Lord Street in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Sefton Council will be temporarily suspending applications to its Open Access Household Support Fund from the end of this week until just after the New Year.

Due to the busy nature of this period in the run up to Christmas and New Year, the scheme will close for a few weeks so the Council and its third-party partners can ensure people get the support they need before the festive period.

Applications will not be accepted between 4pm on Friday 8th December and 9am on Wednesday 3rd January when the scheme re-opens.

A Sefton Council spokesperson said:
“This short temporary suspension for applications will ensure we have sufficient time to make decisions on all claims already received claims and send out the decisions ahead of the Post Office’s recommended last posting dates.

“This will mean those who have made successful applications will have the opportunity to receive and cash their awards at the Post Office in time for Christmas.”

Since Sefton Council opened the Open Access Household Support Fund scheme using funding from the Government’s Department for Work and Pensions in April 2023, it has awarded over £1,200,000 to 5,634 applicants.

The spokesperson added:
“Sefton residents can also make applications to the Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme (ELAS), which can provide help with funding for essential costs such as food, gas and electricity, winter clothing and emergency travel, right up to Friday 22nd December. 

“People may also be able to find support with items such as furniture or essential domestic appliances through ELAS along with the costs of setting up home, moving from care, or a disaster like a fire or flood.”

More information about ELAS can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/elas.

Applications for ELAS will be closed from Friday 22nd Dec to Wednesday 3rd January 2024. 

Sefton Council’s website contains a range of advice for people struggling with the national cost of living crisis at www.sefton.gov.uk/cost-of-living

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