Elderly people in Leicester who receive pension credit will receive a £100 voucher to help them meet the soaring cost of living. Leicester City Council has announced a £3.4 million pot of funding to help the city’s most vulnerable – with at least one third of this to be spent on helping pensioners pay for food and fuel.
Anyone who qualifies does not need to apply. Instead, the council will send the vouchers to them, from next month.
A city council spokesperson said: “We will be supplying the details of those eligible to the Post Office and they will send the vouchers directly to them. This will start in June.”
The rest of the money will be available as e-vouchers to people and families struggling with the cost of living crisis. A professional referral, such as from a social worker, school staff or housing officer, will be needed to access the money.
It can then be used in supermarkets, to buy school uniforms, put towards utility bills or towards replacing essential household equipment like cookers or fridges. In exceptional cases, it might be sent directly to landlords to cover rent.
Some of the money will also be used to support local foodbanks and on providing food for children who get free school meals this half term. Eligible families who have signed up to the scheme will be able to pick up a good food hamper from a pop-up pantry, as well as additional items this May holiday.
Leicester deputy city mayor, Councillor Sarah Russell said: “This money is available to help with a range of needs, and we’re asking our staff who are based in communities to refer people and families to us who are most urgently in need of support. If you are struggling with money please talk to your social worker or child’s school if you have one, and ask to be referred for this fund.
“Council tenants can speak to their local housing officers, and income management officers who help people to manage debt can also make referrals on their behalf. Pensioners on low income who receive the pension credit benefit will automatically receive vouchers, so don’t need a referral.
“I urge everyone to check they are receiving all of the benefits they are entitled to, including Pension Credit. We know that many of these benefits still go unclaimed.”
For food support, those who receive an e-voucher will need to convert it online into a gift card for either Aldi, Iceland, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Company Shop Group or Farmfoods. Leicester City Council is now accepting referrals until Sunday, September 4 and more information on the funding can be found on the council’s website.