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It's Okay to Ask - New Cost-of-Living campaign launches in South Ayrshire

NEWS UPDATED

South Ayrshire Council and the South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership are supporting Child Protection Scotland's new 'It's Okay to Ask' campaign, encouraging any parent or carer who is struggling to look after their children, to ask for help before reaching crisis point.

The cost-of-living crisis has led to many families in Scotland finding it very tough to make ends meet. Rocketing food and energy prices have been extremely challenging for everyone, especially for families on low incomes who already have money worries.

Finding enough money for food and energy bills, and for things that children need on a day-to-day basis can lead to stress and anxiety for many parents and carers. These difficulties can even affect how well parents are able to look after their children, and themselves.

Co-designed in conjunction with two Scottish family support organisations, Stepping Stones and Dads Rock, the digitalcampaign has been designed using ideas and input from both groups.

Child Protection Scotland Chair, Tam Baillie, said: "Lack of money can have really serious consequences and take a big toll on family life. Constant money worries can cause huge levels of stress and anxiety and even lead to some parents finding it hard to look after their children as well as they'd like to.  

"It can be difficult and embarrassing to ask for help, but there is support out there, so it's very important for your children, and for yourself, to ask for help if you need it. It's a lot better to get help than to let things get really, really bad. Every council has an emergency fund to help families, and there are lots of local community groups who can provide advice and guidance."

Jim Kerr, Independent Chair South Ayrshire Adult & Child Protection Committees, said: "Here in South Ayrshire, we are committed to supporting this national campaign. The cost-of-living crisis is constantly in our thoughts, and we witness its impact on children and families first-hand through reports, discussions, and interactions with those who support and operate food banks, as well as distribute essential goods.

"We continue to assist in the development of the South Ayrshire Child Poverty Action Plan, and various local community groups can offer help in numerous ways. We are acutely aware of the record number of families struggling to meet their most basic needs to stay warm, dry, clean, and fed.

"These factors deeply impact physical and mental health, children's prospects, and place a strain on our services. Therefore, this campaign aims to reach out to families, encouraging them to seek assistance before the cost-of-living demands become overwhelming. We are fully devoted to supporting families in South Ayrshire."

South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Health and Social Care, Councillor Lee Lyons said: "I welcome and fully support Child Protection Scotland's 'It's Okay To Ask' campaign.

"We're living in extremely challenging times, where things that we may have taken for granted previously, like feeding our children and heating our homes, has become a daily struggle for many families.

"Every parent wants to be able to provide for their children themselves, and I know it can be difficult to reach out and ask for support. We want parents and carers to be brave and tell us before they come to a crisis point.

"I'm sure the 'It's Okay to Ask' campaign will encourage more parents and carers to come forward and ask for help if they are struggling."

Parents and carers can find sources of help and support on the 'It's Okay to Ask' campaign page on the Child Protection Scotland website www.childprotection.scot/itsokaytoask.