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Family Information and Services Hub

connect4communities

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A one-stop-shop for local help and support

If you are struggling to pay for necessities like food and fuel, you can use this directory to find sources of local support available in your area.

You will also find details about local organisations, restaurants, food retailers and charitable organisations who may be able to offer support by searching the directory, including those who can offer financial management or debt advice.

This information will be updated regularly as we learn of new services and offers so it is worth returning here to see what is new.

For a comprehensive list of local services click on the 'View all services and advice’ link on the right hand side of the page.

Any providers wishing to be added to this directory can create an account via this page, and follow the steps in this guidance document.

Additionally, below are details about connect4communities funded projects designed to help households facing hardship because of the pandemic.

Whilst Hampshire County Council makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information contained in the Directory, the information is presented “as is” without any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.  You should not assume that the information is error free or that it will be suitable for the particular purpose you have in mind for using it.  The information should not be relied upon as a substitute for formal advice from the originating bodies or departments of the County Council and it’s partners.  To view the full disclaimer please follow this link: https://www.hants.gov.uk/aboutthecouncil/disclaimer

What is connect4communities?

The connect4communities programme, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions Household Support Fund, aims to support those most in need with significantly rising living costs, particularly families with children and pensioners who would otherwise struggle with energy, food and water bills.

Funding has been made available for the period of 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022.

HAF - Holiday Activity and Food Programme

The Department for Education (DfE) is providing funding to local authorities to coordinate a programme that provides healthy food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children during the Easter, Summer and Christmas Holidays. Hampshire County Council plans to deliver this through the connect4communities programme.

We are engaging with a wide network of community-based organisations, including existing holiday care providers, schools, childminders, sports coaching, creative and performing arts providers and many others. Healthy meals must also be provided, and each activity session must last for a minimum of four hours a day, for at least four days a week during the holidays. All children in Hampshire who receive benefits related Free School Meals will be eligible to take part in the activities.

Details of our summer programme can be found here: Holiday Activities and Food Programme - Christmas Holiday Provision | Family Information and Services Hub (hants.gov.uk)

Support for children

A one-off sum is being allocated to every school and college in Hampshire to fund support for families who are most in need and struggling with significantly rising living costs such as energy, food and water bills.  

Schools and colleges can use these grants to help families with food vouchers, energy cards/tokens to pay fuel bills and other essential items such as warm clothing or bedding.  

Support with energy bills

If you are struggling to pay your fuel bill contact your local Citizens Advice, who will be able to assess your eligibility for financial support with fuel bills over the winter period.  Details of your local Citizens Advice service can be found on the directory.

Community Pantries

There are now 19 community pantries that have been set up across Hampshire providing access to discounted food. In addition, there are 8 locations across the New Forest that are being served by a mobile larder operated by Fareshare. Community pantries provide groceries at a lower cost than supermarkets or shops, offering a range of fresh, frozen and general foods which will change on a weekly basis.

Community pantries offer access by memberships, where for a small weekly contribution, members receive food to a significantly higher value. Several pantries organise activities and provide a wraparound support services and social interaction for those who are isolated. 

Community pantries work on the principle of giving those in need the opportunity to have a ‘helping hand’ by getting food at a lower rate on a weekly basis. Items found in the pantry will be a range of fresh, frozen and general foods which will change on a weekly basis. 

Access to the community pantry is by way of membership, and for a small weekly contribution, members receive food to a significantly higher value.  For example, members are charged a nominal sum of £5.00 per shop and receive £15 plus worth of goods.  Community pantries will be encouraged to provide a delivery service for those who are not able to come and shop for whatever reason. 

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