A raft of measures have helped north-east families in poverty in recent months but there is still a way to go, a councillor said.
According to a new Aberdeenshire Council report, 8,215 children in Aberdeenshire – 14% – live in poverty, meaning their families earn less than £24,100 a year.
The local authority set up a group to tackle poverty and inequality within the county and the report highlights how it has been able to help thousands of people.
It said the council has helped 8,396 people in the last 12 months through its information and advice services, based at Woodhill House, including assisting people with money and debt advice.
The council has helped 599 into work or training, provided training courses for 156 youngsters aged 16 to 20 and helped 135 volunteers give a total of 4,000 hours of their time to good causes.
The council has also teamed up with health workers and advocacy groups to help families in poverty ensure they are claiming the financial assistance they are entitled to and this has resulted in an extra £373,935 being claimed.
A similar service helping families cover housing costs has helped 1,037 people claim a total of £8,859,404.
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The report is to be discussed by members of the council’s communities committee on Thursday.
Councillor Michael Roy, the committee’s vice chairman, said: “I’m encouraged by the content of the report.
“I’m delighted with the work that has been done so far, which is definitely the right kind of support that people identified in this group need.
“However, it is a work in progress and we still have some way to go.”
The report shows 22% of children living in Fraserburgh are in poverty, while the figure is 20% in Troup, 19% in Peterhead, 9% in North Kincardine and 8% in Westhill, Ellon and East Garioch.
The report added: “An online expert forum has been established by people with experience of poverty to ensure their voices are heard in developing programmes, policies and commissioning services.
“At present, there are 17 households that have been recruited. The families reflect the priority groups, which include those hard to reach, including travellers, and those who have experienced domestic abuse and homelessness.”
Views of those in the group were to be presented at a child poverty conference at Woodhill House on May 20.
It is understood arrangements for that meeting are to be discussed at Thursday’s committee meeting in light of the coronavirus lockdown.