Celtic have donated £400,000 to help people throughout Scotland during the cost-of-living crisis.
The club’s charity arm announced the donation on Friday and say the money will go towards aiding “those in fuel crisis” across the country.
The move comes amid rising costs in fuel, gas and groceries that has seen household bills multiply for thousands.
Celtic FC Foundation has fully funded the initiative and will assign fuel vouchers worth £49 to around 6,200 households.
The charity, which is working in partnership with Fuel Bank Foundation, says the donations will help around 17,000 struggling individuals the length and breadth of Scotland.
An additional 500 individuals will receive winter warmer self-care packages worth around £100 each.
The packages will be offered to existing Foundation programme participants living in poverty or relying on the state pension and will consist of items aimed at helping individuals to cut energy usage through the colder months, such as a blanket, socks, hand warmers and a £30 food voucher as fridge running costs are lower when a fridge is full.
They will also be distributed to the wider community, prioritising vulnerable, elderly people.
It is hoped that Celtic’s investment will help alleviate the pressure and “ease the burden” for thousands of households in the coming months.
The Foundation staff at Celtic Park will be the initial point of contact for those seeking help.
The Fuel Bank Foundation is the UK’s only charity focused specifically on supporting people facing fuel crisis.
The Celtic Foundation say it is striving to help the most disadvantaged wards as identified in the Scottish Multiple Index of Deprivation.
However, applications from anywhere in Scotland will also be welcomed as long as the person is facing a demonstrable fuel crisis.
A statement from the Celtic FC Foundation said: “Food and fuel poverty has been a cornerstone of Celtic FC Foundation activity since the early days of the Covid pandemic – and that support will continue in the coming months through this initiative.
“Sadly, some people in the UK are today living without heat, light and power, often because they don’t have money to top up their prepayment meter.
“Alongside the Fuel Bank Foundation, we are targeting those who use a prepayment meter to offer immediate help. These people are in a fuel crisis.”
The foundation’s chief executive, Tony Hamilton, said: “Life is becoming increasingly difficult for many people in our communities, and we must do something to help alleviate that.
“Energy prices today are double what they were only a year ago and, although there’s some protection with the current price cap, that is set to rise again in April.
“The Foundation is in a position to help some people through this investment, and, although £400,000 is a big number for us, there are so many more individuals and families needing help that we just won’t reach.
“Thanks to our partners and those who have donated to get us to this point. There’s something truly special about those who support the Foundation and the club in this way – and we will never take that support for granted.”
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