Individuals and families suffering hardship can qualify for a grant from the government’s COVID winter grant scheme to assist with food and heating payments.
The grant also provides warm clothing for school pupils, particularly when classroom windows are left open as part of the COVID-19 outbreak management policies.
The money could also assist individuals with necessities such as fridges and ovens, but it could not be used to pay off mortgages or for costs such as rent.
Schools have taken up the opportunity to purchase warm clothes for students who are in school whilst the windows are open.
Including Longford Park Primary School, where the school earned £ 592 to pay for zip-up hoodies, 56 local schools have so far applied for grants.
“As a school, we were delighted to receive the grant,” said Jen Goode, Head Teacher at Longford Primary School. We encountered children who were unable to focus on their studies because they were literally too cold with the increased level of ventilation in the classrooms and the broader school climate.
To try to keep safe, many of our kids were sitting in their classroom wearing outdoor jackets, gloves and caps, which is clearly not okay. For any child in the school, we have put the poverty grant on buying a fleece-lined, zip-up hoody and it has made a huge difference.
The children were pleased to obtain the tops and said that when in school they are now colder. School workers have confirmed that in lessons the kids feel more comfortable-this is very good. Thank you for supporting me.’
The Secretary of the Council’s Cities and Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Commission, Cllr Linda Bigham, said: “I was pleased to hear that the grant was used by Longford Park Primary School.” COVID has changed all our lives, and families are suffering financially. We are going through such a tough time.
She added: “To reduce the impact of the pandemic, we are all doing what we can.”
The Council keeps the process of claims as transparent as possible and works to deliver the grants with a variety of agencies, including schools and the Coventry Food Network.
More details on how to apply can be found on the website of the Council under community support at www.coventry.gov.uk/coronavirus. Individuals may also contact the Council on 08085 834333 to get assistance while making a submission.
Until 31 March 2021, the scheme will run.