Household support fund

Table of Contents

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has provided local government with a third tranche of the Household Support Fund, totalling £421m nationally, for the period October 2022 – March 2023. The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead's allocation of funding for this period is £587,905, as in previous tranches. 

The objective of the Fund is to provide support to vulnerable households in most need of support, to help with significantly rising living costs. For this tranche of funding, DWP have stated that there is no ringfence of funding for any particular cohort of people. There is, however, an expectation of authorities to particularly consider those groups who may not have benefitted from any of the recent cost of living support and for there to be an application process for at least some of the funding. 

Allocation and administration of funding

The Royal Borough has decided to allocate its funding through two separate schemes: 

Scheme 1:

RBWM will provide families in receipt of Free School Meals with vouchers to assist with food costs during the school holidays. This replicates the successful allocation of funding in this way in the previous two tranches of the Fund. 

Over winter 2022/23 families will be supported with food costs during the October half term, Christmas, and February half term school holidays.

Eligibility Criteria requires pupils to be registered for free school meals and attending a RBWM school regardless of their home address. The funding level is £20 per pupil per funded week.

The delivery method being used is through issuing of electronic vouchers, and is coordinated by RBWM schools. Eligible families do not have to apply for this support and applications cannot be made directly to the council or to Achieving for Children. 

Scheme 2: 

RBWM is working with a selection of Delivery Partners to allocate the remainder of the Household Support Grant to households facing severe financial hardship and at risk over the winter period.

These partners include a range of local voluntary and community sector organisations, housing associations, and health partners. 

Partners will work with their existing clients to identify households for support and will reach out to wider residents in need where appropriate. Residents who are in severe financial need and at risk of escalation of problems are also able to put themselves forward for support.

Citizens Advice East Berkshire will play an overarching role, and so should be a first port of call for residents who are unsure of who to approach. 

This is a discretionary fund, allocated on a case by case basis, to mitigate severe financial hardship over winter.

Please note that residents are not able to apply to the council directly. 

Delivery Partners have discretion to identify residents in severe financial hardship and at risk over the winter period, using their own sources of data and information, as agreed with the council, and in accordance with the DWP guidance. 

Residents identified by partners will be given a Unique Reference Number and a link to an online application form, to enable them to apply for a £145 cash payment to support them with costs of energy, food and wider essentials over winter.

To be eligible, applicants must be in severe financial need, resident in the borough and over 18. Residents may only apply once during the winter period 2022-23.

The council will review applications to check for eligibility and potential fraud, and will make payments to individual residents. The scheme is open until Friday 31 March 2023, but funding is limited, and the scheme may close before this if funding runs out. 

We will meet with partners to review the delivery of the scheme on a regular basis during the period of its operation and may make changes to the approach and criteria, where appropriate.

The scheme follows government guidance, shared at Household Support Fund: guidance for local councils - GOV.UK.

Questions and answers

Please refer to our list of Frequently Asked Questions for further information. Any questions not answered here can be addressed to

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(Updated: Monday 5 December 2022)

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Library and resident services : Contact details

For further assistance or information please contact us at:

Library and Resident Services - Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead,
Maidenhead Library, St Ives Road,
Maidenhead SL6 1QU.
Telephone: 01628 683800