First Birthday of Best Start Grant Celebrated at OPFS
Scottish Social Security Cabinet Secretary, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP celebrates the first birthday of the Best Start Grant with single parent families in Glasgow.
It’s the first birthday of the Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment and One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS) is marking the event with a birthday celebration at its Glasgow office. Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP was there to meet parents who were some of the first to receive the grant 12 months ago.
Since its launch in December 2018 to September, families with children up to six months old have received £7.7 million. 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.”
Speaking on her visit to the Glasgow office of OPFS, Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP 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.”
- OPFS is a national organisation which works with and on behalf of one parent families throughout Scotland. One Parent Families Scotland has been supporting and campaigning for single parents for 75 years.
- One in four families in Scotland are single parent families. There are around 190,000 single parents with over 291,000 dependent children. 92 per cent of single parents are mothers, and eight per cent are fathers. The median age of single parents is 38. 59.2 per cent of single parents are in work.
- OPFS has identified five key priorities from consultations with single parents which the organisation is urging candidates in the General Election to support.
- Free of charge Lone Parent Helpline (0808 801 0323) provides support and advice on anything from dealing with a break-up, moving into work or sorting out maintenance, benefit or tax credit issues.
- OPFS helps thousands of lone parents every year through its Lone Parent Helpline and information services. It also runs projects in Glasgow, Dundee, Edinburgh, Aberdeenshire, Falkirk and Lanarkshire
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