Supermarket vouchers for Christmas holiday to support families

22 Nov 2021

The household support fund grant will enable councils to support vulnerable households with essentials over the coming months as the country continues its recovery from the pandemic and the council will once again use part of this fund to provide families with vouchers worth £30 per eligible child for the Christmas holiday.

Action required

1. Schools are asked to check their list of free school meal eligible children on the FSM portal and ensure that it is accurate.

The local authority will no longer be asking schools to check or provide a separate list, all vouchers will in future be issued based on the FSM eligible list on the portal, so it is extremely important that you ensure your list is accurate and complete to ensure families receive a voucher for all eligible children, and ensure we don't issue vouchers to children who no longer attend an Ealing school. The functionality on the portal has been developed to enable schools to flag leavers directly on the portal (entering the leaving date and school, if known). There is no longer a need to email these separately to the pupil support team. Please follow the instructions on the portal and contact pupil support if you have any issues.

You will also need to inform the pupil support team (via secure email) if you have any eligible children who are not showing on your list (ensuring you provide an email address for these families). If children have joined you from an out borough school and have protected FSM status, please provide confirmation from the previous school.

Email addresses will be picked up either from the lists schools provided previous vouchers, or from the portal, or from parents where they have contacted the team to provide an alternative email address. In the small number of cases where we do not hold an email address, vouchers will be sent by text or post.

Blackhawk have asked that all voucher orders be placed by week beginning 6 December to ensure delivery of vouchers ahead of the Christmas holidays. Please therefore ensure you have checked your list, flagged any leavers and informed the pupil support team about any eligible children who are not showing on your list by Wednesday 1 December at the latest. If you have any queries please contact the pupil support team on pupilsupport@ealing.gov.uk

2. Schools are asked to share letter to parents outlining how Ealing Council will be offering financial support to low income families over the Christmas holiday.

Letters available in the download section below. Please ensure this information is made available to all parents of children eligible for benefits related free school meals ahead of the Christmas holiday so that they are aware of the support available and can start planning accordingly.

If parents have any questions about the scheme, please direct them to the FAQ’s on Blackhawk Network’s website as outlined in the letter in the first instance.

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Last updated: 23 Nov 2021

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