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Hillcrest has successfully secured £310,380 from a range of donors to support people and communities in Scotland who have been most affected by the pandemic.
The funds have enabled Hillcrest to scale up the services they currently deliver to help vulnerable people face challenges brought on by COVID-19. This includes low income families, people with learning disabilities, isolated older people and individuals in recovery from substance use.
Clare McNally, Hillcrest’s fundraising and grants officer explained: “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.
“Other areas our teams have focused 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.”
The donors who contributed to the funds included Energy Action Scotland, Scottish Government and SFHA’s Supporting Communities fund, NHS Tayside’s Community Innovation fund, Barclays, Energy Redress, Corra Foundation, Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action, Connecting Scotland, Cash for Kids, Blackadders, Scotmid, Abacus Dundee, Thorntons and TC Young Solicitors.
Angela Linton, Hillcrest’s chief executive commented: “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.”
Pictured: Hillcrest Futures harm reduction team with hygiene packs