Bracknell Forest Council launches COVID Winter Grant

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll not only on the health but also on the finances of many households. Bracknell Forest Council has launched further support as part of the Government’s COVID Winter Grant Scheme. Its aim is to help residents who have been affected financially by the pandemic and are experiencing hardship.

With many furloughed, working reduced hours or having lost their jobs, more families are finding themselves in hardship for the first time. Although this may be a short-term situation, the council is offering assistance to these families to prevent financial challenges getting worse. The grant can help towards costs associated with food and utility bills to help Bracknell Forest families stay warm and well fed over the winter period.

Families that have already been identified as being eligible for assistance will be contacted through schools and council service teams over the next couple of weeks. However, other families experiencing short-term hardship due to COVID over the winter months, are invited to complete an online form to apply for help, which can be found at on the council’s website.

Cllr Paul Bettison OBE, Leader of the Council, said: “We know that many people have been finding things financially hard this year and for many hardworking families this is the first time they have found themselves needing our support. We urge them to come forward and apply for help as early as possible to avoid longer term hardship. We are looking to support those who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. This support is not only available to those in receipt of benefits, but those who have seen reductions to their employment hours, have been furloughed or lost their jobs may also be eligible.

“The simple form is available on our website and we are able to offer help to anyone requiring assistance with completing it. We do not want to see any families in our borough struggling to provide food for their family or to heat their homes this winter. Help is available and it’s available now.”

The grant is also providing funds to ensure children who qualify for free school meals or the pupil premium will receive vouchers for food over both the Christmas and February school holidays.

For those who are experiencing or facing financial hardship, the Money Advice Service Navigator tool offers free advice and can be found by visiting www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

Information about who is eligible for assistance through the COVID Winter Grant and how to apply is available on our website COVID Winter Grant Scheme | Bracknell Forest Council (bracknell-forest.gov.uk)