Residents in need, including vulnerable families, will receive help with the cost of food and heating and other essentials this winter.

Dorset Council has been awarded £2,294,941 from the Government’s Household Support Fund which has been set up to help vulnerable households across the country in need of financial support.

Some of the money allocated to the council will be used to make sure children who receive free school meals during term time will have food vouchers over the Christmas, February half term and Easter school holidays.

Information about food vouchers will be shared with families direct from their school.

One-off winter energy vouchers of £200 will also be made available to households in receipt of Universal Credit with limited capability for work or, earnings below the free school meals and free prescription threshold.

Find out more and apply for a winter energy voucher.

At least 50 percent of the Household Support Fund will be used to support vulnerable families with children in Dorset. In addition to food and winter energy vouchers, other targeted emergency local assistance will be available including support for care leavers, people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and people using food banks.