Service giving families support to address money worries goes national, thanks to £9K from National Lottery

Any family in Scotland with money worries can now access additional support from a specialist Children 1st service, thanks to a new £9,000 award from the National Lottery Community Fund. 

The charity’s Money Advice Service, which begun operating locally in Glasgow, as well as three other local areas of Scotland is continuing to offer its services digitally through Parentline during lockdown.

With nearly one in four children in Scotland already living in poverty, Children 1st is hearing from many more families with money worries made worse by the effects of coronavirus – parents and carers who have lost their income, who are uncertain about what help is out there, or who are struggling to provide for their children and scared for the future.

Children 1st Money Advisors have years of experience talking to parents and carers about the support available and providing help and advice for dealing with stress and debt. Last year, Children 1st Money Advisors, based in Glasgow, as well as Ayrshire, Edinburgh and West Lothian helped families to access a total of £617,424 available to them to prevent their children falling further into the poverty trap. With the support of the National Lottery Community Fund, the charity’s Money Advice Service can now offer easily accessible support to families in all parts of Scotland, through Parentline by phone or webchat.

“Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund Scotland, we will be able to reach more families who need help with the incredible financial pressures coronavirus is placing them under. Families tell us they are struggling to put food on the table and keep the meter running. Others are getting by just now, but are seriously worried about the future. By helping families know about and access the support they’re entitled to, this support will keep many more children and their families out of poverty.”

Julie Richardson, Assistant Director, Children 1st

Many parents and carers have already been making use of this service, like kinship carer Karen. With her young granddaughter, who she cares for, staying at home during lockdown Karen was looking for advice about her options and rights as a kinship carer when she spoke to a Children 1st Money Advice worker. The worker completed a full benefit review for Karen and talked to her about her family’s financial options. 

Karen now has the information she needs to plan for her family’s future and keep Sophie safe and happy. She said: “The service was excellent. You don’t know these things unless there’s someone there to ask.”

The National Lottery Community Fund, Scotland Director, Neil Ritch, said: “In these uncertain times our priority is to ensure that National Lottery money continues to flow to charities, voluntary sector organisations and grassroots groups. I would like to congratulate Children 1st on their award, theirs is an important project which will help people get through the current crisis and a great example of how our grant holders are stepping up to support their communities.”

Parentline is here for parents and carers across Scotland needing support, with money worries or anything else that your family faces. Call 08000 28 22 33, look at the advice online or start a webchat at children1st.org.uk/parentline