People facing a crisis in their lives can now check online to see if their qualify for emergency help from a Staffordshire support scheme.
The Local Crisis Support Scheme was set up to help residents facing immediate hardship, who are not eligible for other forms of support.
The scheme can offer help in the form of food, clothing and furniture – and replaces the former crisis loans offered by the Department for Work and Pensions. Unlike the crisis loans, people are not expected to pay back what they receive.
Although everyone who has applied for support, and is eligible for help, has received this Staffordshire County Council is encouraging anyone who is facing real, unexpected hardship to log on and see if they qualify for the short-term support.
Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Support Member for Public Health, said: “There are lots of genuine reasons why people find themselves in an unexpected crisis, struggling for example even to provide a meal for their family that day.
“This fund is designed, not for those who are facing day-to-day struggles, but for the minority in an absolute crisis where all traditional avenues of help and support are not available to them.
“In these circumstances the message from us is very clear – we are here to help.
“We don’t hand out cash, but instead look at meeting immediate needs for food, clothing and furniture. This is about helping people facing immediate and unavoidable hardship and in the longer term supporting people to help stop them falling into crisis situations where possible.”
Mark added: “We have helped all those that have applied over the phone and are eligible, but wanted to make it easier and quicker and have launched the new tool on the website.
“If people don’t have access to the internet at home, they can log on for free out our libraries or still contact us by phone if need be.”
For further information please call the Staffordshire County Council’s contact centre on 0300 111 8008 or visit www.staffordshire.gov.uk/localcrisissupportscheme