Children and families in Sefton have once again been supported over half term as the Council provided vouchers to over 9,000 families who are eligible for free school meals. The vouchers worth £15 per child per week provide a valuable resource for families who may be worrying about the cost of the upcoming half term.
Vouchers can be used to buy food from local supermarkets, either in-store or online by eligible families who qualify for free school meals. The half-term meals vouchers can only be spent on food and essentials and can’t be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, phone top-ups or stamps and is intended to provide vital support to families who may be struggling.
In addition to this, those with free school meal entitlement can also access free swimming sessions in the school holidays at our leisure centres. Kids will be eligible for one session over half terms, Easter and Christmas and 5 sessions in the summer holidays. Under 8’s can also bring an accompanying adult for free. If you are eligible and would like to access the sessions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:
“Sadly, for a lot of families across Sefton people are worried about fuel bills, inflation, interest rates and prices in the shops all of which have rocketed and had a real impact on our communities.
“By providing around 9,000 Sefton families with these meal vouches for the school holiday period, we can hopefully help to ease some of their concerns and remove the worry for this half term break.
“We also know that entertaining the kids over half term can be expensive at a time when every penny counts. We hope these swim sessions will help families who are struggling over half term and give kids something fun to do and learn a really important skill at the same time.”
Free school meals and how to apply for them is one of the areas covered in the special Cost of Living section that Sefton Council has set up on its website at www.sefton.gov.uk/costofliving.
Other areas include Welfare Benefits, help with rent and Council Tax, debt advice, health and wellbeing, foodbanks & food pantries and a link to the Sefton Support Hub.
Additionally, there are details of the Emergency Limited Assistance (ELAS) scheme, which can provide a one-off payment to Sefton residents experiencing severe hardship, a disaster or emergency.