Household Support Fund

Financial help for vulnerable residents in Wirral

Help is available for people in Wirral who are struggling with the cost of living.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has awarded Wirral Council money to help local people. A total £3,049,345 has been provided by the DWP Household Support Fund for 6 months from April 2024.

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The £3.049m awarded under the latest phase must be spent by September 2024.

How Wirral Council will spend the Household Support Fund

Below is a breakdown of how Wirral Council will spend the Household Support Fund. 

Small Grants Programme (£1,000,000)

Grants of up to £20,000 will enable community-based food and welfare support groups to provide food and essential items to those most in need in their local communities. 

Find out how to apply.

Food provision, hampers and pantries (£750,000)

Local charity Neo Community will deliver food support to people who are struggling. They will help by:

  • offering hampers of food and other essential items during school holidays to eligible families with children. Other families with children under five who are struggling are encouraged to contact their nearest Children's Centre to discuss applying
  • supporting School Food Pantries, where local schools with appropriate storage facilities will receive fresh produce to complement the dry and long-life items provided through the School Pantry project
  • supporting Care Leavers Food Pantry, which provides fresh food items to local care leavers to complement the existing pantry offering dry and long-life goods

Financial support with fuel and with fuel and water debt (£600,000)

This scheme will allow vulnerable residents who are unable to pay for the fuel they need to heat and power their homes, or are struggling to deal with fuel and water debt, to apply for help in several ways:

People in crisis situations who are unable to repair or replace broken or obsolete heating and do not qualify for help under other programmes can apply from Energy Projects Plus under their Crisis Support With Heating scheme.

Wirral Foodbank (£100,000)

To buy food supplies for some of Wirral’s most vulnerable residents.

Emergency Support Fund (£100,000)

This funding will allow the council to enhance its existing Emergency Financial Support Scheme to help more people in crisis situations. Read more information, including how to apply.

Quality of life support for over 65s (£75,000)

Around 650 older people in Wirral will benefit from this Age UK initiative, which will deliver a range of projects. These will focus on nutrition, maintaining and increasing independence at home, avoiding hospital admission, practical and financial support for carers and vulnerable older people with essential items and bills. For more information contact Age UK Wirral.

Crisis support with white goods (£160,000)

Vulnerable residents who do not qualify under the council’s Emergency Financial Support Scheme can apply for white goods, including washing machines, cookers and fridges, and other essential household items from North Birkenhead Development Trust (project is not restricted to Birkenhead) and St Vincent de Paul Society, Wirral. Applications should be submitted via local referral agencies such as Citizens Advice Wirral and Involve Northwest.

Out of school activities - holiday activities and food support (£75,000)

The Household Support Fund will provide the food element of the holiday activity and food programme (HAF), which engages thousands of free school meal-eligible young people across Wirral during the school holidays.

Advice and support with income maximisation (£50,000)

Advice and support to help local residents ensure that they are accessing all eligible income streams available - including debt and benefit advice and signposting to existing support services.

Housing Support costs (£40,000)

Housing costs can be supported in exceptional cases of genuine emergency where existing housing support schemes and Universal Credit cannot help. This scheme cannot provide housing support on an ongoing basis, support unsustainable tenancies, or provide mortgage support. Read more information

Heating and plumbing appliance repair and replacement (£20,000)

Residents on a low income who are in urgent need of repairs or a replacements to their heating or plumbing systems or appliances can apply for help from Energy Projects Plus.

What other support is available?

The council will continue to help people who are most vulnerable to increases in the cost of living. This work is done with local agencies, groups and organisations.

The financial support available includes: 

Emergency financial support schemes

Emergency financial support schemes enable Wirral residents to apply for emergency financial support. This is partly funded by the Household Support Fund. To be eligible you must be:

  • aged 16 or over
  • a Wirral resident or intending to be (that is, has accommodation secured)
  • requiring support to address your own essential needs or the needs of their dependants
  • able to demonstrate that you are unable to access any other timely resource or other ways of meeting this need which are considered reasonable
  • able to demonstrate that your health and safety, and that of your dependants, would be adversely affected if an award was not made

Search for emergency financial support

Find help with the cost of living

To see other support that may be available to you, please visit the Government's Cost of Living Hub.

Information about food and other support available to residents is also posted on the Wirral Infobank website.

More information about help available is available at or by calling 0151 606 2005 if you are unable to go online.