Thousands of Scots helped through difficult times

More than 200,000 low income households have received grants to help them through difficult times, thanks to the Scottish Welfare Fund.

Tuesday, 26th July 2016, 1:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th July 2016, 2:07 pm
Social Security Secretary Angela Constance says the fund provides support to those who need it most.

New figures show that since the scheme was set up in April 2013, £97.9 million worth of grants have been given to 204,000 households in Scotland.

The fund aims to help households during times of crisis, and can help them to buy everyday essential items like food, nappies or toiletries and to cover heating costs or other living expenses.

Grants are also given to people facing disaster or emergency situations, such as flooding.

People can be given support to live in their own homes where there’s a risk of homelessness or going into care or for families facing exceptional pressures – where funding can cover larger essential one-off items like washing machines or cookers.

Around one-third of grants were given to households with children, while around 54 per cent of those grants were given to single person households with no children.

Social Security Secretary Angela Constance said: “No-one in Scotland should be living in poverty, and it is crucial that we are able to give support to those most in need, when they need it.

“This can be especially important in times of desperation or emergency, or when people have been affected by delays in benefits.

“The Scottish Welfare Fund provides a vital lifeline to families during times of crisis, and helps people in desperate situations where they cannot afford to buy everyday items, such as food or nappies, that many of us take for granted.

“It is important this money gets to those who need it most, and that is why, from April this year, we have made changes to the way funding is allocated to local authorities, to ensure it reaches those people who most need it.”