Nearly 8,000 households in Swale get support to pay energy bills

Swale Borough Council says that more help is 'desperately needed' to support their 'most vulnerable households'. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Almost 8,000 households in Swale in Kent have received help to pay their energy bills and feed their families.

The Borough Council received almost £500,000 from the Government’s household support fund to help vulnerable pensioners and families.

The money was distributed to local organisations, community groups and charities to deliver food parcels, fuel vouchers to residents.

Pre paid Mastercards, loaded with £100 for utility bills were dished out by the Kent-based council, to people struggling to make ends meet.

The council said a total of 7,797 households were supported with:

  • 1,287 food parcels

  • 2,033 hot meals to pensioners

  • 250 Mastercard vouchers of £100 for utility bills

  • 493 fuel vouchers for pre-paid fuel meters

  • 3,734 one-off £87 payments to pensioners on council tax support.

Richard Palmer from Swale Borough Council said: "We’ve helped almost 8,000 Swale households to pay their energy bills and feed their families since we received the Government funding in July.

"We teamed up with Swale Food Bank, Children and Families, West Faversham Community, Diversity House, Age UK and our Fuel and water home advisor to deliver food parcels and hot meals, pre-paid fuel vouchers for meters and £100 Mastercard vouchers for fuel bills.

"The community groups that have been on the ground everyday have done a phenomenal job delivering support to the vulnerable households in Swale, and I want to thank them for all their hard work and dedication, we couldn’t have reached so many people in such a short space of time without them."

The council hopes to support more people with paying their energy bills by unlocking more funding from the government. It aims to focus its efforts on helping the most vulnerable, as people across the south grapple with soaring energy prices.

Elliott Jayes, from Swale Borough Council said: “This round of Government funding has been a real lifeline for some households.

“We were allocated almost £500,000 to help support vulnerable families and pensioners in Swale, and now that this round of funding is complete, we’re hoping to find out what we’ll be allocated and what the criteria will be in the next round.

“We think it will focus heavily on families in fuel poverty, and we again plan to work with the people on the ground who are helping the people who need it most.

“With the cost of living and fuel costs continuing to rise, more help is desperately needed to support our most vulnerable households.”