Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity could help families reach £1m in unclaimed benefits.
A charity set up to help ill or disabled children has been awarded just over £104,000 to assist families struggling to cope with the financial pressures of caring for their child.
Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, the new name for Yorkhill Children’s Charity, has been awarded the cash from the STV Appeal.
It will now be able to help 500 vulnerable families with children at Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow in partnership with NHSGGC.
Having a child in hospital can be one of the most frightening and stressful experiences for any parent or carer, without having the added worry of how you will cope financially
The charity says parents and carers are often unaware of the financial and practical support available to them and its new Family Support Project aims to claim over £1 million every year in previously unclaimed benefits for qualifying families.
As well as offering financial help, the project will provide practical and emotional support to families, ensuring that their long-term needs outside the hospital environment are valued and supported to prevent poverty cycles recurring.
It is hoped that over 50 referral services and agencies will engage with the programme to identify those families at greatest risk.
Shona Cardle, chief executive at Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We are delighted to be working with the STV Children’s Appeal and NHSGGC on such an important project.
“Having a child in hospital can be one of the most frightening and stressful experiences for any parent or carer, without having the added worry of how you will cope financially.
“This project will provide support, reassurance and comfort to many of Scotland’s most vulnerable families, listening to their needs and helping them to find a suitable path forward.
“Children from throughout Scotland are treated at The Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow and it is fundamental to both Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity and the STV Children’s Appeal that these children and their families receive the best care and support available.”
John MacKay, presenter of STV News at Six and an ambassador of the STV Children’s Appeal, presented Shona with a cheque and visited the hospital (pictured). He said: "The Family Support Project is a truly worthwhile initiative and I'm thrilled to present the cheque on behalf of the STV Children's Appeal.
“The visit was an eye-opening experience and a great opportunity to meet some of the children and families who will benefit from the project."
Sir Tom Hunter, whose Hunter Foundation launched the appeal in 2011 and helps meet its overheads, ensuring 100% of donations are spent on the children who need it most, added: "Through the appeal our singular ambition is to deliver sustainable solutions to end child poverty.
“It is simply unacceptable in modern Scotland to still have young people debilitated by poverty through no fault of their own.
“Thanks to this project and many more, the people of Scotland are doing their level best to combat poverty.
"This is about communities coming together and with a hand up, not a hand out, from the STV Children’s Appeal, helping themselves deliver sustainable solutions to end child poverty."