Impact of new grant celebrated

Best start grants

One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS) held an event to mark one year since the introduction of the Best Start Grant

11th December 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A charity has praised the impact of a new grant which aims to give families the best start in life.

One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS) held an event to mark one year since the introduction of the Best Start Grant.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP visited the charity’s Glasgow office to meet parents who were some of the first to receive the grant 12 months ago.

The Scottish Government initiative sees families gain a one-off £600 grant for the birth of a first child with £300 payments for second and subsequent children.

Since its launch in December 2018, families with children up to six months old have received a total of £7.7 million in grants.

OPFS has worked closely in collaboration with the Scottish Government to ensure single parent have been able to access the Best Start Grant Scheme which has made a vital contribution to help cover the costs of a new baby and during the important early years of their children’s development.

Director of OPFS, Satwat Rehman, said: “The earliest years of life are vital to a child’s development and affect inequalities in health, education and employment opportunities later in life. We know that single parent families are disproportionately affected by child poverty and the Best Start Grant payments are often a crucial lifeline.

“OPFS has supported parents to take part in development of the Best Start Grant all the way through to the launch last year and we are pleased to have helped hundreds of parents access the grant and reduce money related stress.

“For families who are juggling with the costs of supporting a young child at Christmas, we would encourage them to get their application in today.”

Somerville said: “It’s a pleasure to mark the first birthday of the Best Start Grant, the first application-based benefit delivered by Social Security Scotland.

“We want to ensure that every child has the best start in life, and the Best Start grants help do just that, providing vital financial support to thousands of families across Scotland.”