An annual campaign has been launched to help those in rural areas who are living in fuel poverty.
As temperatures drop sharply, the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI), is highlighting its winter Help for Heating Fund.
This is a one-off grant of £300, which is available to anyone who has worked full-time on the land for at least 10 years but can no longer do so due to age and/or disability and who now find themselves struggling to meet fuel costs.
People currently employed in a land-based industry can also apply for assistance.
Fuel poverty is defined as spending more than 10 per cent of total income on energy bills, and is a problem that many people living in rural areas face.
Mags Granger, welfare manager, said: “We were disappointed to discover that there are more people living in fuel poverty in Scotland despite a commitment by the Scottish Government in 2003 to eliminate fuel poverty by November 2016. According to The Report of the Scottish Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group, one in three Scots are in fuel poverty.
“The situation is worse in rural areas where fuel poverty affects one in two people. RSABI have launched the Help for Heating campaign to offer assistance to those who are in fuel poverty and meet the criteria for assistance.
“We urge those affected to get in touch.”
RSABI is unique to Scotland and for more than a century has provided financial support and assistance to past and current land workers who are experiencing hardship. Last year the charity helped 900 people, contributing around £600,000 in direct financial support.
Anyone wishing to find out more information about the Help for Heating fund can do so by calling RSABI on 0300 1114166 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All calls are handled in confidence.