Camden strengthens its commitment to tackling the Cost-of-Living Crisis

Camden Council has pledged to continue to work with its residents, voluntary sector, and partners to ensure that no one in Camden goes hungry this summer.

The Cabinet has also agreed to put in place further support to enable people to access the help they need to avoid debt and be financially secure in the long term.

Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council

Our residents are facing extreme poverty and hardship – every day I meet people forced into impossible choices by the cost-of-living crisis.

Camden Council and our partners are determined to do all we can to help residents in difficult times.

In the period of September 2022 to April 2023, we’ve received over 7,000 referrals for cost-of-living support and awarded hardship payments to residents totalling over £2.3m. We provided £2.5m in food vouchers to families and committed over £200,000 to the Camden Advice Network to provide advice and support in the community such as in community centres and food banks.

However - we know we need to increase the level of our support further, which is why in March we announced the creation of a Cost-of-Living Family Crisis Fund.

This fund will focus on supporting children and young people in secondary school entitled to free school meals or who are otherwise experiencing hunger and food poverty, help with the cost of school clothing and further support families continuing to experience financial hardship as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.

At the same time, we are campaigning for urgent action from Government. Uplifting the housing benefit cap, ending the two-child rule for Universal Credit and reversing cuts to Universal Credit could take families out of homelessness and extreme poverty in our community.

Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council

The time-limited Family Crisis Fund will focus on several areas including:

  • £500,000 to support children and young people in secondary school entitled to free school meals or otherwise experiencing hunger and food poverty. Increasing uptake of formal free school meal eligibility, the uptake of available food in schools, supporting increasing school capacity around free school meals, and addressing hunger.
  • £100,000 funding to work in partnership with the Young Camden Foundation to provide expanded access to the summer programme of Holiday Activity and Food Programme.
  • £200,000 for the investigation and implementation of support for families experiencing financial hardship to assist in the purchase of school uniforms.
  • £10,000 initial investment to investigate community laundry programmes to enable families to access washing and drying facilities easily and cheaply.

Councillor Gould continued:

“The additional support that we have made available through the Family Crisis Fund, is further supported by this years “Cost of Living” budget. In the face of government cuts, Camden is using all the resources we have to help our residents through tough times.

“Those most in need are our highest priority and this year’s budget was designed to give them the maximum help we can, with the limited resources we have.”

The following was agreed as part of the 2023 Budget:

  • Continuing to fund our £2m cost of living crisis fund
  • Continuing our investment in our Council Tax Support Scheme (over £29m in Council Tax support to the lowest income households)
  • Continuing to invest in Sure Start provision
  • Continuing to fund the re-purchase of Council homes for use as temporary accommodation
  • Continuing our commitment to £4m per year allocated grant funding for the voluntary sector
  • Continuing to fund our £1m Community Impacts Resilience Fund for the voluntary and community sector in the Borough.

The council is investing in supporting schools to provide breakfast. Close to all Camden schools now have some breakfast offer to children and young people ranging from playground grab and go, eating during the first school lesson or sit-down breakfast. 

A range of help and support with the rising cost of living – including accessing financial support via the Council’s Cost of Living Crisis Fund for residents suffering extreme financial hardship - is available at , by calling the council on 020 7974 4444 (option 9), by calling Citizens Advice Camden on 0808 278 7835 or by contacting one of the organisations in Camden Advice Network. Find their details at . A range of support is available with money, debt, rising energy bills, mental health, domestic abuse and violence, accessing Government grants and more.

You can read more information on the Cost of Living Family Crisis Fund online.