Over 100,000 struggling households have received help from the Scottish Welfare Fund, shocking new figures reveal.
During its first 15 months of operation, over £38 million has been allocated, providing a safety net to households in a disaster or emergency and helping people set up home or stay in the community rather than being in care.
The statistics showed that of over 100,000 households helped by the scheme, nearly 55,000 were single people and nearly 32,000 were families with children.
The Scottish Welfare Fund comprises of Community Care Grants – which help people to live independently – and Crisis Grants, which provide a safety net in a disaster or emergency.
During the first fifteen months of the scheme, 43,000 households received a total of 48,000 awards for Community Care Grants, say the Scottish Government, averaging around £640 per award. The awards were typically for white goods (such as cookers and fridges), furnishings and floor coverings.
Around 70,000 households – including 13,000 households who’d also received Community Care Grants – received a total of 108,000 Crisis Grant awards, averaging around £70 per award.
For Crisis Grants, most expenditure was on food, essential heating costs and other living expenses.
The statistics were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.