The Local Welfare Assistance scheme in Hampshire County has an advice line to ring for a list of services, or people can use the information online to find what they need and the link is below. The council partners with local food banks, charities, debt agencies, reuse organisations and other groups to provide help to families on a low income. The assistance from these organisations may come in the form of vouchers, referrals, financial assistance, and free advice.
The aim is to address many of the problems of people in a crisis with short and long term support. There can be immediate relief for addressing the emergency, and this can be things such as food vouchers from the Basingstoke Food Bank or funds for paying fuel bills from the Cold Weather Payment scheme. There are even free school lunches from central government schemes. However a key aim is to help people gain independent living, and this is provided from partnerships that the council has with many local experts.
A key part of welfare is to provide a crisis resolution service for Hampshire residents to address the root cause of the hardship. This involved key partners of the support network such as Citizens Advice, local borough councils or the Trussell Trust food bank network. Another aim is to help people on welfare reduce their debts, and not-for-profit partners such as Money Advice Service or Step Change can provide further help. Many other charities also take part, and they all work together to coordinate services as part of the welfare scheme.
Anyone from the region can get information and free advice from the Hampshire County Local Welfare website. As there is a local Local Provider network in the area that assists the needy. There are no income or other restrictions in place. Anyone that is in emergency need can use the service for linkage to local agencies. Individuals from Hampshire County can be signposted to charities or help in applying for welfare benefits or local schemes.
This is effective as the local providers that are part of the schemes work together to coordinate resources. This means that one agency, such as Trussel Trust, can provide free food while another, such as Frontline Debt Advice, will help with arrears on unpaid bills or even rent. So they coordinate support to struggling families.
Vouchers and short term help is provided as well, though it is limited. Much of this is for emergency food. This is for Hampshire residents that are on a low income and that meet the criteria set by the organisations. So the scheme is a last resort, and it can fill gaps in current needs provided by charities or council schemes. Also, any financial assistance is usually for a crisis only, with priority on safety or health. Any aid will be combined with advice and support . This will help them plan for and prevent a future crisis.
All funds from the any organisations in Hampshire County are limited. The charities as groups that run these programmes, such as food banks, do not have as much money as it did in the past. The agency that is applied to in Hampshire County will make a decision on any help that is to be provided, whether it is a pre-paid card, food, or another form of support. All the aid will be tailored for the needs to the family on a low income.
For referrals, the source for information on what types of financial help can be found at Connect Support. If a person local to Hampshire can’t find what they need, they can call the ring the Hampshire County Local Welfare Assistance team at 0300 330 1150 for information on how to get aid. Many applicants will just be referred or signposted to other experts in the area. Those groups will then try to help the low income family address the hardship.
If a family on a low income that is local to Hampshire County can’t find what they need, there may be Further Help available. The aim of welfare or any other safety net scheme is to keep people safe and healthy. For more information on Local Welfare Assistance, call the Hampshire Crisis Information and Advice line. Ring a specialist at 0300 330 1150.