, white goods, emergency clothing

Heart 4 Refugees CIC

£22,000.00

Weekly food hampers, hot food drop in, emergency clothing

North Birkenhead Development Trust

£20,000.00

Food hampers, white goods and appliances, cleaning and personal hygiene supplies

Wirral Youth Zone

£11,220.00

Food and essential items hampers for young people and their families

Carrbridge Centre

£16,178.00

Provision of emergency food hampers for those in need, stocking of social supermarket, fuel vouchers and white goods for those in need

Koala North West

£13,500.00

Provision of emergency support for families in need, including: food hampers, fuel vouchers, white goods, essential items

Wirral Development Trust

£17,000.00

Work with Leasowe Community Centre to provide stock for social supermarket and emergency fuel vouchers for local residents

Make It Happen Birkenhead

£13,200.00

Provision of essential food and clothing for local residents, as well as supporting projects such as Community Cook Up.

Tranmere Rovers in the Community

£20,000.00

Food hampers provided to struggling families through the summer holidays and September, as well as help with school uniform costs

Eastham Community Church

£1,150.00

Summer holiday family events, food hamper provision, gas and electricity vouchers

Bridging the Wallasey Gap

£21,500.00

Emergency food hampers, fuel vouchers and white goods and appliances provision

Seacombe Community Association

£22,000.00

Emergency food hampers, food vouchers and emergency fuel support

Prenton Tenants and Residents Association

£22,000.00

Provision of seasonal food hampers for local residents in need, as well as supermarket vouchers and fuel vouchers

Core Project Birkenhead CIC

£18,648.00

Hampers for 60 families/individuals per week including food, essential items and clothing if needed

Delamere Community Centre

£15,660.00

Provision of food and essential item hampers, emergency gas and electric vouchers, equipment and food for cookery classes

Involve Northwest

£18,400.00

Food hampers, slow cookers, airfryers, blankets and warm items plus hygiene packs

Heart of Egremont Community Centre

£13,000.00

Provision of family crisis hampers containing food and essential items, as well as cooking hot meals for service users and providing white goods in emergency cases

Shaftesbury Youth Club

£18,860.00

Hot meals offered locally twice a week, essential food and item hampers, community cooking sessions, emergency fuel vouchers and provision of white goods

Sandbrook Community Centre

£22,000.00

Provision of emergency hampers and items for social supermarket

Spider Project Wirral CIC

£20,000.00

Community meals at the Centre, emergency fuel vouchers and "survival packs".

Break The Mould/Noctorum Community Bingo Club

£22,000.00

Emergency hampers, baby supplies and fuel vouchers

The Little Centre Beechwood Ltd

£22,000.00

Stock for local food larder, supermarket vouchers for families in need and emergency fuel vouchers

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Equilibrium North West CIC providing food and welfare support through the Small Grants Programme