Charities 'struggling to access funding' as demand for help soars

Community Fridge in Dundee is supporting twice as many people as it used to.

Charities in Dundee say they’re struggling to access funding to keep their services running – even though demand for help is higher than ever.

The Community Fridge, in the city’s west end, said the number of people it was supporting each day had doubled from around 80 to 160 in the space of a year.

The charity takes surplus food which would have been thrown away and gives it out to those struggling to afford basic items

Lynsey Penny, from Transition Dundee which runs the larder, said: “Third-sector projects like this really support the community’s needs where governments haven’t been able to, and we’re really picking up the slack.

“There’s a lot of pressure on the third sector to keep going. There’s more demand than ever, while funding is being cut.”

They’re now looking at alternative ways of funding the project, including a pay-as-you-feel scheme and a crowdfunding campaign.

Some community groups have been able to access a share of £2.4m from the Scottish Government’s Winter Funding programme.

The money allows charities such as Rock Solid, in the Douglas area of Dundee, to give those in need cash payments for essential items.

Audrey Thomson, from the charity, said: “Demand’s gone up, funding is harder to get, so we’re trying to bridge that gap as best as we can.

“We’re seeing far more families who are being pushed over the edge. They were struggling before – now they’re just desperate.

“They can’t put their heating on – the kids are saying they can see their breath in the house because it’s so cold.”

Mum-of-two Christina Drysdale, who has been helped by the charity, said: “I’ve used Rock Solid for holiday provision and their larder when they had it running.

“I’ve taken advantage of some of the wonderful funding they’ve been able to offer the community with help for the cost of living.”

Social justice secretary Shona Robison said the Scottish Government was committed to helping everyone struggling with the cost of living.

She said: “The need is there across the board and we know our third-sector organisations are doing a really important job.

“We’ve allocated £3bn this last financial year on support to low-income families.”

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