GLASGOW families accounted for almost half of all applications to a charity crisis fund, figures have revealed.

Over 700 families across Glasgow have accessed Aberlour Children's Charity Urgent Assistance Fund (UAF) between March and August this year, prompting the charity to warn of a growing poverty crisis due to the economic impact of Coronavirus.

In a report released yesterday by the charity, it showed almost £180k was awarded to needy families across Glasgow for food, clothing, furniture, bedding or white goods. Some were awarded money because they had an immediate need for cash to pay bills.

SallyAnn Kelly, Chief Executive of Aberlour Children’s Charity warned: “When the lockdown started, we feared that it would have a devastating impact on families living in or on the edge of poverty. This has sadly proved to be the case.

"While our services have continued to support children and families throughout Scotland, and our supporters have donated magnificent sums to our Urgent Assistance Fund, we need to continue to raise more money to sustain our vital work and reach more families at risk of falling through the cracks.”

Professor Morag Treanor from the Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Equalities Research (I-SPHERE) at Heriot-Watt University who wrote the report, said: “What is striking here is that all of the applications made to the Urgent Assistance Fund were for basic essentials that are needed to survive.

"This demonstrates that there is a level of need across families in Scotland that is really quite fundamental and absolute, and on a higher scale than we have seen for some time.”

A family support worker, who referred many families to Aberlour, said: “It was particularly tough for the families referred to Aberlour who had been doing quite well and managing fine financially, and never had to worry about the benefit system.

"All of a sudden, they or their partner lost their job, and they couldn’t afford to pay the bills or put food on the table.

"That for them was a huge shock; when you have gone from managing, feeling really quite confident about your monthly budget, and then that just falls down overnight.

"It wasn’t just the financial impact, but the emotional impact too. One parent came to us and asked, how do I feed my children?! I have no money left. That was the biggest change from COVID, families who have never struggled before, their worlds were suddenly torn apart.”