The second round of the Scottish Government’s Wellbeing Fund is now open to applications from voluntary sector organisations providing crucial services to people as a result of coronavirus.
The Fund is being delivered through an innovative model which involves national organisations and funders working alongside Third Sector Interfaces from across Scotland’s 32 local authorities.
The first round closed on 30 April having received over 1,000 applications, with half of applications already assessed and more than £6 million approved for funding so far.
Awards have been offered to support a wide range of activity across all communities in Scotland. From creative learning packs, online exercise classes and increased phone contact to support the mental health and wellbeing of veterans and young people, to grocery and baby essential parcels for those who are self-isolating.
So far the majority of applications have been from local organisations working within a single local authority, and early analysis indicates good targeting towards areas of deprivation and those experiencing greater vulnerability.
The most common beneficiary group in round one was children and families followed by older people, and almost 60% of projects aimed to support mental health and wellbeing. Around £4 million of applications related to food preparation and distribution.
The second round of the Wellbeing Fund is open to all voluntary sector organisations that did not apply or receive funding from the first round. Applications from organisations working to support people facing financial or employment difficulties are being particularly encouraged, as well as applications from organisations working with minority communities.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “I am pleased the Scottish Government continues to be able to support the vital work of Scotland’s third sector in providing a wide range of support for vulnerable communities at this difficult time. Through the first phase of funding, charities and social enterprises helping families and children were among the main beneficiaries and, as the second phase of funding is launched, we would particularly welcome applications that provide financial advice or employability support.”
Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), one of the national funding partners, said: “I am pleased we are able to build on the success of the first round of the Wellbeing Fund and bring much-needed funding to voluntary sector organisations. Across Scotland, the sector is providing vital services and support to the people who need it most. New needs are emerging as the full impact of the pandemic unfolds and it is important that those needs are addressed. The partnership of government, grant-makers and local and national infrastructure organisations has been fundamental to making this work.”
Anthea Coulter on behalf of the TSI Scotland Network said: “The third sector has responded swiftly and safely in a complex and changing environment to protect and support the most vulnerable in our communities. We are delighted that the TSI Scotland Network’s local knowledge is being recognised and understood and we are proud to be helping to ensure that funding gets through to these frontline organisations, leveraging across Scotland the Network’s local connections, relationships and knowledge to continue this vital work.”