Covid Economic Recovery Fund continues to support in Moray
Moray Council has agreed to allocate over £200,000 from the Covid Economic Recovery Fund to the Flexible Food Fund and the new Sport and Culture Hardship Fund.
A total of £202,000 will be split between the Funds due to the greater demand to support financial hardship across the Moray area.
The Flexible Food Fund is in high demand due to the cost of living crisis and resettlement of Ukrainian refugees with 15% of the allocated funding committed in less than two months. Council agreed to transfer £162,000 to this fund to ensure it can continue to assist those in Moray struggling, particularly with the projected rise in energy costs as winter approaches.
A total of £40,000 has been committed to a newly developed Sport and Culture Hardship Fund, which will be used to support children and young people under 18 years to access funding for leisure and recreation opportunities outwith school.
Leader of Moray Council, Cllr Kathleen Robertson, said: “We’re in a precarious position when it comes to covid, we know it’s still causing ill health and hardship for many but we also need to carry on with our lives.
“The Covid Economic Recovery Fund allows us to support those who are experiencing difficulties financially, while offering the chance to move beyond pandemic response mode.
“The particular funds benefiting at this stage are also responding to the current cost of living crisis and we expect to see more demand for these services over the approaching winter months.
“I’d advise anyone concerned about coping with higher bills and debt management to contact our money advice service by searching online for Money Advice Moray or phoning 0300 123 4563 to access support.”
The Flexible Food Fund was developed in-house by Moray Council in response to the Scottish Government principles of managing a food fund throughout the pandemic. This included providing local flexibility, financial support and a whole household, whole needs response. The Fund was launched on 12 May 2020 and is still running.
The Sport and Culture Service Financial Hardship Fund will be open to any child or young person under the age of 18 to help cover the costs of participating in any extra-curricular (outwith school) activities and opportunities.
Research shows that there is an increase in the number of children and young people unable to join sports clubs, music groups, and arts, culture and digital activities due to financial hardship.
Under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, every child has the right to relax, play and take part in cultural and artistic activities. They also need to have the ability to develop their personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to the full. The ability to participate in extra-curricular groups or informal leisure opportunities is crucial to a child’s development and this fund supports those experiencing hardship.