People are being urged to donate the £400 they receive through the energy support scheme to help those most vulnerable amid the cost of living crisis.
Millions of households in the UK are receiving a £400 discount on their energy bills between October and March, which is being paid in monthly instalments in a UK Government scheme.
The GIVE400.scot initiative is encouraging households to donate the money to charities or good causes of their choice, or via Scottish charity, the Corra Foundation.
The Corra Foundation’s Household Hardship Fund makes small grants to charities across Scotland, delivering funding directly to families and individuals on low incomes, with cash or vouchers to cover food, fuel, household items, and clothing.
Chief executive of the charity, Carolyn Sawers, said: “Every extra pound donated, whether directly or through Corra, will make a massive difference to families across Scotland struggling every single day just to make ends meet.
“The hugely worrying, cost of living crisis means more people are being caught in the rising tide of poverty, but there are great organisations embedded and on the ground in communities in every corner of Scotland.
“Donations from those who feel they can afford it can ensure that help reaches those who need it most.
“Having reopened our household hardship fund last week, I can sadly confirm that the levels of need and urgent requests for support are shocking and sobering in scale.
“Families are having to make impossible choices at the moment, they are doing so with dignity, but they need support.”
Corra Foundation said it has delivered more than 16,000 grants totalling almost £200m to disadvantaged communities in Scotland since it was set up in 1985.
Stephen Pearson, chair of Financial Inclusion for Scotland, said: “At our recent launch event, we heard an urgent and heartfelt call from one speaker for action not words.
“The immediate reaction of many in the room was, ‘But what can we do?’. Give400.scot could be the answer.
“If, say, 10,000 households in Scotland donate the £400 contribution, that could raise £4m to help those in the greatest need this winter. That would be action not words.”
Anyone wishing to donate can find out more information at https://www.give400.scot/.