12:30 Tuesday 04 February 2014

Work to spread fund cash set to increase

Written byROB SMYTH

Tory Party Chairman - Grant Shapps visiting the Burton Mail..MP Andrew Griffiths Tory Party Chairman - Grant Shapps visiting the Burton Mail..MP Andrew Griffiths

ORGANISATIONS across East Staffordshire are working with council chiefs in a bid to unlock more than £1 million of funding to help those in need.

Staffordshire County Council has revealed to the Mail that it working with dozens of groups, ranging from the YMCA to the Citizens Advice Bureau, in a bid to make more people aware that close to £1.475 million is available to help vulnerable people as part of its crisis support scheme.

Burton’s MP Andrew Griffiths recently highlighted that only £43,532.30 had been spent from this pot and urged authority bosses to raise awareness of the scheme.

A spokesman for the county council said: “We work with a host of organisa January tions to try to point people in the direction of this fund, such as the Jobcentre and other similar organisations, who tell people about it and how they can do more to perhaps access it.

“Other plans are also being looked at into how we can do more to raise awareness of the fund but, until then, we are urging people to visit the dedicated portion of our website to find out more.”

People who are eligible to apply to the scheme have to be:

• Aged 16 or over; and

• Without access to sufficient funds to meet needs.

Andrew Griffiths told the Mail: “Everyone involved has to make sure that this cash is used and not left sitting in a pot while people need it.

“Work needs to be done to make sure that as many people who need to know about it do and this can only be furthered with the greater use of local organisations to get the message out there.

“With around one per cent of the fund being used, what is being done is clearly not working.”

More information on the scheme is available by calling 03001 118008 or visiting www.staffordshire.gov.uk/

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