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Eligible Cambridgeshire families to receive half term supermarket vouchers

17 May 2023

Eligible families in Cambridgeshire will again be receiving supermarket vouchers for the May half-term holiday as part of the drive to tackle poverty.

Cambridgeshire County Council is continuing to run its holiday voucher scheme until the February 2024 half term using the Household Support Fund from the Department of Work and Pensions and the additional funding provided by the Council following its budget meeting in February.

Vouchers to the value to £15 for each eligible child or young person will be sent automatically to eligible families using school data and information held by the County Council. Those eligible for the vouchers will be pupils who meet the following criteria:

  • Early Years Pupil Premium
  • Children eligible for income related funded two-year-old education
  • Eligible for income-related Free School Meals
  • Students eligible for 16+ bursary.

Cambridgeshire County Council is urging families to check whether they may be eligible for free school meals during term time, which in turn would make them eligible for supermarket vouchers in the holidays.

Information about free school meals and how to apply can be found here: Free school meals - Cambridgeshire County Council – all that is required are basic details and a national insurance number.

The half-term holiday voucher will be issued by the end of the day on Saturday 27 May. The voucher will be sent by email and/or text to the nominated parent or carer. The voucher does not need to be used in a single shopping trip.

Any child eligible for income-related free school meals, or any of the other criteria listed above, will automatically receive a voucher for the May half-term holiday.

Any children who become eligible up until the 2 June 2023 will also receive a voucher. This will be sent when the Council are notified of newly eligible children.

The extension of the overarching Household Support Grant was announced in the Chancellor’s 2022 Autumn Statement – funding for the May half term supermarket vouchers will come from this.

Since then a total of 81,100 vouchers have been claimed in Cambridgeshire, worth a total of £1.833m as part of the authority’s work to tackle poverty. Over the Easter holidays alone 20,864 vouchers worth £625,920 were claimed.

In addition to the Holiday Voucher Scheme, there is further support available to help with the cost of living. Information and resources can be found here Support with the cost of living - Cambridgeshire County Council as well as how to apply for further support through the Household Support Fund.

Cllr Bryony Goodliffe, Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children and Young People Committee said: “I am delighted that we have enabled this scheme to continue. It is very important that we continue to help struggling families. The cost of living continues to rise, and many families are finding the competing priorities of family life both challenging and worrying.

“It is also very important that all families who are eligible for free school meals have applied and are receiving them. The process is simple and could mean families would get extra support throughout the year at school as well as during the half terms and holidays.”