COVID Winter Grant Scheme

David Butterfield made this Freedom of Information request to Bristol City Council

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David Butterfield

1. How did you distribute the COVID Winter Grant to vulnerable families, i.e. cash, food parcels or retail supermarket vouchers?
2. Did you use this grant to distribute financial support to families of children eligible for free school meals?
3. How many children were eligible for Free School Meals and how many children claimed financial support via the grant scheme?
4. Did you use the grant to distribute support to other vulnerable families / individuals and if so, which groups, i.e. homeless etc.?
5. If using supermarket vouchers
(a) which supplier(s) did you use to distribute the vouchers?
(b) how did you choose a supplier?
(c) what were your top 3 mandatory requirements for the service?
(d) did you coordinate the ordering to all beneficiaries/recipients, or was access delegated to schools to administer and order?
(e) did you enter into a direct contract with the supplier or call off via a framework?
(f) when does your contract end?
6. If Government funding or a grant extension is not in place for May half-term or summer holidays, will you continue to operate and fund the scheme?
7. Which role(s) and job functions manage the contract for this service?

Bristol City Council

 
Dear Mr Butterfield
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
 
Thank you for your request for information that was received on 21 April
2021.
 
We are dealing with your request and we aim to send a response by 19 May
2021.
 
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[1]https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/off...
 
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Customer Relations Team
 
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Bristol City Council

 
Dear Mr Butterfield
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000
 

Hello

Thank you for your e-mail.

I hope the answers (under the questions asked and below) fulfil your
enquiry.

1. How did you distribute the COVID Winter Grant to vulnerable families,
i.e. cash, food parcels or retail supermarket vouchers?

This has predominately been in the form of supermarket vouchers to
households that are entitled to Free School Meals/Pupil Premium
(£1,826,800) but also via 23 voluntary and charity organisations who will
be using a variety of cash, vouchers, food parcels and retail vouchers
(£281,999).

2. Did you use this grant to distribute financial support to families of
children eligible for free school meals?

Yes - see response to Q1.

3. How many children were eligible for Free School Meals and how many
children claimed financial support via the grant scheme?

19,668.

4. Did you use the grant to distribute support to other vulnerable
families / individuals and if so, which groups, i.e. homeless etc.?

A cross section of vulnerable households that was at the voluntary and
charity organisations discretion but within the DWP guidelines.

5. If using supermarket vouchers
(a) which supplier(s) did you use to distribute the vouchers?

Hawk Incentives

(b) how did you choose a supplier?

Existing relationship and procured supplier through the council's Local
Welfare Provision (LCFP) scheme.

(c) what were your top 3 mandatory requirements for the service?

Speed of availability of products, value for money, and ease of use of
product.

(d) did you coordinate the ordering to all beneficiaries/recipients, or
was access delegated to schools to administer and order?

Initially was coordinated by the council but later responsibility for
distribution was designated to school. All ordering was conducted by the
council.

(e) did you enter into a direct contract with the supplier or call off via
a framework?

Direct contract.

(f) when does your contract end?

Provision and contracted ceased following the last award of Free School
Meals vouchers after the Easter holiday.

6. If Government funding or a grant extension is not in place for May
half-term or summer holidays, will you continue to operate and fund the
scheme?

This question has now been superseded due to COVID Local Support Grant
Scheme announcement last week. Our current intention is to therefore
continue 'Free School Meal' voucher in May half term.

7. Which role(s) and job functions manage the contract for this service?

This is being managed by the Council's Benefits Manager (Benefits Service)
and Head of Trading with Schools (Trading with Schools)

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David Butterfield

FAO Customer Relations Team

Good morning,

I'd like to place on record my thanks for your full and timely response to my FOI questions.

It's certainly a testament to the capability of Bristol City Council during such uncertain times.

Best regards,
David Butterfield