Caroline Ansell MP: Helping families with cost of living

Around 15,000 families across Eastbourne and Willingdon have receiveda first payment from the government to help with cost-of-livingpressures.

Caroline Ansell at one of the activities arranged by the HAPF
Caroline Ansell at one of the activities arranged by the HAPF

The money should have automatically hit the bank accounts of those on an array of means-tested benefits by July 31 as part of the government’s £37 billion national support package.

A second instalment will be given in the autumn. This - and more - is going to be important as we face steep rises in the price of energy, fuel and food.

Inflation, in part caused by the war in Ukraine and post-Covid supply disruption, will take time and careful decision-making to both arrest and bring down.

Another strategy in tackling the cost-of-living crisis for families in need of support is the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) taking place across Eastbourne this month.

The scheme for children from reception up to year 11 is funded by the Department for Education for families eligible for benefits-related free school meals.

HAF's purpose is to make sure children and young people have opportunities outside of school for new learning and life experiences, to be physically active and have a healthy meal too.

Earlier this year, the government confirmed HAF funding for the next three years.

I am delighted by this commitment. The Children’s Commissioner is a big supporter too.

This programme has the potential to make an important difference at any time, all the more so in these financially challenging times.

And on the sporting front, I am sure last week’s footballing triumph by the Lionesses in the Euros will inspire more girls and women to take part in the sport.

The match was a brilliant exercise in passion and commitment. I also loved how the team paid tribute to all the ‘pioneer’ women who had gone before them in the game to pave the way to their success.

As the first woman to represent Eastbourne in Parliament, I can relate to that. Look out for opportunities to get involved and to support women’s fixtures across town from Eastbourne Borough at Priory Lane, Eastbourne United at The Oval to Eastbourne Town at the Saffrons.