Sandwell Council has given the go-ahead to plans to work with a local charity in providing furniture and white goods to the most vulnerable people living in the borough. The council has been running a special Local Welfare Provision Scheme for the last five years to provide crucial support to people who are faced with a crisis or emergency or are suffering financial hardship.

The council has been working with local charities to help the vulnerable and is now establishing a formal contract with the Loaves N Fishes organisation to provide support for the next four years.

Councillor Steve Trow, cabinet member for culture and core services, said the council was proud of its work providing crucial support to people in difficulties. “Our decision to continue to fund this scheme demonstrates our commitment to support our most vulnerable residents at a time when many other councils no longer provide assistance or now have schemes where residents in acute need are required to take out loans,” he said. Councillor Trow said the council is also continuing to support the main foodbanks in the borough with grant funding so that people who seek help can be referred to one of them for a food parcel.

Loaves N Fishes will now be responsible for all furniture and white goods support under a scheme which has helped more than 2,700 people in the last three years. Councillor Trow welcomed the award of the contract to Loaves N Fishes as a registered charity committed to the social and professional integration of disabled or disadvantaged people.

Among the 50 volunteers working for them, the majority have previously received assistance from the charity themselves Many go on to acquire increased employability skills thanks to the charity’s training and support, he said.

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