Community groups and charities would benefit
A campaign has been launched to help tackle fuel poverty and the cost of living crisis in Scotland.
The GIVE400.scot initiative encourages households to donate their £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme sum to charities or good causes of their choice, or via Scottish charity the Corra Foundation.
GIVE400.scot is supported by a number of organisations and individuals from across Scottish civic society.
The UK government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme is being provided in monthly instalments over 6 months from October 2022.
Corra’s Household Hardship Fund makes small grants to charities and community groups across Scotland, delivering funding directly to families and individuals on low income, with cash or vouchers to cover food, fuel, household items, and clothing.
Corra Foundation is a Scottish charity that since being set up in 1985 has delivered more than 16,000 grants totalling almost £200 million to disadvantaged communities in Scotland.
Carolyn Sawers, chief executive of Corra Foundation, said: “Every extra pound donated, whether directly or through Corra, will make a massive difference to families across Scotland struggling every single day just to make ends meet.
"The hugely worrying cost of living crisis means more people are being caught in the rising tide of poverty, but there are great organisations embedded and on the ground in communities in every corner of Scotland. Donations from those who feel they can afford it can ensure that help reaches those who need it most.”
Sawers added: “Having re-opened our Household Hardship Fund last week, I can sadly confirm that the levels of need and urgent requests for support are shocking and sobering in scale. Families are having to make impossible choices at the moment, they are doing so with dignity, but they need support.”
In October, social enterprise the Joseph Rowntree Foundation released its Poverty in Scotland report, stating that, “Nearly one in five households on low incomes in Scotland have gone hungry and cold this year, even before we enter the winter months.”
Stephen Pearson, Chair of Financial Inclusion for Scotland, said: “At our recent launch event, we heard an urgent and heartfelt call from one speaker for action not words. The immediate reaction of many in the room was, “But what can we do?”. Give400.scot could be the answer.
"If say 10,000 households in Scotland donate the £400 contribution, that could raise £4m to help those in the greatest need this winter. That would be action not words.”