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Winter warm packs are still available through BRDT

Date: Friday 17 February

Winter warm packs are still available through BRDT

Press Release

Residents in Blairgowrie and Rattray who are experiencing financial difficulties due to the cost-of-living crisis are advised that a limited number of warm packs are still available through the town’s development trust.

Blairgowrie and Rattray Development Trust (BRDT) successfully secured funding from Perth and Kinross Council’s cost-of-living fund to provide 30 packs, and the Rotary Club of Blairgowrie generously donated a further 17 packs to help those in need this winter.

Warm packs are a simple and effective solution to help people disproportionately affected by the current cost-of-living crisis keep a bit warmer in colder temperatures and when they may not be able to afford to put the heating in their homes on due to rising energy costs.

The packs contain a flask for keeping hot drinks warm, a fleece blanket, a hat, scarf and gloves, warm socks and a hot water bottle.  

Lesley McDonald is responsible for project development at BRDT.

She said: “We have offered winter warming packs the past couple of years for those experiencing financial hardship due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and we knew that this winter there would be an even greater need because of the cost-of-living crisis.  

“Blairgowrie Rotary Club got in touch at the end of last year as they felt it was something they wanted to support, so we gave them a list of what was required which they then purchased from local businesses and shops.

“Initially they were going to provide 10 warm packs but, thanks to the generosity of our wonderful independent local retailers who offered significant discounts and donations, they were able to provide 17 packs, almost doubling what we were then able to distribute, which was just fantastic and for which we are hugely grateful.

“However, we knew that more people could benefit from the packs so when PKC re-opened its cost-of-living fund we were able to apply for funding for another 30 packs. Most of these have now been distributed but there are a few still to be allocated.”

Lesley went on to explain how additional support from the fund, coupled with funding from the National Lottery’s Cost-of-Living Fund has enabled the Trust to provide 30 people in the town with two free nutritional meals a week over the winter months.

She said: “We are extremely grateful to PKC and the National Lottery for this support.

“We recognise that if people are not able to eat properly for whatever reason – whether that is through being too cold to cook, or not being able to afford the electricity to use their oven or buy the food they need – then unfortunately they can very quickly lose their appetite and their motivation to cook proper food, which can then lead to malnutrition.

“So we are trying to prevent that from happening and ensure that those most in need locally have access to at least two meals a week.

“Most of the meals are collected from the BaRI Food and Refill Store which is open to everyone and sells in-date food and food that is at its best-before-date and that supermarkets cannot sell anymore, or that would otherwise have been thrown away because the packaging has been damaged.

“A range of items is available to purchase at heavily discounted prices, which can include fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, cereal, pasta, sauces and tinned soup and fruit and vegetables.”

Lesley added: “BRDT’s work is led by the community for the community and part of that is supporting initiatives that aim to reduce social isolation, undernourishment, food costs and food waste.

“This funding, alongside the funding we received to offer warm spaces to the local community this winter, has made a significant and tangible difference to people’s lives over what has been another very difficult period for many.”

The warm spaces initiative aims to encourage people to stay active and connected over the winter months.

The BaRI Food and Refill Store on Blairgowrie High Street is open on Mondays, 2pm to 3pm, Wednesdays, 4pm to 6pm, Thursdays, 9.30am to 10.30am and Saturdays, 1pm to 3pm. The building also offers a warm space for people to relax, work, socialise and enjoy free wifi and refreshments in at these times. There is also a warm space open to everyone every Thursday from 10am to 1pm at Booklore, based at 13 Upper Mill Street in Blairgowrie.

For more information follow BaRI Food & Refill on Facebook. Alternatively, email

To find out more about the warm spaces in Blairgowrie and Rattray that are open to members of the public, see

ENDS For further information or media enquiries, please contact Clare McMicking on 07514 343 042 or