Hardship grant helping kids stay warm in school

Published Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Individuals and families experiencing hardship can apply for a grant to help with food and heating payments from the Government’s COVID winter grant scheme.

The grant also covers warm clothing for pupils in schools – particularly where classroom windows are left open as part of policies to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.

The money could also help people with essentials such as fridges and ovens, although it could not be used for expenses such as rent or to pay off debts.

Schools have been taking up the offer in which they can buy warm clothing for pupils who are in school while windows are open.

So far 56 local schools have applied for funding including Longford Park Primary School where the school received £592 to pay for zip-up hoodies.

Jen Goode, Headteacher at Longford Primary School, said: “As a school we were delighted to receive the grant. With the increased level of ventilation in the classrooms and wider school environment, we were experiencing children who were unable to concentrate on their learning as they were simply too cold.

“Many of our children were sat in their classroom wearing outdoor coats, gloves and hats to try and stay warm, which is simply not okay. We have put the hardship grant towards purchasing a fleece-lined, zip-up hoody for every child in the school and it has made a big difference.

“The children were delighted to receive the tops and said that they are now warmer when in school. School staff have commented that the children are more comfortable in lessons- this is very positive. Thank you for your help.’

Cllr Linda Bigham, Chair of the Council’s Communities and Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Board, said: “I was delighted to hear that Longford Park Primary School have made use of the grant. We are living through such a difficult time, COVID has affected all our lives, families are struggling financially.

She added: “We are all doing what we can to reduce the impact of the pandemic.”

The Council is making the claims process as straightforward as possible and is working with a range of partners to deliver the grants, including schools and the Coventry Food Network.

More details on how to apply are on the Council website at www.coventry.gov.uk/coronavirus under community support. People can also call the Council on 08085 834333 where they will receive support with making an application.

The scheme will run until 31 March 2021.

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