Scotland’s largest children’s charity has experienced a 1,100% increase in applications for its Urgent Assistance Fund over the past seven days as the impact of the coronavirus is felt across the country.

Aberlour Child Care Trust has thanked the public after more than £88,000 in donations were received following an urgent appeal launched on 18th March.

The Aberlour Urgent Assistance Fund makes cash payments to families that are struggling, helping them pay for a range of emergency needs. The charity has warned that many families were already at breaking point and as their finances are further impacted by the coronavirus; many more will struggle to feed their families and heat their homes.

Liz Nolan, Deputy Director, Children and Families, at Aberlour Child Care Trust, commented:

“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. 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.

“Some families can’t get public transport to the supermarket, so are having to rely on expensive taxis just to get food for their children. Home delivery costs have increased, and delivery spaces are limited, so we’re facing a situation where families are simply running out of food for their children.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has donated this past week, your generosity will go a long way in helping children and their families facing seriously difficult times. But we need more. 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. Please take this opportunity by donating to the Aberlour Urgent Assistance Fund so that children, young people and families don’t suffer as a result of Coronavirus.”

You can donate to Aberlour’s Urgent Assistance Fund here: www.aberlour.org.uk/donate/

If you require urgent assistance, you can apply to receive funding from Aberlour’s Urgent Assistance Fund here: https://www.aberlour.org.uk/urgentassistancefund/. You’ll need a health professional, Social Worker, teacher, third sector organisation, clergy or other professional to support your application.