Moray’s Lords-Lieutenant are seeking more support for those in the area facing extreme hardship from the effects of the pandemic.

The Moray Emergency Relief Fund (MERF), established by Lords-Lieutenants Seymour Monro in Moray and Andrew Simpson in Banffshire, has raised £195,000 from donations and distributed £155,000 to those in need.

With the economic recovery stalled by a fresh spike in infections and tighter restrictions imposed, the Lords-Lieutenants have issued a fresh appeal for more donations.

Moray Lord-Lieutenant, Seymour Monro, said that the help the fund has been able to deliver to those suffering financial difficulties from the pandemic effects has been pivotal.

“One of the most effective elements of our MERF is the speed with which we can step in and give help,” he said.

“There are several other avenues for help – and they all support those in need – but they can take weeks to come through. Successful applications to the MERF can often get help within 48 hours, and we have been humbled by the thanks we have received from those we have been able to help.

“However we expect demand to increase as the latest restrictions start to bite, and more help with basics such as heating is required. That’s why we are appealing for more donations from the generous people in Moray and Banffshire.”

Lord-Lieutenant of Banffshire, Andrew Simpson, praised the generosity of Moray donors.

“It has been quite overwhelming to see how readily people have given,” he said.

“We have received donations ranging from a few pounds to many thousands, from individuals and locally-based companies. Everyone has responded magnificently, and we are asking them to continue if at all possible.”

Information on how to donate or apply for support is available on www.lordlieutenantmoray.co.uk/moray-emergency-relief-fund for Moray residents, and for those in Banffshire at www.lordlieutenantbanffshire.co.uk or Moray Council’s website.

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