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Harlow Youth Council member looks for help for families over Christmas

News / Sat 12th Dec 2020 at 11:11am

A MEMBER of Harlow Youth Council has asked Harlow Council about support for struggling families over Christmas.

Denis Bubutanu asked the question at a recent meeting of Harlow Coucnil,

He asked: “Youth Council is aware that Harlow Council has donated money from the cancelled fireworks display to Harlow Foodbank that will help give food parcels to vulnerable families.

“Are there any plans to continue to support young people and their families through the Christmas period and throughout the pandemic?

Reply from Councillor Chris Vince (Portfolio Holder for Community and Wellbeing):

Throughout the pandemic Harlow Council has been working with Rainbow Services and other organisations in the voluntary sector to offer support to vulnerable families and other residents that have been affected by Covid-19.

The Harlow Community Hub provides advice to residents regarding access to food and prescriptions along with referrals to Harlow Food Bank and Community Embrace as well as signposting to a range of other support services.

Harlow Council aims to ensure that no-one in Harlow goes hungry during these difficult times and will continue to work with the Essex Lifestyle Service and partner organisations to ensure that residents receive the support that they need.

There is potential for the remaining funding which was given to the foodbank for over half term to be used again, either during Christmas or next year, in case the money given by central government is not sufficient to feed all those in need across Harlow.

The Harlow Health and Wellbeing Board has utilised Public Health grant funding to assist the delivery of a range of initiatives to support vulnerable children and families during the pandemic – including the Harlow Grows Project, Boxes of Hope and Harlow Holiday Lunch Clubs.

The Government recently announced a £400m Winter Grant scheme to support vulnerable families and local agencies are now working together to ensure Harlow’s share of this money reaches those most in need in ourcommunities.

Some of this funding will be accessible to residents through the Essential Living Fund and Active Essex will lead on the provision of free Holiday Hunger activity clubs across Essex (including in Harlow) from 20 December. These clubs will provide physical activity opportunities and a nutritious meal as well as food hampers to take home for the family.

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