My role at SCVO is to manage the Community Capacity and Resilience Fund (CCRF),  from the application process and payments, to the ongoing support for participating organisations.

I recently attended an event involving various organisations currently benefiting from the fund, which was a sort of mid-way point review – an opportunity for those involved to come together and showcase the work they have done so far.

Organisations in attendance were those involved in delivering a range of projects and activities all aimed at mitigating the impact of welfare reform. These included financial management support, healthy cooking on a budget, provision of meals to children during school holidays, volunteer training, food growing and an innovative energy saving food heater.

The interactive day was spent with those present working together to share experiences of how their projects were going, discussing any issues that had arisen and how they overcame them,sharing ideas and telling their stories. Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, Angela Constance also joined attendees for the final session and heard feedback from Sovereign Credit Union and The Maxwellton Information Centre on their projects, including what they have learned through delivering their projects and what they felt will enable success across Scotland.

On 22 February 2017, the Scottish Government announced £1.9 million of new funding to help local third sector groups and organisations across Scotland tackle poverty and mitigate against UK government welfare changes, which will see SCVO opening up a new round of funding in autumn 2017.

It was a truly inspiring day, listening to all in attendance talk with such enthusiasm and passion about their work and hearing first hand the impact they are making to the people in their communities.Feedback was incredibly encouraging, with many attendees stating that the input from others helped them see a different perspective and approach, that they were able to make positive links with others and that they felt less alone in the challenges they have faced.

The Scottish Government have created a great clip of the day too, which you can watch here: