A children’s charity has reported a 1,100% increase in applications for its emergency cash fund during the first week of the coronavirus lockdown.
Aberlour Child Care Trust said many families are struggling to buy essentials and pay for utilities.
Following an urgent appeal launched on March 18, more than £88,000 has been raised by members of the public.
THANK YOU! So far we raised £85,200 for our Coronavirus Urgent Assistance Fund. This week we found there is still an unprecedented amount of assistance needed in our communities with a 1,100% increase in applications to the fund. https://t.co/vztLt3fKb5 pic.twitter.com/EiGLHvFV5j
— Aberlour (@AberlourCCT) March 27, 2020
The trust is the largest children’s charity that is solely Scottish and usually helps more than 7,500 families a year.
As well as financial difficulties, the charity has experienced an increase in requests related to domestic abuse.
Liz Nolan, deputy director at Aberlour Child Care Trust, said: “In an economic downturn it is always the most vulnerable that suffer.
“Just this past week, we have experienced a 1,100% increase in applications for emergency cash grants from our urgent assistance fund.
“We’ve received applications from all over Scotland from struggling families telling us that they can’t afford to stock up on essentials, and when they go to the shops there is nothing there because of other people panic buying.”
She added: “We’re also experiencing an increase in domestic abuse-related requests for support where mothers and children have been forced to flee their homes, leaving all belongings behind.
“Meanwhile, other vulnerable families who are now at home for extended periods of time simply cannot afford the extra gas and electricity.”
Urging people to donate to the charity’s emergency fund, Ms Nolan said: “Coronavirus is now causing severe disruption to normal everyday life and the people worst affected are those on low incomes.
“We believe this is going to get worse before it gets any better.”