FAMILIES struggling to put food on the table this Christmas “will not be forgotten in Dudley borough” – Dudley Council's leader has pledged today.

Dudley has been awarded more than £1million under the government’s Covid Winter Grant scheme, which is to be spent by March 31 to ensure children are warm and fed this winter.

The scheme is set to provide support to vulnerable households and families with children particularly affected by the pandemic throughout the winter period, where alternative sources of assistance may be unavailable.

Families and individuals who are struggling and would like to access help and support can contact the Covid-19 helpline on 0300 3302 152 from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 12.30pm.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: "We know all too well the devastating impact the pandemic is having on the lives of many people across the borough and the recent announcement of tier three restrictions continues to squeeze our economy and place pressure on local jobs.

"Our immediate focus is on the provision of food and other support to our most vulnerable households in the run up to and over the Christmas period.

"We will use the Covid Winter Grant to ensure families will not be forgotten in Dudley borough and I would remind any individuals or families who may be struggling this winter to call our helpline."

At least 80 per cent of the total funding will be ring-fenced to support households with children, with up to 20 per cent of the total funding to other households experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, poverty during the pandemic. This may include households not currently in receipt of DWP welfare benefits.

More information on the council’s response to the Covid-19 crisis can be found online at dudley.gov.uk/coronavirus. Help and support is also available through the family centres, visit dudley.gov.uk/familycentres and www.dudley.gov.uk/coronavirusfamilies; and go to dudley.gov.uk/covidfinancialsupport for details of financial support available to residents impacted by the pandemic.