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COVID 19 - SEND updates and resources

Accessing support as a vulnerable family

Coronavirus Winter Support Fund - Richmond

The Coronavirus Winter Support Fund (food, utilities and winter essentials) opens a new window has been set up to support Richmond residents who may need additional assistance over the winter months. The aim is to give vulnerable households peace of mind in the run up to Christmas and over the winter months during the pandemic, by helping those who need it to have food on the table and other essentials, so every child will be warm and well fed this winter.

School Holiday Scheme

Families with children who are eligible for Free School Meals will receive electronic supermarket food vouchers for the school holiday periods (where it has agreed that this support will continue).   Achieving for Children (AfC) will also be inviting disadvantaged families with two, three and four year olds to take up the school holiday offer. Eligible families will be emailed supermarket vouchers of £15 per week, per eligible child over the school holiday period.     


Children's Services Scheme

AfC is already working with many families and young people across the borough who are eligible to receive support through the Fund. Where needed, they will be offered support with food, utility bills and other winter pressures through a voucher or small grant scheme. If you are already working with AfC and feel you would benefit from accessing additional support please speak to your AfC contact.

What other help is available (opens a new window)

 

Coronavirus Winter Support Fund - Kingston

The Coronavirus Winter Support Fund (opens a new window) supports Kingston residents who need additional assistance over the winter months.  

To be eligible to access support you will need to be a resident of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and one or more of the following eligibility criteria must apply:

  • You have insufficient funds to access nutritional meals between December 2020 and March 2021
  • You have insufficient funds to be able to keep your home warm, electricity on and access to water for cooking
  • You have insufficient funds to be able to afford sanitary products, warm clothing, soap, blankets, boiler service/repair, access to equipment including fridges, freezers, ovens, etc.
School Holiday Scheme

Families with children who are eligible for Free School Meals will receive electronic supermarket food vouchers for the school holiday period (where it has agreed that this support will continue).  Achieving for Children (AfC) will also be inviting disadvantaged families with two, three and four year olds to take up the school holiday offer. Eligible families will be emailed supermarket vouchers of £15 per week, per eligible child over the school holiday period.     


Children's Services Scheme

AfC is already working with many families and young people across the borough who are eligible to receive support through the Fund. Where needed, they will be offered support with food, utility bills and other winter pressures through a voucher or small grant scheme. If you are already working with AfC and feel you would benefit from accessing additional support please speak to your AfC contact. 

Support with equipment for online learning

Whilst schools are all in a much stronger position regarding online and remote learning, this can be extremely challenging for some children, young people and families. 

The Department for Education is providing devices (laptops, tablets) and internet connectivity for children, young people and families that meet certain criteria. 

In the majority of cases, devices for pupils who need them should be provided by schools. Some schools are struggling to provide devices to all children who need them, but the DfE have committed to making more devices available as soon as possible (January 2021) and they will be able to order additional devices soon.

Schools will be able to order an allocation of devices for:

  • disadvantaged children in years 3 to 11 who do not have access to a device and whose face-to-face education is disrupted
  • disadvantaged children in any year group who have been advised to shield because they (or someone they live with) are clinically extremely vulnerable
  • disadvantaged children in any year group attending a hospital school

Children and young people which fit in this criteria should discuss their equipment requirements with their school.

 Flexible use of the local Activity Fund for children and young people with disabilities

Due to the current situation and restrictions in place, the way in which AfC offer the Activity Fund will be flexible. The Activity Fund usually provides £140 towards activities for eligible children and young people to take part in, each financial year. These activities include activities such as swimming sessions, annual passes, and activity clubs during term time and during school holidays. As these activities remain unavailable for the foreseeable future, we are offering alternative use of the Activity Fund until the usual activities can be accessed again.

Read more here

Being listed as a vulnerable person - FAQ's

My child has significant health needs (e.g. significant respiratory condition).  How can our family be added to the official government list of vulnerable families so that we can receive additional support from the Council and supermarkets know our situation?  I think the NHS should have included us already and we seem to have been missed off. 

The official list is being updated on a regular basis and councils are then being sent the updated versions.  To be added to the list follow the instructions here:  https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable


If I am not on the official list of vulnerable households, can I still apply for access to additional support?


Yes.  You do not need to be on the official "vulnerable list" to apply for additional support.  
In Kingston you should contact Kingston Stronger Together on 020 8 547 5000 or covid-19support@kingston.gov.uk or complete an online form at https://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200287/health_and_wellbeing/1748/covid-19_coronavirus/2

In Richmond you should contact the Community Hub on 020 8871 6555 or covid19support@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk