An SNP MSP has encouraged members of the public to help those in need in their local community this Christmas – after it was revealed that over 230,000 Scots children are living in poverty.
Charities and trusts across the UK have warned that they are ‘preparing for the worst’ this Christmas, as the hardship caused by the six-week wait for Universal Credit payments comes into effect and those suffering under the new welfare system struggle to cope with Christmas costs.
This year has seen foodbank use rise to its highest-ever recorded level – with figures showing a 15% increase in Scottish foodbank use since 2017. In Midlothian, foodbanks have seen a rise in use of 40%.
Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“It’s important, as we enjoy Christmas, to remember those in need.
“Many of the issues people face year round, such as homelessness or food poverty, can be worse over winter as temperatures drop and families face pressure to meet added costs over Christmas.
“The rollout of Universal Credit, which has been devastating for families across Midlothian, has left many people worried about how they will cover the cost of Christmas.
“Even a small donation or act of kindness can make a big difference to someone over Christmas.
“I’d encourage anyone who can afford it to make a donation to their local foodbank or homeless shelter this Christmas – you never know how much it could mean to someone who is struggling to make ends meet.”