The fund supports vulnerable adults to move into or remain in the community, and to help families under great pressure to stay together.

Temporary changes to award entitlement

The government announced a one-off emergency fund to be distributed to local authorities in England to help those who are struggling to afford food and other essentials during Covid-19. We're using part of our allocation to increase award entitlement for emergency provision from the Local Assistance Fund for a temporary period. From 7 September eligible applicants will now be able to apply for up to three awards of emergency food and/or utility vouchers. 

The government also announced a one-off emergency Covid Winter Grant to help families on low income with children affected by the pandemic and in need over the winter period. This includes families who normally have access to Free School Meals during term time. Vouchers are being distributed by schools, academies, colleges and early years’ providers direct to eligible families with children in education and childcare settings (aged 2 to 19) for the school Christmas holiday period. Other families with children aged 0 to 17 and individuals can apply for emergency provision for the school Christmas holiday period from the Local Assistance Fund.

Please note that we will still take into account awards made within the previous 12 months. A household which has already received two awards of food and/or utility support within the last 12 months prior to the application will only be eligible for one further application from 7 September.

If you are wanting to apply for food and/or utility support, and it’s your first time applying or you are applying for the temporary additional awards described at the top of this page, you can contact the fund’s administrator to apply on 01904 550030.

Support available from the fund

The local assistance fund does not replicate what was previously provided by the government. No cash payments, crisis loans or community care grants are available. Awards are made in-kind, for example, by supplying household goods and basic necessities.

The fund provides practical support for vulnerable people who are moving into or seeking to remain within the community; for example, you may have recently experienced a crisis and need a few basic essential items to help you cope. You may apply for up to two awards of emergency food and / or utility top-up in any 12 month period. For other items provided under the fund, a maximum entitlement of two items may also be awarded within the same 12 month period, only one of which may be a white good item.  A full list of the items provided by the fund is available here (pdf / 207 KB).

Eligibility for support

Support will be targeted at the following groups:

  • carers;
  • families who are under exceptional pressure;
  • individuals recently released from prison;
  • people with learning or physical disabilities;
  • people with mental health problems;
  • people who have a drug or alcohol dependency;
  • those who are homeless; or
  • those who have experienced domestic abuse.

The  vulnerability criteria for these groups can be found here (pdf / 131 KB).

To be eligible for support, you must also be able to demonstrate that you:

  • are 16 years old or over;
  • live in, or are moving into North Yorkshire;
  • receive a means-tested benefit or have a household income below the low income threshold (currently £16,105) and less than £1,000 in capital; or
  • have exhausted all other forms of support.
  • are receiving support from an Authorised Agent.

 Our leaflet gives further information about what the fund can provide and who is eligible (pdf / 107 KB).

Submitting an application

Applications are made through authorised agencies that will provide support to those who are eligible and are identified as vulnerable.

You can find a list of the  authorised agents (docx / 16 KB) who are available.

If you are wanting to apply for food and/or utility support, and it’s your first time applying or you are applying for the temporary additional award described at the top of this page, you can contact the fund’s administrator to apply on 01904 550030.

Benefit delays

If you're waiting for an award of benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions and you have no money due to a delay in your initial payment being made, you can apply for a short-term benefit advance.

Contact the Department for Work and Pensions on 0800 328 5644 and select the option for the benefit you are waiting for.

Other forms of support

Should your application be rejected or should you feel you need further support, there are numerous organisations who may be able to help and support you. Some of these organisations are listed in our  other forms of support leaflet (pdf / 242 KB).

Impact study

In early 2018, we commissioned an external organisation to undertake research to assist in our understanding of the impact that the North Yorkshire local assistance fund has on its voluntary, community, and frontline local authority service partners, as well as on applicants of the fund.  You can read the report here (pdf / 554 KB).

Authorised agents

In order to ensure that those most in need get the maximum support when they need it, the North Yorkshire local assistance fund works with a number of key voluntary, community and statutory services as 'authorised agents'.

An authorised agent is an organisation that can make direct referrals to the local assistance fund on behalf of applicants. The fund's authorised agents will be:

  • in contact or working with the client, and have knowledge of their needs or circumstances;
  • able to help identify those in most need who may be eligible for the fund; and
  • able to provide confirmation verifying that they have had sight of the required forms of evidence of identification and of need.

If you wish to find out more about becoming an authorised agent please contact nylaf@northyorks.gov.uk.