Charities working with children and families on low incomes will each receive a share of £3.3 million to help meet the needs of those affected by poverty at Christmas and in the new year.
The money forms part of the £100 million winter support package announced by the First Minister last month, of which £22 million is to specifically support low income families. The £3.3 million committed will support those most in need of help, including lone parents, families with a disabled child or young person, kinship carers, care leavers and families with a loved one in prison.
Nine charities will receive funding to support their work, or to distribute to grass-roots organisations. The money will go to help with essential items such as food, warm clothing and nappies, heating, bedding and furniture and white goods, and to support a scheme giving gifts to disadvantaged children who might otherwise go without a present on Christmas Day.
The charities benefiting are the STV Appeal, Cash for Kids, Aberlour, Barnardo’s, Action for Children, Family Fund, Families Outside, Who Cares? Scotland and One Parent Families Scotland.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell MSP said:
“The Winter Plan for Social Protection, announced by the First Minister on 30 November 2020, already includes a one-off £100 per child payment for those in receipt of Free School Meals who are on low incomes, to be paid by Christmas.
“Whilst this is an important boost to family incomes we also want to help families with children of pre-school age.
“This funding will strengthen the help available to families across Scotland – supporting people during the festive period and throughout the winter months.
“We have taken unprecedented action to support people affected by the impact of COVID, with over £500 million committed for social protection since the onset of the pandemic. This latest investment is part of wider support available to people including increased funding for the Scottish Welfare Fund, Discretionary Housing Payments, and through wider third sector and councils action.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“Winter is the most difficult time of the year when you have to worry about heating, especially for families who want to give their children a Christmas present.
“This funding will help charities provide food, clothing and other essential items to people across North Ayrshire and Scotland.
“Especially this winter, all support is welcome and this will make a difference during an extraordinary time.”