In his latest message to residents the Leader of Medway Council discusses the support available to help residents with the cost of living crisis.
I hope you are enjoying the autumnal colours across Medway. I have been enjoying going on walks with my grandchildren and dogs in local parks and watching the seasons change.
However, with autumn comes the start of the darker nights and colder months. The cost of living crisis is making it increasingly difficult for some residents to manage their household bills and we appreciate many more of you will be concerned about switching on your central heating. I would like to reassure you that help continues to be available for Medway residents, particularly those most in need of financial support.
We have set up a page on our website which includes lots of information about the support available including council tax reductions, travel support, help with childcare costs and debt advice. When times are tough it is incredibly important to look after your mental wellbeing and the webpage also includes information about the mental health support available in Medway.
Those who are facing financial difficulties can also apply for help with essential household costs from the Household Support Fund. This government scheme has been extended until March 2023 and we will be supporting families by providing supermarket and fuel vouchers.
This week is the October school half term and we have ensured that children who receive benefits related free school meals continue to receive support. We used government funding from the Household Support Fund to provide supermarket vouchers at the value of £15 per child, per week, to make sure no child goes hungry.
Speaking of food, did you know that our Public Health team offers free cookery courses for families? Cooking with your children is a great way to spend valuable time together and teach them how to cook. I would encourage residents to find out more on our website.
There are also some tasty recipe ideas including stews and soups which are healthy, affordable and can be prepared in an hour. There are even some recipes for healthier sweet treats like banana pancakes, berry muffins and a Christmas spiced strudel.
If parents and carers are looking for free or low-cost activities to entertain their children this week, there is plenty of fun to be had in Medway’s libraries, country parks and heritage attractions. Find out more.
Cllr Alan Jarrett
Leader of Medway Council