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Hillcrest has received funding of £100,000 from Barclays to support people in Scotland who have been most affected by the pandemic.
The funds will enable Hillcrest to upscale the services they currently deliver to help vulnerable people, such as low income families, isolated older people and people in recovery, face the challenges brought on by COVID-19 .
The majority of funds have benefited Hillcrest Futures’ services which improve the lives of people who have a range of complex and varied support needs.
In December a portion of the funds were used to buy Christmas gifts for 600 Hillcrest Futures’ service users, including those supported by the charity’s home care service. The gifts helped raise spirits over the difficult festive period, especially of those feeling isolated during lockdown.
Funds have also been used to purchase outdoor exercise equipment at Hillcrest Futures’ supported accommodation, Bruntsfield Project in Edinburgh. The service supports 20 homeless individuals and the outdoor gym will give residents the confidence to improve their physical and mental health without feeling stigmatised at a public gym.
Part of the funding has been allocated to Hillcrest Homes to help alleviate the effects of fuel poverty on families. Hillcrest’s Energy Advice Team (HEAT) used the money to distribute energy-saving products to tenants struggling with fuel bills or condensation and damp issues.
HEAT also provided energy credit for tenants in financial difficulty who are not on a prepayment electricity meters. This differs from most top-up schemes that are usually only administered to those using prepayment meters.
Hillcrest’s chief executive, Angela Linton, said: “Hillcrest’s efforts during the pandemic have been a lifeline for many throughout Scotland. This donation from Barclays will ensure we can continue to help people who are most affected by the social or financial impact of the pandemic, and improve our offering to those in need during these turbulent times.
“We look forward to continuing with these initiatives and are grateful for Barclays’ support. We’re proud of the impact our work has on local communities, especially in the areas of improving mental health and wellbeing, and reducing feelings of isolation among vulnerable people.”
Barclays’ £100m Community Aid Package supports charities helping people and communities most impacted by COVID-19. £10m of this funding has been donated through their 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme, with Hillcrest being just one of 100 UK charities receiving a donation of £100k.
Scott Stewart, Head of Barclays Scotland, said: “This crisis has had a significant impact across Scotland and we know this is an incredibly challenging time for many, particularly for those who are vulnerable. That is why we are delighted to have made this donation to Hillcrest which has amplified their important work and offered bespoke assistance to those most in need.”