Stirling Council extends range of cost of living support
Stirling Council is increasing its range of supports to people experiencing poverty across Stirling, as the cost of living crisis escalates.
In March 2022, the council pledged £1.9 million to fund one-off initiatives that would ease some of the pressure on local residents struggling financially.
In an update report at a recent meeting of the council, members heard that families with children in receipt of free school meals have already received more than £860K in child Bridging payments, with the extra budget funding helping the council to increase payments by £20 per week over the Easter and summer breaks.
Meanwhile, almost 50 community groups have stepped forward to access council grants through the Good Food for All Fund and the Cost of Living Fund. Successful applicants will receive funding in blocks of up to £10,000 or £35,000, making the most of the experience and expertise of Stirling’s community organisations and community-facing services.
The report also outlined the Council’s work to support low-income families struggling to clear debts relating to school meals.
Council leader, Councillor Chris Kane, said: “Stirling Council officers are working incredibly hard to ensure this funding is getting to those most in need as quickly as possible. I’m grateful for the partnership working with community groups and third sector organisations and I know we’ll continue do all we can to help through the coming colder months.
“We’re all facing difficult financial choices this winter, but for some the choices are incredibly stark. I know there are also people struggling to cope who have never needed help before. Whatever the circumstances you face, please, reach out and ask for help.”
Stirling Council recently launched its Challenge Poverty Week campaign with the announcement that more than £2million in additional income has already been secured for 950 people since April through its Advice Services and Welfare Reform Team.
The range of support on offer includes full benefits checks for clients, support to negotiate affordable debt repayments with energy providers, foodbank referrals, and assistance to apply for a crisis grant to the Scottish Welfare Fund.