Urgent Assistance Fund – Melanie’s story


Melanie and her partner have eight children between them and, while all the children do not normally live together, they were all locked down together due to the pandemic.
As this was not their normal family composition, Melanie and her partner only received benefits for the three children who live with them on a permanent basis, leaving a huge hole in the family’s finances.

Melanie’s partner Dean was unable to work due to lockdown. His employer did not offer furlough and was temporarily let go. This meant that their only income was Universal Credit and disability payments for one of their children.

There was simply not enough money to feed and clothe the children…

Melanie Aberlour Surviving WInter Appeal

Melanie was referred to the foodbank by a teacher at her child’s school who noticed that the children, when collecting their free school meal replacement, were taking extra food from the community larder they had set up. In August, two of the children were due to start secondary school but Melanie could not afford to buy them their school uniform.

Luckily, our Family Worker, Jane McLeish referred the family to Aberlour’s Urgent Assistance Fund and Melanie received an emergency cash grant to pay for food and clothing for the children. We also gave one of Melanie’s children a tablet so that they could continue their schoolwork during lockdown.

“The pandemic has shown that anyone, no matter how well they think they are doing, can fall into poverty overnight.”

“Scotland is seeing new depths of poverty being experienced by many more families now than before the pandemic.

Families already struggling have been pushed further into poverty by job losses, working hours reductions, or delayed benefits payments for example.

Through no fault of their own these mums, dads, and carers are struggling to make ends meet; many can’t afford to feed or clothe their children or to keep their
homes warm – never mind think of Christmas.”

– Liz Nolan, Deputy Director of Aberlour