Further support for people experiencing financial hardship to be made available

Image of cut out people, house and money

Published: Thursday, 18th November 2021

Our Executive Committee has agreed to a range of proposals that will provide further support to Borders residents experiencing financial and other hardship as a result of the pandemic

The proposals were agreed at the meeting held on 16 November and include:

  • extension of the Warm and Well Borders Scheme for a further 12 months
  • creation of a Scottish Child Bridging Payment
  • enhancement of the Clothing Grants Scheme
  • creation of an Inclusion Fund to mitigate hardship and help reduce poverty, increase disposable income or offer longer term solutions
  • creation of a Tenancy Support Grant to help to prevent evictions and homelessness
  • allocation of funding to a range of existing third sector networks and other organisations working with vulnerable individuals in the Borders

The cost of providing the additional support will be met by an allocation from the Scottish Government of which the Council will receive £660k in total.

Councillor Robin Tatler, Executive Member for Community Development and Localities

"As detailed in our Anti-Poverty Strategy launched in October, it is absolutely critical that we continue to support residents as our response and recovery from the pandemic continues. These proposals are further evidence of that commitment, with officers working hard with our communities to ensure that anyone in need will be able to benefit from them as soon as possible.

“In the meantime, there is a great deal of advice, information and support already available if someone is experiencing financial hardship. Below are just some of the ways that people can get help in a confidential way, and I would urge anyone in difficulty to make sure they get in touch.”

Financial advice and information is available

  • the benefits section of our website provides detailed information about what grants, benefits and support you may be entitled to; you can also phone Customer Advice and Support Services on 0300 100 1800
  • the NHS Borders Money Worries app provides a wide range of information about support services available nationally and locally in the Scottish Borders, including how people can improve their financial health. It can be downloaded from either the Apple App store or Google Playstore
  • Home Energy Scotland provide free and impartial advice for anyone who is worried about their energy bills or is struggling to stay warm at home, you can also phone them on 0808 808 2282 to find out more
  • the Citizens Advice Bureau can help with income maximisation and advice on bills, as well as a range of other issues
  • FareShare is the UK's national network of charitable redistributors, the food they redistribute goes to help school breakfast clubs, older people's lunch clubs, homeless shelters, community cafes and many more
  • Home Basics is a furniture household reuse organisation which aims to prevent waste and offer quality items for sale, they also support those in need of furnishing a comfortable home

More information

  • The proposals were agreed at the Executive meeting held on 17 November.
  • Our Anti-Poverty Strategy sets out a clear vision for the way in which we and our partners will aim to work together to help reduce poverty across the region under six key themes of economic poverty and income, fuel poverty, housing poverty, food poverty, impact on family and community health and wellbeing and digital poverty.