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Coronavirus in Leicester

Get the latest information and advice

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COVID winter grant

The COVID winter grant scheme aims to support households struggling to make ends meet over the winter during the pandemic.

This is a national scheme to give financial support to households struggling to make ends meet over the winter during the pandemic. It is designed to help with the cost of food, energy (including heating, cooking, lighting), water bills (including sewage) and other essentials. The scheme is part of larger winter support available to families and children.

You cannot apply for the scheme yourself. You can only be referred by one of our partner organisations.

You may be eligible for support if you are a resident of Leicester and your household finances have been affected by Covid-19. For example, if you have been furloughed and your income has been reduced – or if you have been made redundant, had a cut to your working hours or have had to self-isolate but have been refused a test and trace support payment.

You may also be eligible if you have been identified as experiencing financial exploitation in relation to your place of work, or if you require support due to safeguarding issues such as a serious risk to the health of someone in your household.

Support will be provided to yourself, partner (if applicable) and any children (if applicable) who you receive Child Benefit for.

In order to be referred for a Covid Winter Grant please contact one of our approved referral partners on the following list. This is the only way an application can be made for a grant.

If for any reason you cannot get hold of one of our referred partners, you will need to email C19support@leicester.gov.uk with your name and phone number or complete the C19 support form. You can ask a family member or friend to do so on your behalf.

If you are in a crisis the request will be handled by our community support grant team.

Households where all members are without recourse to public funds are not eligible to apply for this scheme.

There are some exceptions, for example where there are community care needs, serious health problems and/or a risk to a child’s wellbeing.

Households that meet the eligibility criteria are known to the City Councils Person’s From Abroad team.

The scheme will operate between 2 December 2020 and 31 March 2021. All vouchers distributed under the scheme will expire on 21 April 2021 and must be used before the expiry date.

The terms of the scheme are subject to change. If we need to make any changes, an updated policy will be published on this page. All referrals received the day after any published changes will be assessed in line with that updated policy.

We will look at the information provided to support your application to see which area(s) you need support for.

If you are successful, your award will be paid over a four-week period in the following ways:

  • Food awards will be made by e-voucher or food box
  • Gas, electricity, district heating, oil, water/sewerage will be made by e-voucher or a credit onto your bill
  • Essential item awards will be made by e-voucher
NOTE: From 15 December 2020, energy suppliers are obliged to offer emergency credit to prepayment customers who are vulnerable or otherwise unable to top up (for example, due to self-isolation).

If you have been successful in your Covid Winter Grant application and awarded a e-voucher for food, you will need to redeem the voucher. In order to redeem your voucher please follow the instructions on how to use your e-voucher (PDF).

You can then use the e-voucher at one of the following supermarket stores:

  • Aldi
  • Iceland
  • McColl’s
  • Morrisons
  • Tesco
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Asda
  • Waitrose
  • M&S
  • Company Shop Group

Yes, you can receive multiple payments throughout the period of the scheme. Each award can be made for up to four weeks, and you can receive support for up to 17 weeks in total. New awards cannot overlap the periods of any previous awards, and referrals will be refused if this is the case.

We will email a notice of our decision to you and your referral partner. It will be the responsibility of the referring party to inform you in writing of what you have applied for  if you do not have an email address.

You and your referral partner will receive written notice of the decision. This will explain the decision and how the award will be made, if you have been successful.

We offer a range of advice and support to city residents who are vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic. Find out about support with your housing costs or council tax.

We must make sure that all applications are made legitimately.

If you falsely declare your circumstances, provide a false statement or provide false evidence in support of your application, you may have committed an offence under the Fraud Act 2006.

We have a zero-tolerance approach to fraud and financial irregularity. All suspicions of fraud relating to this scheme will be referred to Leicestershire Police.