Scottish Government offers emergency help for worse affected by coronavirus

People most at risk from the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak are to receive further support following emergency investment in crucial services and £30 million of new investment from the Scottish Government Food Fund.

Scottish Government offers emergency help for worse affected by coronavirus

Aileen Campbell MSP

Charities Simon Community, Social Bite, Glasgow Night Shelter and other key partners will share up to £8m to provide an emergency response and ensure services can react to COVID-19.

Disadvantaged groups facing hardships such as homelessness, food insecurity or social isolation and loneliness are among those to benefit from services such as:

  • emergency accommodation in Glasgow and Edinburgh
    • the provision of food and essential supplies to vulnerable groups in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen
    • public health information translated into British Sign Language (BSL) and the creation of an easy, one-stop shop approach for BSL users
    • online and telephone support for both older people and young people, and more isolated members of the LGBT community, to improve mental resilience and wellbeing

The Scottish Government Food Fund will help local authorities support those most in need including families with children who are eligible for free school meals, older people, those with long-term health conditions and pregnant women.

Councils will have the flexibility to use this additional resource in ways that best meet emerging local needs and circumstances, working with community groups and businesses to support home delivery, provide financial help and meet dietary requirements. 

To be distributed to councils across Scotland by COSLA, allocations include more than £4.7m for Glasgow, £2.2m for Fife and £2.1m for North Lanarkshire.

The investments are part of the Scottish Government’s wider £350m Communities Funding to help those most affected by the pandemic.

Welcoming the projects, communities secretary Aileen Campbell said: “We are facing an unprecedented situation that requires a practical response – at scale and pace – to help people most at risk in our community. We must do all that we can to protect the health, welfare and wellbeing of the people of Scotland.

“These significant national investments are helping to strengthen the support available to individuals and ensuring that key services are available for those most in need.

“We are continuing to work with partners, including community organisations to ensure funding reaches those best placed to provide support.”

COSLA children and young people spokesperson, Councillor Stephen McCabe, said: “Access to food is a current and vital concern for many people in our communities. Councils are committed to working flexibly, ensuring local access for those who are vulnerable or isolating and to maintain access to free school meals for entitled families.

“Local Authorities will continue to work with and for local people to ensure provision that is right for them. We welcome the food fund guidance produced by Scottish Government that supports this local decision making.”

COSLA resources spokesperson Councillor Gail Macgregor added: “As a result of COVID-19, greater numbers of people are at risk of food insecurity. Councils are facing additional challenges in ensuring food reaches those most in need.

“In these challenging times, we welcome the Scottish Government’s announcement of additional funding.”

  • Read all of our articles relating to COVID-19 here.
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