Case Study

Folkestone & Hythe District Council distributes critical cost of living support

uploaded on 4 July 2024

Simple process for distributing funds helps council deliver targeted support for vulnerable households.

  • Thousands of households provided with financial support in 2023/24
  • Households provided with vouchers for food, bedding and clothing
  • Edenred has been the largest facilitator of cost of living support provided by central and local government over the last five years

Sector: Local government

Number of UK locations: N/A

Solution: Select (distribution of public support funds)

 

What they needed

Located in one of the more deprived areas of Kent, Folkestone & Hythe District Council serves the needs of over 50,000 households around 9,500 of which are classed as low income. 

During the cost of living crisis, the council’s Council Tax, Benefits and Welfare Department has distributed funds provided by the government Household Support Fund and Parish Grants to get critical financial support to the people most vulnerable. Innovative in its approach, the team uses specialist targeting software to identify eligible households that haven’t applied for help and to reach out to them and ask if they need support.  

On top of that, the council needs a simple, effective process for getting grocery and household  shopping vouchers into the hands of people quickly and seamlessly.

How we helped

As a longstanding supplier on Government payment solutions framework (RM6248), Reward Gateway | Edenred has a proven record of delivering voucher schemes through the Select platform to distribute targeted financial support.

Folkestone & Hythe has taken full advantage of this experience and expertise – using Select to administer its cost of living scheme and distribute vital and timely support in the form of grocery, household or more general support payments. The council delivers the vast majority of vouchers digitally, but where people aren’t online it delivers the vouchers by hand.

The system is easy for the Council Tax, Benefits and Welfare Department to use and enables it to promise the delivery of all vouchers within four working days, even accounting for weekends and holidays. Plus, the team can use the management information within the system to easily see when vouchers have not been redeemed so the funds can be reallocated for future use. Reward Gateway Edenred also ensures that the vouchers are ringfenced for their intended purpose and cannot be spent on tobacco or alcohol.  

What they achieved

In the 2023/24 financial year alone, Folkestone & Hythe  worked with the Select platform to support thousands of households with vouchers for food, bedding and clothing.

The council uses the system to keep track of how much of the funding it is provided with has been spent. It can also easily keep track of instances where people say they haven’t received their voucher so the issue can be resolved quickly. Just as importantly, it can reclaim budget related to unredeemed vouchers for use in future rounds of government funded support.

 

“The support we provide through government and other sources of funding has become a lifeline for many people in our region. It’s important that we continue to provide this support as efficiently as possible so people can get the help they need quickly. Our partnership with Reward Gateway Edenred has helped us to do that and is an important part of the service we provide.”

- Nick Harvey, Council Tax, Benefits and Welfare Department, Folkestone & Hythe District Council

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