A further £54.1 million to help those most in need with the cost of essentials was allocated to councils across the South East on Bank Holiday Monday.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) awarded the money through an extension to its Household Support Fund – as announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in his Spring Budget.

The DWP says councils can use the cash to “support vulnerable residents with the cost of essentials including food, energy bills, and emergency costs like new boilers”.

It is unclear how much individual councils such as Waverley and East Hampshire will receive. But regionally, the DWP says it means people across the South East will have received £324.7 million of Household Support Fund investment since it launched in October 2021.

Nationwide, the Government credits the fund with preventing 1.3 million people falling into poverty. But charities have warned the extra cash will provide only a temporary fix for families facing destitution.

To find out what support you may be eligible for, visit https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk/