Scottish charity Aberlour Children’s Charity launches a national appeal today, 14 November, to secure donations for its Urgent Assistance Fund, using TV for the first time, alongside a programme of national radio, press and digital advertising.
The Poverty Relief Appeal will ask those who can donate, to give to Aberlour’s Urgent Assistance Fund, which provides cash grants to families with children aged 21 and under, typically within 48 hours, for essentials such as food, clothing, and energy bills. Money is paid straight to families who apply via a sponsor (health professional, social worker, teacher, third sector organisation, clergy or other professional).
Due to extreme demand during the current cost-of-living crisis, the Fund is currently closed to new applications and the charity is appealing for support to enable it to reopen.
The TV advert follows seven-year-old ‘Emma’ whose normal family life is turned upside down as they struggle to cope with the financial pressures of the cost-of-living crisis. The ad shows an empty wall where a radiator once stood followed by an empty plate once filled with nutritious food, and, eventually, Emma looks into a bedroom with no bed as she prepares for another night sleeping on the floor.
Since April 2021, Aberlour’s Urgent Assistance Fund has awarded 3,688 grants to help families pay for basic requirements such as food, shoes and clothing, bedding, and mattresses, as well money to keep lights and heating on in homes.The Central Belt has seen the largest influx in applications with 2,862 donations made since April 2021, at an average grant value awarded of £373. Most applications are being made for clothing. In the East of Scotland, following food, clothing and then energy costs, the fourth most requested grant item is for a new bed or mattress. Over 400 applications have been awarded in the area since April 2021. In the North of Scotland, after clothing, most families have sought funds to help with energy costs. 82 grants have been made since April 2021. In Southern Scotland, after clothing, most families have sought funds for food. Just over 200 grants have been made since April 2021.
SallyAnn Kelly, Chief Executive at Aberlour Children’s Charity, said:
“This is one of the most challenging periods families have faced in decades and Scotland’s poorest children face a dark, cold winter. The worst-off families in our communities can simply no longer afford to put the lights on, heat their homes, put food on the table, or buy basic necessities for their children such as a bed or bedding.
“Every penny donated to Aberlour goes directly to families and our Urgent Assistance Fund has been a vital means to many. However, the reality is that we are only able to help one out of four existing applications and, unfortunately, the Fund is now closed to new applications until we can secure more donations.”
“Christmas is a time when families struggle more than any other. As the cost-of-living increases daily, the impact could be devastating, and we are asking anyone that is in a position to contribute – however big or small the amount – to donate via our website to support those in need.”