Major Scottish charities to launch campaign to tackle poverty crisis

Martin Sime, chief executive of the SCVO, says thousands of people in Scotland are using food banks and struggling to clothe themselves and their children

Martin Sime
Martin Sime

- This article was corrected on 28 February; please see final paragraph.

A group of major charities in Scotland, including the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, will next week launch a campaign designed to raise awareness of the country’s "humanitarian crisis".

The campaign, called Scotland’s Outlook, is being coordinated by the SCVO and brings together charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, Shelter Scotland, Oxfam, Alzheimer Scotland and the Child Poverty Action Group.

The Poverty Alliance, which is also part of the campaign, estimates that 870,000 people live below the poverty line in Scotland. A fifth of children in Scotland live in poverty, according to the CPAG, and in the past six months more than 23,000 people have had to seek assistance from food banks, according to research from the anti-poverty charity the Trussell Trust.

Martin Sime, chief executive of the SCVO, said: "With nearly a million people in Scotland living in poverty, we have a humanitarian crisis on our hands and we need everyone’s help to tackle it. Thousands of people are turning to food banks and are struggling to heat their homes and clothe themselves and their children. It’s not right."

John Dickie, head of CPAG in Scotland, said: "Independent forecasts predict an explosion in child poverty levels in the coming years because so much of the benefit and tax credit support that millions of families in and out of work rely on is ripped away.

"But by raising awareness and working together we can, and must, bring about the changes to our economy, social security system and public services that are needed to protect all our citizens from this poverty storm."

- The article originally said that the campaign had launched but it will not be launched until 4 March

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