WIRRAL residents facing a crisis situation and unable to pay for essentials such as fuel, heating or children's shoes are being urged to apply for help from a local financial support scheme.

Thousands have already been helped by Wirral Council's Financial Support with Welfare Needs Scheme, which has contributed towards necessary items and expenses including:

• Food for people with special dietary needs

• Essential bills, including fuel, utilities, phone and broadband

• Furniture, white goods, and other essential household items

• Shoes and clothing

• Essential travel costs

The scheme is part of the borough's £3million Household Support Fund, awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions at the end of last year.

Council leader Janette Williamson said: "More and more people are struggling at the moment and finding it impossible to make ends meet. And the situation is expected to get worse as prices, including food and fuel, continue to rise.

"I would therefore urge anyone in or facing financial hardship, including those who are usually reluctant to seek help, to find out about this scheme and not feel embarrassed about coming forward to get the help they need."

More information, including how to make an application, is available at wirral.gov.uk/welfaresupport or by calling the coronavirus helpline on 0151 666 5050 if you are unable to go online.

All applications to the Financial Support with Welfare Needs scheme are carefully considered against eligibility criteria and evidence of need.