New project funds Christmas hampers for vulnerable families in the Test Valley

Over 300 families in the Test Valley area, who are facing hardship this winter, will receive a seasonal hamper thanks to the new ‘connect4communities’ programme - led by Hampshire County Council

Dec 17 2020

RCS Ltd (Romsey Community School) is being awarded a Community Grant of £1,500 - which will add to other funding and donation they have secured with partners - to provide the hampers to families and individuals. Each one will contain Christmas items, activities, books and board games, ingredients, and recipes for five main meals. They will also include extra goods necessary to provide support over the Christmas period. 

Councillor Patricia Stallard, the County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services and Young People said: “I am delighted this grant will go toward helping vulnerable children in Test Valley over the Christmas holiday. Many families are finding they are under extra pressure now because of the pandemic, perhaps because of a job loss, and are struggling to buy the basics like food and fuel. Our ‘connect4communities’ programme was created to address this need and it is wonderful to see that we can support community groups to provide practical help in their local area.”

Wendy Masterson, Community Development Manager RCS, said: “This funding has given us the opportunity to work in partnership with other supporting organisations in the Test Valley. This will provide much needed help and assistance to families and individuals, giving them a ‘helping hand’ this Christmas time.”

Families and individuals eligible for a hamper are either referred by local agencies and organisations or can self-refer through community pantries and social media. RCS Ltd (Romsey Community School) will deliver the hampers to each household on 21st and 22nd December.

‘connect4communities’ is funded by the £2.89 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme, awarded to the Authority by the Department for Work and Pensions, and comprises a planned programme of measures to support families and individuals facing hardship due to COVID-19. It is being run in partnership with schools, colleges and Early Years providers, as well as voluntary and charity organisations. 

Councillor Patricia Stallard added: “It is voluntary, community and third sector organisations who are in the ideal position to provide support because they know their communities best. I encourage other such groups to apply for a Community Grant and help in building resilience in their communities.”

‘connect4communities’ grants are specifically intended to support families in need with food, energy and water bills. They can also be used for essential items such as warm clothing and bedding, as well to supply slow cookers to households who do not have basic cooking facilities. 

To learn more about the ‘connect4communities’ projects and to apply for a Community Grant visit connect4communities.org