Turning the Tide in East Dunbartonshire – Challenge Poverty Week

Monday, 3 October, 2022

councillor gordan low holding a blue sign that reads #turnthetide
East Dunbartonshire Council is pledging its support to Challenge Poverty Week and raising awareness of the support available for any resident facing financial challenges.

Challenge Poverty Week is an annual awareness campaign organised by The Poverty Alliance. Its aim is to highlight that poverty is a serious problem in Scotland and bring people and organisations together to call for a more just society.

The week is an opportunity to highlight the information, advice and support that is available locally and to coincide with this the Council has published a webpage with information on various funding, support and advice that is available throughout East Dunbartonshire.

Furthermore, each day this week, the Council’s social media channels will focus on a different theme, signposting to organisations offering help and assistance.

Challenge Poverty Week comes just ten days after the Council agreed an additional £2.1 million in a wide-ranging support package to address the current cost of living crisis.

The full £2.1 million package will deliver the following:

  • An additional £200 Winter Support Payment for each eligible child (£100 in October and £100 in December) benefiting 2,273 children/1,362 families and costing approximately £454,600
  • Additional Farmfoods vouchers to support those families in extreme short-term need with food provision, costing £2,000
  • An additional £210,000 to address the projected overspend for the Scottish Welfare Fund as a result of unprecedented demand
  • Energy vouchers for Council tenants and homelessness cases (three x £49 vouchers,  each between October and March) to help with energy bills, supporting 3,704 tenancies and 205 homeless cases and costing approximately £574,623
  • An allocation of £500,000 to East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust (EDLCT) to deliver a programme of free gym and swim access which will benefit the Council’s 17,291 primary and secondary pupils, between November 2022 and March 2023. Free swimming will be available for Council primary school children in any of the EDLCT leisure centres and Council school pupils aged 12-18 will be able to access a range of free gym sessions. 

In addition to these key areas of spend, further funding will be provided to other organisations involved in cost of living support including:

  • Cash funding to support the local Foodbank £10,000
  • An additional £50,000 for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau locally, recognising their role in relation to advice and support
  • An additional £50,000 for the Community Grants Scheme to help community organisations in their efforts to mitigate the rising cost of living.

councillors holding blue signs Council Leader Gordan Low said, “Our communities are facing a cost of living crisis which means more and more people will find themselves in poverty. Our multi-million pound package of support reinforces our commitment to provide practical assistance to our hard-pressed residents and aims to help alleviate some of the financial burden.

“Challenge Poverty Week is an opportunity for individuals and organisations in Scotland to come together and call for change. Any resident who is worried or unsure what they may be entitled to can find invaluable information on our website. Alternatively, contact the local Citizens Advice Bureau on 0141 775 3220.”

This year’s Challenge Poverty Week theme is Turn the Tide – taking into account the difficult times people are facing and the economic uncertainty predicted for the months ahead.

Visit Challenge Poverty Week.

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