Poverty trust Wheatley Foundation 'helping thousands'

Poverty Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The trust was set up to work in the most deprived communities in Scotland

A new charitable trust targeting poverty and social exclusion has said it is set to reach up to 7,000 people in its first year.

The Wheatley Foundation was founded in April to work in the most deprived communities in Scotland.

It will spend about £3m a year on programmes to improve the lives of tenants, factored homeowners and the people its care organisations work for.

The trust said it had helped 2,500 people in its first three months alone.

Scottish Equalities Secretary Angela Constance, who visited Wheatley House in Glasgow last week, said no-one in Scotland should be living in poverty.

"It is crucial that we are able to give support to those most in need, when they need it," she said.

"We are seeing real success in supporting young people into work and making sure they have the right skills for the future.

"Our ambition is for a fair and equal Scotland, and organisations like Wheatley Group are helping to achieve that by pledging to do more."

Budgeting skills

The Wheatley Foundation was set up by housing, care and property-management organisation Wheatley Group and is chaired by leading public health expert and former chief medical officer Sir Harry Burns.

The charity's projects include Wheatley's Modern Apprenticeship programme, which has just seen 41 young people start a two-year apprenticeship.

It also includes My Great Start, a project that supports new tenants settling into their homes by offering help and advice, including budgeting skills.

Lorraine McLaren, Wheatley Group's partnership and growth manager, said: "The Wheatley Foundation has already helped thousands of people lead better lives.

"The past few months have seen many people who were struggling to find work get jobs and training places, some of the most excluded people in our communities form friendships and take up new activities, and our young people given the support they need to take their first steps into a brighter future."

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