East Devon: Grants still available for those struggling to pay for food and bills – but application deadline looms

Hundreds of East Devon residents living in Exmouth, Honiton and Axminster have been given grants by the council to pay for food and bills.

People in full-time employment, homeowners and pensioners were among the hundreds across East Devon to apply for financial help.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) is urging individuals and families struggling with the cost of living to apply for help from the Household Support Fund, which closes on March 31.

The council said it has so far helped 648 East Devon families,  with total grants of £128,849 – more than 79 per cent of the £162,286 available pot of cash.

The areas with the most applicants applying for the council grants were Exmouth (321), Honiton (113), Axminster (106), Sidmouth (65) and Ottery St Mary (61).

The council said it would be ‘good’ if all the available support funding was distributed.

Councillor Megan Armstrong, portfolio holder and chair of the EDDC’s poverty working panel, said: “The Household Support Fund has already helped hundreds of individuals and families who are finding it difficult to pay their ongoing regular household bills and I would encourage anyone else who is struggling financially to contact our financial resilience officers who will be happy to help and advise.

“It would be good if all of the allocated funding could be used to help support those who need help before 31 March, so please do not hesitate to apply.”

The cash was made possible by Devon County Council to help residents suffering financial hardship this winter.

Out of the 648 applications awarded, 247 were in receipt of disability benefit, 135 had a carer in the household, 25 were of pension age and 11 were former armed forces.

EDDC said some 79 per cent of applicants were unemployed, seven per cent were in full-time employment, eight per cent were employed part-time and six per cent were self-employed.

A total of seven per cent of the applicants were homeowners, 90 per cent were renters and three per cent were homeless.

The district council said its financial resilience officers also offer advice and guidance, ‘giving as much support as possible to get them through tough times’.

  • To find out more, and apply, before the March 31 deadline, see here.

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