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Professional Resources

Covid Winter Support Grant 2020-21

For professional support workers to make a referral for the Covid Winter Support Grant (CWSG) to support a family struggling financially over the winter period.

What is the Covid Winter Support Grant (CWSG)?

The objectives of the scheme are to support families with children with food and energy costs over the winter although some provision can be made for other vulnerable families.

This includes provision for other vulnerable families, not just those who qualify for free school meals.

The fund runs until 31 March 2021.

Covid winter support grant policy  Opens new window


The intentions of the scheme are to provide extra support for families (with or without children) over winter. 

The key criteria are to ensure 80% is allocated towards families for food and energy and 20% to other vulnerable people or for other urgent support.

Leicestershire County Council has been awarded £1,462,162 of which at least £1,169,729 must be awarded to families with children for food and energy and up £292,432 can support other vulnerable families.

The main restrictions on the grant include:

  • Not intended to cover payment of rent or other housing costs
  • Not to be used for general advice on managing debt or  finances.
  • For the purposes of this grant a child is defined as being 19 or under on 31 March 2021
  • Data returns are required to ensure that locally authorities are directing the grant to meet the stated policy aims. 50% of the grant will be paid upfront and the remaining 50% in two instalments following satisfactory data returns. Any funds unspent or committed by 31 March 2021 will need to be returned.

Who can apply?

The Covid Winter Support grant is available for the following groups of people, provided they meet the eligibilty criteria:

  • Families with vulnerable children aged 0-5 or that may not qualify for FSM that are known to social workers and Children and Family Wellbeing Service but are not accessing FEEE.
  • Vulnerable families with or without children
  • Gypsy and the travelling community


  1. The applicant must be a resident of Leicestershire over 16 years old
  2. A family with or without children who are experiencing financial hardship due to Covid, which means that they are struggling to feed their family, to heat their home, or with other household costs etc
  3. Eligibility and identification confirmed by the suitable professional making the application. 
  4. The applicant and/or their children’s identity verified by the professional submitting the application, by using both a form of photo ID (confirming the lead claimant’s identity) e.g. driving licence, passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate
  5. The applicant’s proof of address verified by the professional (confirming their residence) e.g. benefits letter, bank statement, utility bill, Council Tax bill. If homeless confirmation that they are currently homeless in Leicestershire (from a professional)

What support is available

Food Vouchers

  • Households with children: £20 per adult per week, £15 per child per week
  • Single households £25 per week
  • Multiple adult households £20 per adult per week

Fuel vouchers

Prepayment meter credit

Emergency top-up for households with minimal or no credit at risk of self-disconnection due to financial hardship.

Vouchers with the value of £49 (family) or £28 (single person) issued per application, with the consideration of one additional grant payment following the reassessment by a suitable professional and a further application.

Energy arrears

Financial support if family at risk of self-disconnection due to financial hardship via redeemable cash vouchers to pay off a proportion of energy arrears to reduce cost of repayment plan payments and therefore relieve financial hardship.

Heating fuel purchases

Financial support via redeemable cash vouchers for household to purchase delivered fuels (LPG/bottle gas, heating oil, solid fuel) where there is financial hardship and risk of underheating and excess cold. 

Residents may be directed to consider setting up pay monthly options where possible for items that otherwise require bulk purchases e.g. heating oil.

One £100 voucher per household can be awarded.

Heaters and heated seats

The aim of the scheme is to provide a temporary heating solution where there is a need (no access to any means of keeping warm) and where no alternative arrangements can be made.

The scheme is cross county and run in partnership with district and borough councils as well as Lightbulb and First Contact Plus. Some district and borough councils have their own stock of emergencies heaters, provided on a loan basis and subject to their own eligibility criteria.


Apply online for Covid Winter Support Grant

Please note: this form is to be completed as part of a referral from a professional support worker/local area coordinator/agency on behalf of applicants – no direct applications from members of the public will be accepted. More details on who can make a referral can be found at Covid Winter Support Grant.

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