To help support local residents in need, Derbyshire County Council has been providing £30 food vouchers over the Christmas period to families of children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals. The incredibly helpful food voucher scheme has also been extended to families of pre-school children, aged 2 to 4 years, who are suffering financial hardship and also young people leaving local authority care.
The challenge for the Council was to efficiently and in time for Christmas, distribute 26,000 grocery vouchers to families eligible for the Government COVID Winter GrantScheme, in the Derbyshire area.
The Council have implemented Textlocal’s SMS solution to help deliver this much-needed support. The funding will help to provide food and other household essentials to 26,000 Derbyshire children during the Christmas holidays.
The Textlocal SMS platform enabled the Council to create a template for the text message that could be re-used. A pre-set template made it simple to add a customisable field for the unique voucher code meaning they were able to send out many thousands of texts in one send.
Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Young People, Councillor Alex Dale said: “We’ve made it as simple as possible for families to receive their food vouchers by sending them direct to the mobile phone numbers eligible parents have already supplied to their child’s school, or to the council during an application for free child care.”
In early December, Derbyshire County Council had already sent 19,000 by text message, followed by an additional 2,000 in the New Year. Feedback from the team supporting the project highlighted how easy it is to check the information being sent out is correct before sending due to the genuinely useful preview screens in the Textlocal platform. This has been very reassuring due to the financial implications of sending out so many vouchers.