TWO local politicians have welcomed new emergency energy and food voucher support for vulnerable residents.

It comes after Age Scotland along with SGN launched the initiative to support older people this winter.

The charity claims it is hearing "first-hand" about the impact that the cost-of-living crisis is having on older people, especially those living in fuel poverty.

On top of that, they have also identified those who are skipping meals and eating cold food for fear of falling into debt due to rising costs.

The new scheme will enable Age Scotland energy specialists to offer older people struggling a £30 credit towards their fuel costs, or food costs.

They will also provide access to the good causes support services, including energy advice and income maximisation.

Katherine Crawford, Age Scotland's chief executive said: “The rising cost of living is one of the biggest concerns for older people who call our helpline, especially during the colder months.

"Our Big Survey revealed that 79% of over 50s were cutting back on energy and heating, while 43% reported reducing spending on food.”

Welcoming the news, Councillor Kenny MacLaren said: “Staying warm and eating well is central to older people’s health and well-being but, with so many struggling to make ends meet, it’s vital they have somewhere to turn for support.”

Meanwhile, Councillor Mags MacLaren added: “This welcome initiative will make a positive difference to those who are reluctant or unable to heat their homes to a comfortable level for fear of running up unmanageable energy bills or falling into debt, or who are at risk of malnutrition due to skipping meals or eating less healthily.

“If you fall within this category or know someone who does, then please contact Age Scotland to see what advice and support they can provide.”

The initiative is open to anyone aged 50 and over and who is registered to a Scottish postal address, while eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis.