An organisation’s effort to support Dundee’s most vulnerable during the pandemic has been given a boost of over £300,000.
It will mean social organisation Hillcrest can continue to deliver energy-saving products to people facing fuel poverty.
The organisation will also be able provide more hygiene essentials to ward off Covid-19 and support people left isolated by lockdown.
Clare McNally, Hillcrest’s fundraising and grants officer, said: “The funding we’ve received over the past year has been integral to our response to the pandemic as it has enabled our teams to adapt the services they deliver to help people cope during this challenging time.
“One area of support we offer focuses on tackling fuel poverty.
“Hillcrest’s Energy Advice Team (HEAT) distributed energy-saving products to tenants and provided energy credit for those in financial difficulty who aren’t on a prepayment electricity meters.
“This differs from most top-up schemes that are usually only administered to those using prepayment meters.”
In total, 14 donors contributed to the funds including Energy Action Scotland, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Federation Of Housing Associations’ (SFHA) Supporting Communities fund.
Hillcrest is an umbrella term for four companies providing housing, care, support, training, skills and employment opportunities.
Ms McNally added: “Other areas our teams have focussed on are reducing social isolation and improving wellbeing, especially among those who are shielding.
“Some of our Hillcrest Futures services have started electronic tablet-lending initiatives to allow those with no access to the internet the ability to stay connected to loved ones throughout lockdown.
“Meanwhile our harm reduction service used funds to purchase hygiene essentials, including reusable face masks, hand sanitiser and body wash, and distributed the items to help people who use substances keep themselves and others safe during the coronavirus outbreak.”
Angela Linton, Hillcrest’s chief executive added: “Hillcrest’s efforts during the pandemic have been a lifeline for many throughout Scotland. We are extremely grateful for all of the funding we have received to strengthen our initiatives.
“We’ve also been blown away by the generosity shown by local communities whose acts of kindness have allowed us to continue delivering vital services.
“Individuals and companies across the areas we operate have donated an abundance of items including face masks, hand sanitisers, hot food and leisure activities, as well as volunteering their time to collect prescriptions and deliver groceries to vulnerable people.”