What is the Winter Grant Scheme?
Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council are working with our district council partners and identified, trusted community groups to identify and support individuals and families in need. This scheme was set up by Central Government to provide LAs with funding to support vulnerable households or individuals in need from December to March.
It is aimed at supporting those who may struggle to eat or keep warm through the winter months, as a direct result of COVID-19.
What kind of support is available? And who for?
We want to ensure that throughout winter any family that needs support is able to access it.
We can help with:
- food support
- utility bills (such as water and electricity bills)
- other essential household items or concerns, such as (but not limited to) hygiene items, white goods, and boiler services.
Those eligible for this support will include:
- Households who receive income-related benefits
- Households facing new financial hardship
- Families identified as ‘just about managing’ by schools
- Anyone with an Education, Health and Care Plan
- Care Leavers
- Young Carers
- People with ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ status – such as asylum seekers
The Grant is NOT intended to cover:
- payment of rent or other housing costs because these are not directly related to food or utility bills
- Nor is it intended to be used for the provision of general advice on managing debt and/or financial hardship The food support will come via a voucher sent to families automatically, using a system many schools are already using. Each eligible child will receive a £15 voucher for each week of the school holidays (two weeks at Christmas and one week in February).
What is the Winter Grant Scheme Direct Award?
We have set up Winter Grant Scheme Direct Award with a company called Family Fund Trading Ltd who will be issuing payments and vouchers on our behalf. District Councils and trusted community groups will able to help eligible people to apply for Food, Fuel and Cash awards where they are affected by COVID 19 and are not able to feed themselves and/or keep their homes warm.
What information is being collected and how?
Trusted groups will help people to apply via an online form. When someone applies for assistance then the following information will be collected:
- Name, email address and mobile contact of the trusted group
- Name of the referrer from the trusted group
- Name, postcode, house number and phone number of the beneficiary
- Number of people in the household
- Number of children/young people under the age of 19 in the household
- The type of support required (food/fuel/other essential supplies)
- Required value of voucher requested (pre-agreed values)
- Confirmation of current financial hardship
- Whether the beneficiary has been sign-posted for longer-term support
- Whether the beneficiary has agreed to pursue longer-term support
- Confirmation that the beneficiary understands that the above information will need to be shared with Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council and Family Fund Trading Ltd.
How will this information be used?
This information will be shared with Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council and in order to assess eligibility for the COVID Winter Grant Scheme, the councils have been authorised to access Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HMRC data normally used in the administering of the below:
- Housing Benefit (HB) and any associated counter fraud and error and overpayment recovery activity
- Local Council Tax Reduction (LCTR) schemes and any associated recovery of LCTR errors
- Local Welfare Provision (LWP)
- Adult Social Care Financial Assessments (ASCFA)
- Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) including Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) and Disability Adaptation Grant (DAG)
- Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE)
- The councils may have access to this information already to provide benefit, adult social care and the grants mentioned so this use for the Winter Grant Scheme is in addition to those.
The information will be used to assess eligibility and then share with Family Fund Direct Ltd to issue the appropriate vouchers.
The councils will also use the award information to review and evaluate the scheme. This will be shared with district councils and trusted partners but this will not identify anyone as it will be reported on by trusted partner and by type of voucher. The councils may also ask for your permission to contact you to discuss your experience of the service.
Who will this information be shared with?
In order to provide the service then district councils and trusted partners will collect information from you and then share it with us by an online SmartSurvey form. We will share this information with Family Fund Direct Ltd to provide the vouchers to you.
We have contracts with Family Fund Direct Ltd and SmartSurvey to ensure that your data is protected and only used for this purpose. We have agreements also with district councils and trusted partners which make it clear that they must handle your personal data in line with data protection legislation and cannot use your data for any other reason.
What is our legal basis for using personal information?
Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we have to identify our lawful basis for collecting, using, sharing and storing personal information. We are relying on Article 6(1) (e) of the GDPR to process personal information which means we are doing so as it is a task in the public interest. This means that it has a basis in the law and is often a statutory duty as we describe below. For instance, we have been given authority to process confidential patient information under section 3(4) of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information (COPI) Regulations 2002 to help support people during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have also been given guidance by the Government which requires us to deliver the Winter Grant scheme. We also have duties under the Care Act 2014, Children’s Act 2004 and Education Act 1996.
We will only contact you to discuss your experience if you agree to this and provide your consent. You can change your mind at any time on this.
How long do you keep information for?
The information which we already held will be kept in line with our retention schedules. Any information retained with consent may need to be deleted if consent is withdrawn.
You have rights under Data Protection and these are as detailed in both councils’ corporate notice and can be accessed on either councils’ pages. You can also find how to make a complaint or raise a concern with both councils.