Cash first approach to welfare provision
In July 2020 GMPA was asked to develop a briefing for the Greater Manchester Humanitarian Assistance Group following the announcement of additional funding from central government aimed at supporting local authorities to respond to hardship in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The briefing focuses on the importance of taking a ‘cash first’ approach to local welfare provision. The briefing outlines the benefits of this approach and suggests local welfare assistance schemes would be a suitable route to supporting people in this way.
COVID Winter Grant funding
In November 2020 the government announced funding worth £170m for local authorities in England to support families with ‘food and bills’ during the Winter (the ‘COVID Winter Grant Scheme’). This funding was extended during 2021.
GMPA supported councils in Greater Manchester to think about how they could prioritise using the funding to support Free School Meal families during the school holidays. We promoted monetary payments (as part of our work advocating ‘cash first’ responses to poverty) made by bank transfer as the most effective means of providing support. A number of councils in Greater Manchester adopted this approach as a result of our work.Cash first approach to welfare provision