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High demand for crisis cash

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale

EMERGENCY grants totalling £225,732 were paid out in Dumfries and Galloway between April and June

In total, 450 community care grants were made and 1265 crisis grants from the Scottish Welfare Fund. They are made to low income households to help pay for essential items such as food and heating, or those people facing disaster or emergency situations.

In the three month period, there were 1260 applications for a crisis grant locally. However, 430 of those were turned down. Of those successful, the average amount paid out was £67.

Meanwhile, just over half of all applicants for a community care grant were accepted, each receiving an average award of £576.

Commenting on the figures published this week, Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “It is a sad fact of life for many families that an unexpected expense can completely disrupt a carefully managed household budget. People should never have to face a choice between eating or heating. The Scottish Welfare Fund was created to provide a vital lifeline for people in times of need, allowing them to cover the everyday necessities.

“And while I am pleased that the fund has been able to help over 300,000 households across the country since its start, I am dismayed that so many people find themselves in the position of needing to access emergency help.”

In 2017, a total of 905 community care grants were made in Dumfries and Galloway, along with 3140 crisis grants.

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