More than 800,000 reasons why Hampshire’s Household Support Fund makes a difference

New figures released by Hampshire County Council show that support has been provided to residents on 825,000 separate occasions* since the fund was created two years ago

Oct 16 2023

sign at Unit 12 community pantry Winchester

Ahead of Household Support Fund Awareness Week, which starts today, Monday 16 October, Hampshire County Council has released data which shows how the fund has helped people across the county with essential living costs since October 2021. 

The Household Support Fund (HSF) was created by the Department for Work and Pensions to help households most in need with the rising cost of living, including families, pensioners, unpaid carers, care leavers and disabled people. Hampshire’s share of this year’s fund for England is £14.2 million, which it will spend in a variety of ways by March 2024. 

Councillor Edward Heron, Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, which administers the fund, said: “Six months into the current grant year, we have allocated £8.8 million of our total funding, helping more than 142,000 households. We’ve achieved this through an innovative mixture of county-wide and community-based projects – by empowering schools, colleges and nurseries to help their families in hardship, enabling community pantries to keep up with demand, and offering direct relief to some of our most vulnerable residents, with nearly £3.4 million that will be distributed in food vouchers directly by social services or by our district and borough councils. 

“The County Council is also helping sustainable food and energy projects to get off the ground, and directing a number of grants towards support that will make a long-term difference to those receiving it. Sometimes it’s as simple as draught-proofing a cold flat or providing warm clothes and cooking equipment to households who have found themselves struggling. Other projects bring communities together to cook and eat in a sociable and warm setting, or even to grow fruit and vegetables from scratch. We’ve created valuable partnerships with our libraries, many of which will again be opening their doors as warm spaces this winter, as well as Citizen’s Advice and the Environment Centre, who we have commissioned to offer support and advice with energy bills.” 

Councillor Heron added: “To mark Household Support Fund Awareness Week, as well as urging any resident in need to check out the help that’s available, I’d like to give my heartfelt thanks to the many volunteers and supporters who have helped deliver these projects. Your time, skills and donations are truly making a difference to so many.”  

Since the Household Support Fund was announced in September 2021, Hampshire has: 
- Been awarded £35,000,000 total funding from the Department for Work and Pensions 
Funded schemes which have supported households on a total of 825,000 occasions*.  

Since April 2023, the County Council has: 
- Allocated £8.8 million of the year’s total of £14.2 million 
- Supported households on more than 142,000 occasions* 
- Helped to fund 22 community pantries, which in turn have supported more than 34,000 visits  
- Given grants to 36 community projects, totalling £270,000 and enabling them to support nearly 6,000 households 
- Given education settings £1.3 million to spend at their discretion to support families with food and home essentials – a further £1.5 million is still available 
- Provided supermarket vouchers worth £3.4 million to low-income and vulnerable households. 

To find out about the full range of support available through the Household Support Fund in Hampshire, visit  

*These instances might typically involve a visit to a community pantry, participation in a food-related community event, or receipt of a food voucher, with some households receiving support on multiple occasions.