FOOTBALL fans are putting their energy into helping local communities cope with skyrocketing fuel bills this winter.

Big-hearted Partick Thistle fans set up Jags For Good earlier this year, an initiative that mobilises the Firhill faithful to support social justice causes.

Now they have founded Jags For Good Energy Fund to be used by Glasgow North West Foodbank to provide energy top-ups to who are being pushed into hardship by the spiralling cost-of-living crisis.

With people on low incomes most likely to be on pre-paid energy meters and also hardest-hit by the energy price cap rise, it is hoped that the fund can help to mitigate some of the impacts for struggling households in the local area.

READ MORE: Partick Thistle players praise Jags For Good initiative

Ross Millar, one of the fans involved in Jags For Good, said the group was aware of "hardship" being faced in communities around Firhill.

He added: "With our energy fund, we hope to support people struggling to stay afloat, and provide practical help to enable people to heat their homes and keep the lights on as the situation continues to get worse. 

"It’s shameful that anyone could be forced into a decision between whether to heat or eat, and it should not be the role of football fans to address this.

"Without Government action, however, this is one way of supporting people in very challenging situations.

"Times are hard for so many right now, but we hope that anyone who is in a position to donate - Thistle fan or not - can get behind and support the energy fund.”

Since being founded in April, as well as holding foodbank collections at games and staging charity football tournaments in aid of Glasgow North West Foodbank, they also earlier this year fundraised to purchase season tickets for local charities.

With the club matching every penny raised, 100 season tickets were gifted to eight charities across the north-west of Glasgow, for use by the people that they work with.

The energy fund is being launched less than two weeks after Ofgem confirmed that the energy price cap will rise to more than £3500 per year for the average household; a 178% increase on last winter’s cap.

Experts have warned that the move could push 75% of households in Scotland into poverty, when combined with an expected further energy price cap increase in January.

Shona Simms, project manager at Glasgow North West Foodbank, said: “Jags for Good have been a fantastic support for us at Glasgow North West Foodbank, and we appreciate their ongoing support and donations.

READ MORE: Jags For Good Partick Thistle fans hand over £17,500 of season tickets 

"The latest rise in energy prices means that many households will find themselves in an impossible situation where they might have to choose between heating and eating.

"The Jags For Good Energy Fund will help us to help the people across the north-west of Glasgow by providing us with financial assistance that will help us to give additional support and fuel vouchers to households struggling during this difficult and, for many people, frightening times ahead.”

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