Support during the pandemic

Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust continues to distribute support across Sutherland for those in hardship

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In March KoSDT was successful in applying to the Scottish Government Communities Recovery Fund to secure £50,000 to be distributed to households in Sutherland suffering from financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Over two months the team at KoSDT processed support for 204 households with a further 26 being referred on to other support mechanisms. 73% were given financial support for home energy needs, 10% were given financial support for food, and 9% were given financial support to deal with rent arrears. Clients were also supported to access advice and guidance from the Sutherland Citizens Advice Bureau, and several were helped to successfully apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund. Every community council area in Sutherland benefitted from the support.

Also in March, KoSDT was successful in applying to MFR (Moray Firth Radio’s) ‘Cash for Kids’ to secure £10,000 to be distributed to children in Sutherland facing hardship. 100 children in 50 households were supported after being referred to KoSDT by NHS Highland, our local CABs, The Highland Council, and other community anchor organisations across Sutherland. Again, clients were supported to access advice and guidance from the local CABs, and several were referred on to, and supported, by their local community food larders. 54% were given financial support to purchase children’s clothing, 25% were given financial support for home energy needs, and 14% were given financial support for food.

The staff who worked on these support funds worked incredibly hard to ensure that all of those who enquired were treated with empathy, compassion and dignity and ensured that any support was processed as quickly as possible. As a result, we have received amazing feedback from those we were able to support.

However, this support is just a sticking plaster on a huge wound. Recent research has shown that prior to the onset of Covid-19, one in four children in Sutherland was living in poverty. Therefore, we will continue to offer support to residents wherever we can through our free community food larder and our own Helping Hands Home Energy Fund. At the same time, we will lobby to try and find longer term solutions so that we can reduce the number of people who are suffering from hardship in our communities.

Last Updated on 10 June, 2021 by Kyle Chronicle

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