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Community support provided by Norfolk County Council reaches over 130,000 households

Norfolk County Council, 13 December 2022 00:00

Schemes operated or funded by Norfolk County Council have received over £50m since 2021, providing community support including the provisioning of community food hubs, distributing grab-and-go bags at our libraries, and investing in community warm banks this winter.

The amount of information on available support is sometimes overwhelming and to make life easier for residents and to help accessing trusted and safe information, we have collated key information and guidance on our Help with living costs webpages.  

For anyone who can't get online we have produced a new 8-page 'Help with Living Costs' booklet packed with information on where people can get help and support during times of need. This week 25,000 copies are being distributed to organisations and venues across the county including libraries, community supermarkets, community hot spots, the voluntary sector, and faith groups. It will also be made available in multiple languages and accessible formats as well as distributed electronically to schools, parish and district councils and other partner organisations.

The provision of the Household Support Fund has so far supported 130,000 households, including help with the cost-of-living for 30,000 free school meal eligible children. The Norfolk Assistance Scheme has supported more than 6,000 people, providing emergency financial help, essential household goods and furniture, and advice, support, and guidance to people suffering financial hardship.

Cllr Andrew Proctor, Leader of Norfolk County Council, said:

"As a council we are committed to ensuring that we can provide support to people when they need it most. I'm proud of the community services we offer, including cost-of-living vouchers, the Holiday Activities and Food Programme providing things to do across the county during school holidays, and the Norfolk Assistance Scheme which provides financial support for those in real hardship."

Cllr Margaret Dewsbury, cabinet member for communities and partnerships, said:

"We faced, and continue to face, some tough challenges; from beginning to emerge from the pandemic to the cost-of-living crisis - our community services have always provided an extra layer of support, and I'm incredibly proud of what we have been able to achieve."

Sarah Rhoden, director of community information and learning, said:

"Communities across the County are facing some tough challenges and we know that the rising cost of living is a big issue right now. In response to this we have worked hard with VCSE and local partners to ensure as much help and support is available to people who need it this winter, making sure we have solid foundations to respond to our resident's needs, as well as delivering direct support ourselves. The indications are that the challenges will last for a while longer, and we are committed to continuing to play our part in helping Norfolk to get through this."

The Norfolk Social Infrastructure Fund, administered by the County Council, provides funding for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations who are helping Norfolk's communities. By the end of January 2023, the fund will have distributed £2.25m directly to organisations so that new community initiatives and projects can be delivered on the ground. This year saw a 208% increase on the number of applications from 2021.

The full breakdown of funding includes:

  • £27m invested in delivering Multi Use Community Hubs in King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth in partnership with the Borough Councils, and as part of the Town Deal programme, supporting skills, health, and wellbeing
  • £20m of funding for residents in hardship between 2021 and 2023 through the Household Support Fund
  • £2.25m for the Social Infrastructure Fund, with a further £750,000 to be awarded in Spring 2023
  • £500,000 of funding for community food hubs, with the Norfolk Community Foundation leveraging further private investment and funding
  • £220,000 has been invested to provide 110 warm hubs in communities this winter
  • £150,000 of extra investment in VCSE organisations

This funding has enabled Norfolk County Council to achieve a wide range of community support, including:

  • 130,000 households supported via the Household Support Fund
  • 12,000 people supported in accessing community food hubs
  • Over 6,000 people supported by the Norfolk Assistance Scheme
  • 4,500 grab and go bags handed out across all 47 of our libraries
  • More than 1,200 Ukrainian guests helped to settle in Norfolk, including over 400 children
Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:44

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