A CAMPAIGN has been launched by East Lothian Council in response to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis affecting people across the county.

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the benefits and financial support available to residents, as well as encouraging people to find out what funding they are entitled to to maximise income as the crisis worsens.

The impact of the cost-of-living crisis has already been highlighted in the county, with the number of foodbank users soaring by 77 per cent compared to last year.

The council is also running a month-long targeted general information and benefits take-up campaign, along with external partner agencies, which was launched at the Volunteer Centre East Lothian conference on September 8 and will continue until the end of National Poverty Week on October 9.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, council leader and cabinet spokesperson for revenues and benefits, urged members of the public to engage with the campaign, ease their concerns about the crisis and learn more about potential financial assistance.

He said: "We know that people are worried about the cost-of-living increases and are seeing their bills go up. It’s a concerning time for everyone.

"We are also aware that many people are not claiming the financial support that they’re entitled to, particularly pensioners and families with children.

"It’s easy to check and make sure you’re claiming everything you’re entitled to, and the council and Citizens’ Advice Bureau are working together to help with this.

"I would urge everyone in East Lothian to take a look at the resources available on the council website and get in touch if they need more advice or support."

The campaign will see information shared on local radio, with a financial support leaflet also available online and in print.

A series of social media information posts will also be shared linking back to dedicated financial support pages on the council website.

In addition to advice online, Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Haddington has also provided a dedicated advisor to help with the campaign who can take people through a benefits check and direct them to the income or other support that is available.

CAB Haddington can be contacted by emailing benefits@haddingtoncab.org.uk or calling 01620 824471.

East Lothian Council’s financial inclusion team can also be contacted by emailing financialinclusion@eastlothian.gov.uk and calling 01620 827 827.