Challenge Poverty Week 2020

Monday 5 - Sunday 11 October

Challenge Poverty Week 2020

Published: 5 October 2020

It's Challenge Poverty Week and we want to do just that.

Whether you need information on school clothing grants and/or meals, budgeting advice, support with benefit applications or getting into work, East Renfrewshire Council and our partners are here to help. Since April this year the Council's Money Advice and Rights Team has responded to 80% more referrals than the same period in 2019.

Money Advice and Rights Team

The Money Advice and Rights Team is your first point of contact for free, expert and confidential advice on money worries, benefits and budgeting. They can help with benefit applications and appeals to make sure you have your household income maximised. They can support you to get food and other essentials for your household and they can also speak to your creditors on your behalf, whilst helping you understand what the people you owe money to can and cannot do.

Call 0141 577 8420 or email

There are lots of other specialist services in East Renfrewshire:

Work EastRen help people aged 16+ in East Renfrewshire to get ready for, find and keep work. The team aim to help local residents find the education, training or employment they are most suited to. Work East Ren also supports employers with recruitment, work placements and experience, and accessing funding and support.

To find out more, visit the Work EastRen website.

The Adult Learning Team offer a range of learning opportunities for adults in East Renfrewshire. Courses can help you gain new skills or qualifications, get a new job, go to college or just build confidence with existing skills you already have.

To find out more, visit the Adult Learning webpage.

Clothing grants, free school meals and Education Maintenance are available in all our schools for eligible families. 

Back to School Bank East Renfrewshire provides brand new school uniforms to families affected by financial hardship. To find out more, visit their Facebook page.

Our Housing Team aims to offer effective and relevant housing advice and to help residents make informed choices about which option is best for their budget and circumstances.
To find out more, visit the Housing options webpage.

Up to 25% of women have had difficulties accessing sanitary products at some point due to financial constraints. To challenge this we've made a variety of sanitary products available in buildings including schools and health centres, Citizens Advice Bureau, Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire and housing associations. These products are available to everyone, regardless of their financial position.

The Prevention Team aims to protect people from personal and financial harm through doorstep crime, nuisance calls and online fraud.

Find out more and read our guide to avoiding scams.  

The Community Hub is for anyone who wants to help out in their community or those who don't have friends, family or neighbours to help them with essentials.

The Community Hub is connected in to neighbourhood groups and other voluntary organisations carrying out valuable work to support people throughout the pandemic. It is a 'one stop shop' for anyone looking to give or receive a little help.

Contact the Community Hub Monday to Friday 10am - 3pm on 0141 876 9555 or by emailing

For more information, visit The Community Hub website.

CAB can help with debt and money advice, completion of benefit application and appeal forms, benefit appeal representation. They also run the Patient Advice Service, Armed Services Advice Project, Helping East Renfrewshire Online (HERO) service, employment advice and assistance with homelessness/evictions.

The team is working from home with advice available over the phone. You can contact CAB on 0141 881 2032 or visit their website to find direct mobile numbers for specialist advisers.

Skills Development Scotland is the national skills body. They offer careers advice and guidance. Whether it's for someone looking for their first job, a new career, or even if they don't know what they want, the team's career coaching is entirely free. SDS also offer and skills-related support for employers.

For more information, visit the Skills Development Scotland website.

The Fair Start team can provide tailor-made support for 12 - 18 months to anyone living in East Renfrewshire who is not working or in education. Despite pausing face-to-face to contact, Fair Start is available over the phone, on email and through text messages.

Fair Start can also support employers with recruitment needs. Get in touch with Fair Start by phoning 0300 303 3381 or by visiting their website.

Throughout the pandemic we have seen a wave of community-led food projects start up to ensure nobody in our communities goes without. If you would like to find out more about the nearest food projects to you such as shopping services and the Food Train, contact the Community Hub Monday to Friday 10am - 3pm on 0141 876 9555 or by emailing

The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of foodbanks and together provide emergency food and support for people in crisis. The East Renfrewshire Foodbank is based at 14 Lowndes Street, Barrhead. It is open on Tuesdays at 12pm-2pm and Fridays at 2pm-4pm.

For more information, visit the East Renfrewshire Foodbank website.

Jobcentre Plus is an employment agency and social security office. Here you can claim Jobseeker's Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support. Barrhead and Newlands Job Centres can be used by East Renfrewshire residents. For more information, visit the Jobcentre Plus website.

Some benefits are provided by an organisation called Social Security Scotland. There are currently eight with more being added to the list in future. Use the links below to find out more and how you can apply for them.

Carer's Allowance Supplement

Best Start Grant - Pregnancy and Baby Payment

Best Start Grant - Early Learning Payment

Best Start Grant - School Age Payment

Best Start Foods

Funeral Support Payment

Young Carer Grant

Job Start Payment

If you are unsure about what you are entitled to, you can contact the Council's Money Advice and Rights Team. They can help with anything you need to know about benefits and grant eligibility, health-related issues, redundancy, retirement and pensions, death and bereavement, housing, children, cold weather and winter fuel payments.

Call 0141 577 8420 or email

The Scottish Government's website provides information on other benefits and grants not listed above. To find out more, visit their website.

When the pandemic is at an end, we know that poverty will not be over. Now is the time for us to get things right - to keep looking out for each other; to keep compassion and justice at the heart of our communities; to keep strengthening services that support us all when times are tough. As we rebuild, we want to make sure our services are designed to work for each and every one of us.

If you have any comments or suggestions for challenging poverty in East Renfrewshire we'd like to hear about them. You can contact us on

#ChallengePoverty #TogetherWeCan

Last modified on 26 October 2020