VSGWL is a member of a network of Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) covering every local authority area in Scotland. As the coronavirus pandemic continues it is important that we have a strong understanding of its impact on community groups, voluntary organisations and social enterprises, as well as the people and communities you support.
All TSIs are asking Third Sector Organisations about the impact of coronavirus on them and local communities. We are asking you to help by completing this short survey. We know this is a really busy time, but good quality information will help us provide better support to you and enable us to make the right asks of government and funders. Please note:
You can complete the survey by clicking here - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/tsicovid The survey will be open until 29 May.
Thank you in anticipation
New round of Wellbeing Fund to help charities and social enterprises support those impacted by coronavirus
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.
More information about the Wellbeing Fund, including eligibility criteria, can be found here.
There has been an exceptional response to the ‘Scotland Cares’ campaign since it was launched a month ago. There have been over 75,000 new sign ups to volunteer to help Scottish communities and pubic services in addition to the thousands of volunteers who were already giving their time and energy to help their communities. We would like to thank everyone who has signed up to this campaign as well as those who were already volunteering and have stepped up to deal with this pandemic. In West Lothian, 1,200 individuals have put themselves forward to help. Thank you!!
The response from the public has been tremendous, but Ready Scotland is pausing national recruitment because there are more volunteers available than there are tasks for them to do. We know that some of those who have signed up may not be needed immediately. However, volunteers will continue to be critical in our collective efforts to support and rebuild our communities and may be called on to help over the weeks and months to come.
VSGWL will continue to work together with WL Council and our Third Sector partners to deliver food parcels, ensure essential supplies and medicines reach vulnerable people in our communities and continue to deploy volunteers to help. https://www.gov.scot/news/number-of-volunteer-sign-ups-passes-75-000/
With the closure of schools and nurseries during the Covid-19 crisis, Child Protection Scotland is urging everyone to keep their eyes and ears open for children who may be at risk during this time.
For more information, please visit: https://www.childprotection.scot/
Important development about the expansion of testing for key workers, including staff working for third sector organisations supporting people and children who are vulnerable and staff involved in volunteering.
The Scottish Government has published guidance on Saturday regarding the expanded testing programme in Scotland and for testing of key workers – links to this guidance are below.
Testing of Key Workers FAQs
Guidance on the UK Government Testing Programme in Scotland
Letter to employers from SG re expansion of testing
The Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund has been open for applications since the 26th of March 2020 and to date we have distributed over £1.3 million in grants to organisations working to address immediate needs in their communities. In order to ensure we have enough funds to continue to meet these needs and taking into consideration other funding that is now available we have updated our eligibility criteria. From the 20th of April 2020 only organisations with an income of less than £125,000 will be eligible to apply. As and when more funds arrive or if there are changes to restrictions in place due to COVID-19 we may make further amendments so please do continue to refer to the website and our guidelines for any further updates.
Foundation Scotland are providing immediate funding to support constituted community groups and charities that are responding to the coronavirus pandemic in their local community. Funding is available between £1,000 and £5,000– focussed on immediate community needs. We aim to turn around funding applications swiftly, and to keep our application process straightforward.
Vegetarian For Life have put together some information that you may find useful, and also information on their services during this difficult time.
The Scottish Government’s Wellbeing Fund will support organisations across the third sector that are providing important services for people as a result of coronavirus.
£10m has already been allocated for immediate priorities and £7 million has been committed to provide around 2,000 charities with small grants through Corra, Inspiring Scotland, STV Appeal, SCVO and Scotland’s Third Sector Interfaces. The remaining £33 million is now open to bids from Third Sector Organisations.
You can register your interest here
West Lothian Council is offering additional funding of £327,000 to West Lothian Third Sector groups to help them support local vulnerable people during the COVID-19 emergency by launching a Third Sector Hardship Fund. The fund is targeted at third sector organisations providing support to vulnerable groups, particular the elderly and those with disabilities, and aims to support additional costs for these organisations in responding to the COVID-19 crisis. This includes local charities, community groups, community councils, social enterprises and voluntary organisations.
The Third Sector Hardship Fund will provide voluntary organisations with additional funding to enhance existing COVID-19 responses and to introduce new support where this is necessary. People with disabilities and our elderly population are the most likely to be affected by the social distancing arrangements currently in place and support for these groups is the focus of the fund.
To apply please complete the attached application form and email it to RegenerationTeam@westlothian.gov.uk by 10am on Thursday 16 April.
Various funds have been announced recently to help organisations deal with the impact of coronavirus on services over the past few days.: As a reminder, these are captured below;
It is anticipated more Scottish Government funding pots will be announced made in the coming days. We will highlight these and other funding opportunities as funds go-live.
Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian is a Registered Company in Scotland No. SC244154 and Registered Scottish Charity No. SC027612.
Registered Office: 20-22 King Street, Bathgate, EH48 1AX
Registered Office: 20-22 King Street, Bathgate, EH48 1AX