In November, the government announced it was launching a Covid Winter Grant Scheme to help those in need.

The scheme, which has now begun, means people can get everything from winter coats, to Christmas hampers and supermarket vouchers.

£170 million has been made available to councils across Britain – according to the rules of the initiative at least 80% of the money must go on food, energy and water bills to those in need locally.

The additional 20% available is for other costs, The Mirror reports.

For example, in Essex, parents of children under 6 are being given Home-Start packages that include basic supplies and winter warmer packs for babies and Christmas food and gift hampers for care leavers.

In Wirral £200,000 is available to help low-paid households cover water or energy bills, with support led by the local branch of Citizens Advice -as well as 1,300 winter warmth packages, containing a scarf, gloves, socks, blanket, mug and gilet.

Meanwhile Telford and Wrekin council is offering £30 supermarket vouchers as well as a winter clothing fund for children after worries that too many pupils were coming to school without warm clothes.

Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey said: “No child should have to worry about food or warmth this winter.

“We have worked with Councils across England to ensure the £170million Covid Winter Grant delivers well-targeted support as quickly as possible, primarily focusing on heating and eating for disadvantaged families with children.”

To find out what support your council will be offering this winter, the simplest way is to call them.

You can find the website of your local authority to track down its number by entering your postcode here.

Equivalent money has been made available to governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland too.

In Scotland, for example, there’s £100 payment available to parents and guardians of children who get free school meals under a separate scheme.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The money will be paid before Christmas and families can use it for whatever will help them through the winter.”