West Berkshire Council

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find information about community support and our services during the coronavirus pandemic, on our information for residents pages, our information for businesses pages, and our community support hub page which has guidance to help coordinate community organisations.

See a summary of our Local Outbreak Control Plan and read our frequently asked questions. 

COVID Winter Grant Scheme FAQs

The COVID Winter Grant scheme is for individuals or families living in West Berkshire who are experiencing hardship due to COVID.

What is the grant for?

You can apply for a grant if you are experiencing hardship this winter due to COVID. This can include help with the following:

  • support with food
  • to pay utilities, including energy, water and sewerage bills
  • purchase of essential white goods, including fridge, freezers and ovens
  • boiler service/repairs
  • sanitary products and soap
  • warm clothing and blankets


What cannot be considered for grant applications?
The grant cannot be used to cover payment of rent or other housing costs or to pay off debts (For support on these types of costs, please contact Citizens Advice West Berkshire for advice).


What do you mean by "Please briefly describe the hardship that you are experiencing and what support you require"?
For this question, please describe the issues that you are experiencing and why you are claiming the grant.  This should include what you need support with and what the grant you are requesting is to be spent on, for example support to buy food, nappies or purchase of white goods. 


What proof will I need to provide?
Evidence that you are in receipt of one of the relevant benefits. If you are not in receipt of one of the benefits and have ticked "other," please provide supporting evidence; this could be a letter from your employer confirming you are furloughed. You will need to attach copies of these documents in your application, otherwise the application will be rejected.


When is the deadline for the return of application forms?
Application forms must be received by 15 March 2021.


How will I know if my application has been successful?
West Berkshire Council will notify you either in writing or by email once a decision has been made.


How much money will I receive?
The Council has received a fixed amount of grant funding, so the amount of the grant paid to residents will depend on need.


When will I receive my money?
Most applicants will receive their grant directly into their nominated bank account or by voucher within 10 working days of their application being approved.


What are vouchers?
The vouchers are either a digital code or paper voucher for a certain monetary value that can be used to pay for items, similar to a gift voucher.  This is an option if your bank account is overdrawn or you don't have a bank account.


Will the grant affect my benefits?
No, this is Government funding applicable to all who qualify and will not affect your benefits.


Can I apply online?
Yes, there is an online application form available - Apply for a COVID Winter Grant.


If my application is unsuccessful, can I appeal?
Yes, and your application will be reconsidered if fresh evidence/information is available.