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Cost of living funding to help residents in severe financial hardship


We are using a targeted fund to help residents in severe financial hardship and at risk of problems escalating due to the rising cost of living.

We have been given £587,905 in the latest round of the government’s Household Support Fund to help vulnerable households most in need this winter. This will be allocated in two ways.

Around £300,000 will help vulnerable residents having to make very difficult choices around household expenditure, such as between heating and eating. This complements the wider cost of living support we are promoting with partners through our Here to Help’ campaign.

To target the limited national funding, nine frontline distribution partners will identify those residents in greatest need to receive a one-off cash payment of £145. Those residents will also be supported to explore further cost of living help that might be available to them.

The remaining Household Support Fund enables us to continue to provide £20 food vouchers per child, for each week of the school holidays, and for families in receipt of free school meals. This funding is supporting 3,000 families with food vouchers over four weeks in the October half term, Christmas, and February half term.

Last month, we also started promoting a growing network of safe, warm spaces where people in need can go this winter. Several partner organisations now offer safe, warm spaces, along with advice and support. All local libraries are also safe places for the community.

Learn more in our press release.

Look after yourself and others in the cold weather

With the first cold snap of winter, a Level 3 Cold Weather Alert has been issued for England until 9am on Friday 16 December.

In line with national NHS guidance, we’re encouraging everyone to check vulnerable loved ones have warm food and drinks and can heat their homes to at least 18°C during this cold period, especially those who are not mobile, have a long-term illness or are 65 or over.

For more advice, please visit the NHS website, call NHS 111 or speak with your local pharmacist.

If you, or someone you know, are struggling to heat your home, we’re promoting several community organisations that are opening safe, warm spaces and running coffee mornings and other activities where people in need can go this winter. A map of locations is available on our website.

If you are struggling financially and facing difficult decisions around food, rent or heating, you are also encouraged to seek help before reaching a crisis point. Check our dedicated 'Here to Help' webpage as soon as possible, contact us, your landlord and energy supplier to see what help might be available.

We’ve also triggered our Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP), meaning we are providing emergency shelter to anyone found sleeping rough in the borough, irrespective of local connection and current circumstances.

Our Rough Sleeper Team and Community Wardens have been out and about to engage with anyone sleeping rough. See more about SWEP and how to advise us about rough sleepers on our website.

Our gritters are also out treating roads across the borough and will continue to do so when freezing road temperatures are forecast. Check out our Winter Services video to learn more.

Check out our Christmas bin collection timetable

As we look forward to Christmas and New Year, make sure you know your bin collection dates over the festive period by checking our website.

You can also find out when your next collection day is. Please ensure your bins are out before 7am.

If you need to recycle or dispose of larger items or additional waste over the festive period, please visit Stafferton Way Household Waste and Recycling Centre in Maidenhead. The site is open every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. For more information, please visit our Stafferton Way webpage.

You can also find festive period opening hours for our libraries and customer contact centre on our dedicated webpage.

What to do if you are concerned about Strep A

There are currently reports of Strep A and Scarlet Fever in the UK.

The illness is usually mild but is highly infectious. While it is more common in children than adults, it is important that children with Scarlet Fever are seen by their GP so they can be started on antibiotics.

Frimley Healthier Together are encouraging parents and carers to visit their website before calling their GP or visiting A&E if their child has a:

  • Sore throat,
  • Fever,
  • Headache,
  • Or rash

Their website has information on the symptoms of Scarlet Fever and guidance to identify the next steps to take including when to seek medical help.

Make sure you cook safely this Christmas

Preparing and cooking food safely is key to avoiding a Christmas dinner disaster. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published useful advice on how to safely cook your turkey including:

  • Defrost safely– A typical turkey weighs between six and seven kilograms, which could take up to four days to fully defrost in your fridge. If your turkey isn’t properly defrosted, it may cook unevenly leading to you and your family being at risk of food poising from harmful bacteria

  • Cook thoroughly – Give your turkey plenty of time to cook, always check the advice on the packaging and follow the instructions provided. However, be aware that the guidance is based on a bird that isn’t stuffed, so consider cooking your stuffing in a separate roasting tin

  • Reuse and freeze leftovers – Cool and cover your leftovers and put them in the fridge or freezer within one to two hours. Frozen turkey, and other cooked meat, must be eaten within 24 hours once defrosted. Love Food Hate Waste has lots of recipes for making your Christmas leftovers go further.

Visit the FSA website to learn more.

Could your property be a filming location?

Our film office works with productions of all sizes who are looking for filming locations or facilities in the Royal Borough.

The film office is inviting residents, businesses, and property owners who are interested in accommodating a film production to sign up to our location database.

The database includes properties ranging from historical buildings to leisure attractions and car parks.

Learn more and get in touch by visiting our filming locations webpage.

Last chance to take part in our Royal Borough More Active survey

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in our More Active Survey which closes next week (Wednesday 14 December).

The survey will help us better understand your exercise habits and if you can easily access local sports and wellbeing facilities. The survey is designed so that your responses are anonymous and will take only ten minutes to complete.

We’ll use the survey’s findings, along with feedback from focus groups as well as stakeholders, to inform our future leisure provision which is due to be discussed in the spring.

Learn more in our press release.

Win Christmas gifts in the Advantage Card prize draw

In celebration of the season, Advantage Card is giving away ten great Christmas presents including:

  • Membership at Ascot Racecourse (worth £99) and a soft toy horse
  • A free escape room game for six players at Escape in 60 Windsor
  • A chocolate gift hamper selection from Dr Choc Windsor Chocolate Factory
  • Dinner for two at Bluegrass BBQ
  • £150 gift voucher for The Real Greek Windsor.

To learn more and enter the prize draw, visit the Advantage Card website before next Monday (12 December)!

Royal Borough Community Spotlight

Here are just some of the upcoming community events in the Royal Borough:

  • Christmas Tree Festival (Saturday 10 December, 10am to 7pm, and Sunday 11 December noon to 6pm) – St Luke’s Church, Maidenhead. Come and visit this beautiful church full of decorated trees. Refreshments, stalls, and a raffle will also be present in support of Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice. Visit the St Luke’s Christmas Tree Trail website for more information

  • Cantorum Christmas concert (Saturday 10 December, 7.30pm) – Holy Trinity Church, Cookham. The Cantorum Choir will be performing advent pieces from around the world including traditional Christmas Carols for the audience to join in with. Ticket price includes refreshments during the interval, book on the Cantorum Choir website or 07939157530

  • Ascot Brass annual Christmas concert (Saturday 10 December, 7pm) – St Mary’s Church, Maidenhead. Ascot Brass, with the support of the Rotary Club of Maidenhead Thames, will be performing a selection of festive favourites, an entertaining balance of modern, popular music, interspersed with some of the best brass band classics. with Taplow Youth Choir The concert will raise much-needed funds for Alexander Devine and Thames Hospice charities. Tickets can be purchased on the Ascot Brass website

  • Bray Community Choir carol concert (Sunday 11 December, 3pm) – St Michael’s Church, Bray. Join St Michael’s Choir, Community Choir, and friends for a celebration of Christmas with audience carols and festive songs, admission is free with collection in aid of Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service. Further information on the St Michael’s website

  • Celebrate Christmas at St Mary’s (Sunday 11 to Sunday 25 December) – St Mary’s Church, Maidenhead. Celebrate Christmas this year by visiting St Mary’s Church and attending carol and Christingle services. Please visit the St Mary’s website for more information

  • Windsor Christmas services (Sunday 11 and 18 December, 9.30am) – Theatre Royal, Windsor. King’s Church International, will host two special Christmas services The event is free to attend on a first come first served basis. There will also be a Christmas Eve Carol Services on Saturday 24 December at 4pm at King’s House, Frances Road, Windsor. To learn more, visit the Kings Church International website

  • Christmas services at All Saints Boyne Hill Church – Join All Saints Boyle Hill Church for a lovely candlelit Christingle service at 10am on Sunday 11 December and a traditional carol service at 6pm on Sunday 18 December which is followed by a glass of mulled wine and mince pies for all to enjoy. Details can be found on the All Saints website

  • Celebrate Christmas at Windsor Fellowship Church – Take part in traditional carols on Sunday 11 December at 4pm, and their family-friendly nativity (kids can come dressed-up) on Sunday 18 December at 3pm. Festive refreshments will be available, entry is free, and no booking is required. Visit the Windsor Fellowship website to learn more

  • Christmas with Giles, Grandma and the Family (Monday 12 December, 11.30am) – Baylis Theatre, Braywick Leisure Centre. Join The Arts Society Maidenhead for a talk on Carl Giles looking at his life and seasonal works including some of his funniest cartoons. £10 for non-members. Email to book your place and for more information, or just come along. More information is available on the Arts Society website

  • Thames Valley Voices Carol Service (Tuesday 13 December, 7.30pm) – St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Slough. All are welcome to attend a carol service by Thames Valley Voices, which will include a retiring collection for international development and relief organisation ‘All We Can’

  • Renaissance Voices concert (Wednesday 14 December, 7.30pm) – St James the Less, Stubbings, Sl6 6QW. Local early music choir Renaissance Voices will be performing choir and audience carols, plus three choir early music pieces. Entry is free, with donations on the door

  • Christmas services at St Mark's Crescent Church, Maidenhead – Everyone is welcome to come and begin Christmas festivities with Carols Outside the Church on Wednesday 14 December at 5.30pm. Everyone is also invited to attend a festive service led by Rev. Pete Philips on Sunday 18 December at 10.30am, with coffee available after the service in the new Hub. For more information, please email

  • Visit Santa’s Grotto (Every Saturday until 17 December, from 11am to 3pm) – Nicholsons’ Centre, Maidenhead After two years’ absence due to Covid, the annual Rotary Santa Grotto is coming back to town! Santa and his Elves will be greeting and listening to visiting children’s wish lists and handing special presents to them. This is a free of charge event, though small donations will be welcomed with the proceeds presented to local charities

  • Christmas carol singing (Saturday 17 and Friday 23 December, 10am to noon, and Sunday 18 December, 11am to 1pm) – Maidenhead Sainsbury’s. The Rotary Club members will be singing Christmas Carols, with the support of White Waltham Brass Band. Members of the public, including children, are welcome to join in. Please come along to have some fun

If you have an upcoming not-for-profit community event or activity you’d like to promote in this newsletter, simply send basic information about your event to and it could be shared with more than 21,000 local residents.

You just need to include a brief description, when and where it takes place, and a link to a website/social media page/contact where people can find out more.

Have your say

We regularly hold consultations and surveys to get your views on proposals within the Royal Borough.

Participating, sharing ideas and giving your feedback is the best way to ensure your views are heard.

Our current consultations are:

Local Travel Updates

This weekend (Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December) planned engineering works will take place on the South Western Railway network. These will cause disruption to local services; full information can be found on the South Western Railway website.


There are also planned rail strikes by the RMT union from:


  • Tuesday 13 to Wednesday 14 December
  • Friday 16 to Saturday 17 December
  • Saturday 24 to Tuesday 27 December
  • Tuesday 3 to Wednesday 4 January
  • Friday 6 to Saturday 7 January

For the latest information, please visit the Great Western Railway and South Western Railway websites.

Keep in touch

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