More than £3 million has been set aside by the government to support vulnerable Havering residents.

The Household Support Fund, originally launched in September 2021, was extended by the government for another year starting April 1.

Havering Council has announced its allocation plans to utilise these funds in accordance with government guidelines.

Out of this, £1.02m is made available for low-income households under an emergency assistance scheme.

Under the scheme up to ten payments of £100 each are provided to households or people with disabilities during the year for urgent financial help.

Between April 1, 2022 and March 20, 2023, more than 12,000 applications were received by the council for this scheme -  of which 90 per cent were from families living on universal credit and other welfare benefits.

More than £1.11m will be made available to pay for meals in the school holidays for up to 9,000 families.

About £510,000 is set aside for pension age council tax payers, who will receive £100 credit to their council tax accounts.

More than 300 care leavers will be given £750 each to fund their fuel and food bills during 2023-24.

Provision of children’s accommodation is allocated £80,000 and refugees from Afghanistan and other countries will have £80,000 in overall support during the year.

Read More: Havering homelessness funding faces real-terms cut

The council decision anticipates that these proposals will benefit more than 63pc of low-income households with children, 15pc of pensioners and 14pc working age adults who may be struggling with the cost of living.

Trust for London said more than 21pc of residents in Havering were estimated to be earning below the living wage in 2021.

New figures this year by Save the Children UK said that one in seven children in the borough are living in relative poverty.

Personal insolvencies in Havering went up 367 in 2021 to 433 in 2022, according to the Insolvency Service.

Mark Reeves, 61, who runs Harold Hill Foodbank, told the Recorder that the situation at his food bank today is worse than it has ever been.

They served about 6,000 food parcels last year and the demand has only been rising.  

He said: “For the first time in ten years, we are buying food which means we are using up all our funds up and I don’t know if we can keep up with it.”

Despite the Household Support Fund help, Mark is not very hopeful.

He said: “The council has been doing free meals during school holidays for 3 or 4 years but not sure it is helping."

The full details of the funds allocated by the council can be found here: