A NEW hardship grant is helping children stay warm at school.
Individuals and families in need can apply for a grant to help with food and heating payments from the Government’s Covid Winter Grant Scheme.
It also covers warm clothing for pupils in schools – particularly where classroom windows have to be left open in conjunction with Covid regulations.
The cash can also help people with essentials such as fridges and ovens, although it cannot be used for expenses such as rent or to pay off debts.
Schools have been taking up the offer in which they can buy warm clothing for pupils who are in school while windows are open.
So far 56 local schools have applied for funding including Longford Park Primary School where the school received £592 to pay for zip-up hoodies.
Jen Goode, Longford Primary School headteacher, said: “As a school we were delighted to receive the grant.
“With the increased level of ventilation in the classrooms and wider school environment, we were experiencing children who were unable to concentrate on their learning as they were simply too cold.
“Many of our children were sat in their classroom wearing outdoor coats, gloves and hats to try and stay warm, which is simply not okay.
“We have put the hardship grant towards purchasing a fleece-lined, zip-up hoody for every child in the school and it has made a big difference.
“The children were delighted to receive the tops and said that they are now warmer when in school.
“School staff have commented that the children are more comfortable in lessons- this is very positive.
“Thank you for your help.”
Coun Linda Bigham, Chair of the Council’s Communities and Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Board, said: “I was delighted to hear that Longford Park Primary School have made use of the grant.
“We are living through such a difficult time, Covid has affected all our lives, families are struggling financially.
“We are all doing what we can to reduce the impact of the pandemic.”
The council is making the claims process as straightforward as possible and is working with a range of partners to deliver the grants, including schools and the Coventry Food Network.
For more details, visit coventry.gov.uk/coronavirus under community support.
People can also call the council on 08085 834333 where help is available with making an application.
The scheme will run until March 31.