Aberlour has welcomed additional funding of £250,000 for its Urgent Assistance Fund from the Scottish Government’s Winter Support Fund.
This boost comes at a time when Scotland’s poorest families are facing really challenging circumstances and the charity continues to be inundated with applications to its Urgent Assistance Fund.
We know that, even before COVID struck, more than 1 in 4 children in Scotland were growing up in poverty. All measures indicate that child poverty has increased even further due to the impact of the pandemic.
The combination of the end of furlough, reduction in the £20 uplift in Universal Credit, spiralling utility prices and cost of living and potential of interest rate rises is conspiring to make it an even longer, harder winter. Families already struggling to keep their heads above water against a rising tide of financial insecurity are finding themselves trapped in poverty with spiralling debt.
Increasingly, families tell us their children are missing out life experiences, that they are worried about their mental health and their education and that they don’t have adequate clothing, they aren’t sure where the next meal is coming from and they are afraid to put the heating on.
Since March 2020 through its Urgent Assistance Fund Aberlour has given over £1.5m in cash handouts and short-term relief to 5,090 families and 10,927 children in poverty. As a result of the additional funding Aberlour is able to support more children and families facing extreme financial hardship.
SallyAnn Kelly, Chief Executive at Aberlour Children’s Charity said:
“We are delighted to receive a £250,000 boost to our Urgent Assistance Fund from the Scottish Government. It comes at a time when families and their children are facing the second tough winter in a row. It will make a real difference to so many families, who have found themselves pushed into poverty and who are struggling to keep their heads above water this winter. Numbers of applications to our fund have doubled in recent months, and the top reason for families seeking help is to feed their children. This is closely followed by cash support to buy fuel to heat and light homes, and then clothes, beds and bedding for children. We are so grateful that we are recognised as an organisation able to get this funding distributed to families quickly and look forward to reaching thousands more children who need the very basics.”