£4 million funding to help Bristol’s most vulnerable

£4 million funding to help Bristol’s most vulnerable

Bristol households being hit the hardest by the cost-of-living crisis will receive support with UK Government funding.

6 June 2022

After a UK Government instruction, the Household Support Fund which has been extended, must be stretched to support both low-income families and pensioners who are struggling with food and energy bills.

While this means low-income pensioners who are on the council tax reduction scheme will receive a top-up payment to the £150 rebate, the rest of the fund must meet the urgent needs of families during the school holidays who qualify for free school meals.

Guidance from the UK Government on how the Household Support Fund must be allocated means there is a reduced amount allocated for free school meals of £10 per week for the six-week holiday period, previously it was £15 per week.

Bristol City Council, which is responsible for distributing the funding, is urging those most in need to contact them if they need more help than what is available to them or if they are not eligible.

Councillor Craig Cheney, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for City Economy, Finance and Performance, said: “There are significant pressures on many households across the city in the face of the escalating cost of living. It has been taking a huge toll on many of our city’s most vulnerable residents and families. The first extension of the Household Support Fund earlier this year allowed us to provide more support and it is extremely encouraging to hear that the Chancellor is extending it once again to March 2023. 

“However the funding is not endless, and we have been forced to stretch it further to help more people. The decrease in funding available for free school meals will cause anxiety to families who are already struggling.

“While support is being provided for these groups, I know there are far too many people not eligible in our city who need help. At the start of the year, there were over 38,400 people in Bristol claiming Universal Credit. We also have a rental crisis with rent prices increasing rapidly by 52 per cent over the past decade with no sign of stopping. Our Quality of Life survey from earlier this year told us that at least 10 per cent of people in the most deprived areas of the city have experienced food insecurity – that’s doubled from the previous year.

“If you aren’t eligible for this fund but are in financial difficulty and need help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We will do all we can to support you.”

There is no application process for the Household Support Fund and the council will contact you directly if you’re eligible. If you are not eligible and need financial support or advice please visit the council’s ‘Benefits and financial help’ webpage.

Full details on the Household Support Fund can be found on the Bristol City Council website.

Funding information:


A proportion of the money will be given to low-income pensioners who are of state pension age and on the council tax reduction scheme. The payment will be a top-up to the £150 council tax rebate and will be made once bank details have been gathered and rebate payments have been made. Residents will be contacted when the money is going to be paid.


In our effort to try to ensure families are supported over the whole summer period, the council is issuing £10 per week for the entire six-week holiday period. The alternative would have meant reducing support to four weeks at £15 per week. Vouchers will be distributed to eligible families by each school before the end of the summer term.


Funds will also be allocated to care leavers, Red Cross to help those without access to other funds and Age UK to assist older people. These organisations will be in contact directly with those who are eligible.

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