Perth and Kinross Warm Welcome Fund providing vital support during cost-of-living crisis
A £420,000 fund set up by Perth & Kinross Council to help people through the cost-of-living crisis last winter saw over 16,500 visits to local Warm Spaces, according to a new report.
The Warm Welcome Fund (previously the Cost-of-Living Fund) was launched by the council in October 2022 as energy and food bills soared. It provided money to community groups to set-up warm spaces, organise activities, provide food and warm home packs for people who needed help over the winter of 2022/23.
Initially, there was £320,000 available for community groups and organisations to apply for. This was extended in December 2022 and a further £100,000 was added.
The project was delivered by the council’s Communities Team who met weekly to assess applications and gather information from organisations about their proposals.
A report to the Housing and Social Wellbeing Committee on Wednesday 29th November sets out the positive impact the funding had for local people:
- In total, 120 different organisations received funding for warm spaces and warm home packs or food support.
- £170,000 for the costs of warm spaces was distributed to 95 successful applicants.
- £250,000 for the costs of food support and/or warm home packs was distributed to 85 successful applicants.
- 16,575 visits were recorded to Warm Spaces (equating to roughly 11% of the population of Perth & Kinross).
The Warm Welcome Fund for 2023/24 will provide an additional £250,000 to support successful projects this winter. Local organisations were once again invited to apply for money to support people who need help in their communities.
The report also sets out how a Perth and Kinross Food Security Fund was available for community groups to apply for throughout 2022/23. A total of £235,000 helped local groups and organisations to provide projects which targeted food waste and food insecurity.
A total of 37 community projects across Perth and Kinross were supported by the Food Security Fund, and £235,866 has been distributed to communities including £40,000 for Perth and Kinross Foodbank.
The renamed Good Food Fund was opened for more applications in May 2023 with a budget of £50,000. Groups were able to apply for a maximum of £4000, and 20 organisations have been funded to deliver projects.
Committee convener, Councillor Tom McEwan, said: “The Warm Welcome Fund and Food Security Fund are both key parts of our priority work to tackle poverty in Perth and Kinross. Last year’s funding had a significant impact on mitigating some of the difficulties faced by people in our communities as the cost-of-living crisis hit.
“It also highlighted the resilience of our communities, who reacted with determination and compassion to help people who needed vital support. The projects not only provided warmth and food during difficult times, but also nurtured a real sense of community and support.
“I am delighted that additional Warm Welcome and Good Food funding has been made available this winter, and it is already being put to good use across Perth and Kinross.”
He concluded: “The cost-of-living crisis continues to impact on households and once again we have supported local groups and organisations to deliver projects aimed at those most likely to be in need.
“I would encourage our residents to find out what is on offer and make use of the Warm Welcomes in their area, or share the information with any family, friends or neighbours who they feel might benefit.”