Funding secured for community assistance scheme

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Lincolnshire County Council has pledged funding for another year for its Community Assistance Scheme.

The scheme which funds food, clothes, essential household items and heating or lighting costs for people in short-term crisis will continue until at least April 2016.

The Lincolnshire Community Assistance Scheme (LCAS) has helped 6,000 people in short term crisis in the last year.

The responsibility for managing LCAS was transferred from the Department of Work and Pensions to Lincolnshire County Council in 2012. The council has pledged to continue the service for another year, with £918,000 available within the 2015/16 budget to support it.

Coun Marc Jones, executive member for finance, says: “We know that the Lincolnshire Community Assistance Scheme is much-valued.

“The relatively small cost to purchase individual goods or services can make a big difference when it comes to helping people regain their independence. But more than that, the scheme provides support to make sure people don’t find themselves in crisis again. For example it has helped 350 people to gain employment, education or training and 300 people have been supported to find housing or resolve debt.

“Since 2012, we have been able to respond to the needs of people here in Lincolnshire more effectively than when the fund was managed by the DWP. We’ve been able to provide an important service and dramatically cut down the admin costs.

“That means that we are able to continue providing the scheme, despite getting less money from government to run it over the next year.”

LCAS is provided through a grant aid agreement between Lincolnshire County Council and third sector organisations including Learning Communities and Lincolnshire Credit Union.

To find out more about the scheme visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lcas.