A dedicated fund has distributed almost £300,000 to people struggling with fuel poverty during the winter months of lockdown in Dundee.
Around 2500 low-income households across the city have been helped by Fuel Well Dundee, which launched at the start of the year.
As winter ends, the fuel fund is now closed, but those behind the scheme have stressed that help continues to be available to anyone struggling financially during the pandemic.
Councillor John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, said: “Winter is always a difficult time for many people, who face tough financial decisions as the temperature drops.
“This year was, of course, particularly hard with the ongoing challenges of Covid-19 and the heavy snow that fell across the city in February.
“Fuel Well Dundee was therefore an important aspect of our support for those in need during the pandemic, and council officers have done a tremendous job to ensure that this money has been distributed quickly to those who need it.”
Run by Dundee City Council and SCARF (Part of the Home Energy Scotland network), the scheme offered top-up payments if certain criteria are met, as well as short, medium and longer-term support from fuel advisers and welfare rights advisers.
While the fund is now closed, staff continue to work with households referred through the scheme on ways to reduce heating bills and other means of support. Help for those on low incomes who are facing crisis or exceptional pressures continues to be provided through grants from the Scottish Welfare Fund (01382 431188 option 1).
Councillor Lynne Short, Fairness and Equalities spokesperson, added: “The Council and its partners are committed to supporting people who are struggling during the pandemic.
“Millions of pounds of grants and payments have already been distributed in the city over the past year. It’s important that residents know they aren’t alone – support and assistance is available where it is needed.”
For more information, visit https://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/coronavirus/advice-and-support-for-citizens or call Council Advice Services on 01382 431188 (option 2).
Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.