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03/01/14 00:01

Funding boost for vulnerable groups

Additional £280,000 to help groups that face barriers accessing money advice.

Projects which give advice to vulnerable people facing debt and welfare problems will benefit from a £280,000 funding boost.

The additional projects will focus on helping the most vulnerable, such as disabled people and victims of domestic abuse.

The extra funding will enable funds to be allocated to a further four projects through the Making Advice Work programme, at the end of January.

Since launching in October, 68 projects have received grants through the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s scheme with £7.45 million spread between projects which help members of the public access the right benefits and avoid debt, and those which offer advice to tackle welfare reform and debt problems.

Among the projects are 12 schemes that provide targeted support to people who face barriers accessing information and addressing money problems.

The new funds will allow there to be an increase in the number of projects providing help to vulnerable groups. These include projects such as the Yorkhill Families Money and Debt Advice Support Project, Money Support Project (ENABLE) and East Dunbartonshire Domestic Abuse East Dunbartonshire Project.

The Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“At a time when people should come together with their friends and family it is vital that the most vulnerable members of our society are protected and cared for.

“Making Advice Work has already helped 68 projects across Scotland and this latest £280,000 investment will strengthen the work of some of these great schemes.

“Westminster has responded to tough economic times by imposing drastic welfare cuts which will affect some of our most vulnerable groups. The impact on disabled people and women is particularly hard, which is why we’ve made this additional funding available.

“This investment is supporting vulnerable people and helping individuals and families make the transition to the new system. I have been clear that this government will not turn its back on vulnerable people.

“As detailed in Scotland’s Future, only with the power of independence can we tackle these welfare reforms head on.”

The grant funding scheme which runs until March 2015 is facilitated through SLAB and jointly funded by the Scottish Government and Money Advice Service.

Lindsay Montgomery, Chief Executive of the Scottish Legal Aid Board, said:

“The Board is delighted that the Scottish Government is making it possible for the Board to support more of the agencies who had applied to us in the summer for funding to help overcome barriers to advice for vulnerable communities

“The additional funding is to enable us to support more of these shortlisted projects and will allow the development of new partnerships and connections between third sector organisations that are already trusted sources of support within these communities, and organisations well placed to provide good quality advice to tackle debt and money problems.”

Money Advice Service’s chief executive Caroline Rookes said:

“We are delighted that the Scottish Government has identified additional finances to contribute to the programme of advice funding for marginalised groups that we established as part of Making Advice Work.

“The quality of applications for that programme was extremely high and this additional funding will allow more projects to start and enable more people to resolve their debt problems across Scotland.”

Notes to editors

A list of the 68 projects to receive funding through Making Advice Work is available:

A case study is available for the Yorkhill Families Money and Debt Advice Support Project (Citizens Advice Bureau). The project will give debt and money advice to families from across Scotland whose children are out-patients at Yorkhill Hospital and who are financially vulnerable because of the impact of their children's long-term health conditions.

The additional £280,000 will be allocated to projects on the stream three shortlist.