£100k funding for energy payments secured by One Parent Families Scotland
One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS) welcomes £100,000 in emergency funding from the Scottish Children’s Lottery to administer emergency energy grants and top-ups to single parent families across Scotland.
This new funding will allow the charity to help families who are under intense financial pressure due to the coronavirus crisis and are struggling to afford to heat their homes and keep the lights turned on.
In the last few weeks, OPFS has experienced a threefold rise in demand on its helpline and webchat as a result of the pandemic and the impact it has had on families’ lives. Many single parents are facing heightened stress and worries for the coming months, and a significant aspect of this is the uncertainty over how they will be able to cover essential costs for their children.
- Satwat Rehman, CEO of One Parent Families Scotland
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CEO of One Parent Families Scotland Satwat Rehman said: “This is a very worrying time for so many families. The lockdown can be particularly isolating for many single parents, who may also be experiencing additional financial pressures and uncertainties.
“So many parents have been in touch during this difficult time and our staff are working flat out to provide support through phone calls, texts and social media.
“This very welcome funding will enable us to offer some real practical support through help with fuel costs that will alleviate some of the anxieties that the families are facing.”
The funding is made up of four lots of £25k from each of the Scottish Children’s Lottery’s four strands: ‘chance to connect’, ‘chance to flourish’, ‘chance to study’ and ‘chance to succeed’.
These emergency payments for families will meet each of those aims by helping families to feel part of a caring Scotland and reach out for support; alleviating poverty and financial hardship faced by families with pre-school children; providing a warm environment with fewer worries to enable parents to support their children to learn during school closures; and allowing young parents – some of the worst affected by social distancing – to maintain a level of engagement in personal and professional development opportunities by easing the struggling to cover basic living costs.
During the coronavirus crisis, One Parent Families Scotland is operating services by phone and online, including its national helpline and its local support services in Dundee, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow and Lanarkshire. Local workers have also been delivering essential items to some families who are unable to get to the shops and are seeking to expand on this by coordinating volunteers.
Details on the application process for the energy grants will follow shortly. Watch this space.