Successful spend of a Winter Hardship Fund
On 18 December 2020, Families Outside received a grant of £50,000 from the Scottish Government entitled the Winter Hardship Fund which was to be spent on families who do not receive support from other agencies and are disproportionately disadvantaged by the imprisonment of a family member.
Though utilising a fund to make purchases on behalf of families is not something Families Outside does on a day-to-day basis, the fund was an excellent opportunity to provide support for families in a very tangible way during the winter. The funds were spent in various different ways to support families in need, from support with utility bill debts and food vouchers to household repairs and new furniture. The total spend was broken down into nine categories:
- Beds and bedding
- Carpets and flooring
- Utilities and heating
- Food and toiletries
- White goods
- Furniture and household repairs
- Travel and family contact
A report produced on the spending of the fund was written and submitted to the Scottish Government in April 2021. The report provided information on how the grant was spent in each local authority, as well as an overview across the whole of Scotland. Feedback from the families who received support from the fund is also highlighted. Though there are a number of quotes, this was merely a drop in the ocean compared to all the thanks that we received from families during and after the fund was spent.
It is evident from both the near-full spend of the fund and from families’ feedback that the Winter Hardship Fund was a great success. Regardless of the pressure felt by our staff to ensure this fund was spent for the good of families in need, there has been a huge sense of satisfaction and reward from the many messages of gratitude that were provided by families.
Families Outside is proud to say that, having spent almost all of the £50,000 grant within 10 weeks, we supported 82 families via applications across twenty of the thirty two local authorities in Scotland.