An emergency fund has offered lifeline support to charities across the north and north-east – and more are being encouraged to take advantage of the aid available.
Foundation Scotland’s Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund has already reached hundreds of organisations suffering financially during the coronavirus pandemic.
So far, the “crucial” funding has supported a young north-east family left penniless after escaping an abusive relationship, helped restock a vital Highland community food larder and enabled an Aberdeen charity to distribute hundreds of emergency food and clothing parcels to people in need.
Grants of between £1,000 to £5,000 are available and a total of over £1.7 million has already been distributed.
Helen Wray, head of programmes at Foundation Scotland, told the P&J of the life-changing impact the funding has been having.
Mrs Wray, originally from Torphins, said: “Community groups and charities up and down the country responded really quickly to the needs they were seeing in their communities, by using their own funds and resources.
“Many were already in fragile position financially themselves, and so it is vital they we are able to respond with funding to help them to continue to meet these immediate needs in communities.
“The feedback has been positive to date, with those supported commenting on the speed of decisions but also how quickly the funds arrive in their bank accounts.”
The grants, which are distributed in a small 72-hour window, have reached organisations the length and breadth of Scotland.
A four-figure sum has helped the Grampian Society for the Blind deliver support services, while a £4,300 award has allowed the Libertie Project Limited charity to create 125 creative activity boxes for vulnerable families in Inverness.
In Moray, the Dufftown and District Community Association received £5,000 to set up a new foodbank.
Ms Wray said that, given the lack of fundraising events and usual routes charities take to garner funding from the community, members of the public can also help make a difference to the future of the third sector.
She said: “Charities need our support now more than ever as many will be unable to raise income from fundraising events and activities, while the pressure on their services increases.
Inverness Foodstuff SCIO provide hot nutritious meals every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for the homeless and vulnerable in Inverness.https://t.co/O1fMIZYBhs@NatEmergTrust @UKCF_tweets#NETCoronaVirusAppeal #RRR pic.twitter.com/xZbv5yOI0t
— Foundation Scotland (@FoundationScot) April 27, 2020
“Have a think about donating funds to a local charity in your community, offering some time to volunteer or simple things such as adding items to your shopping basket that you can give to your local food bank.
“Fundraising campaigns such as the Big Give are suggesting people donate the money they are saving on the daily commute or the cost of a couple of drinks after work and I think that’s a great idea.”
The Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund has been set up in partnership with the National Emergencies Trust.
Visit www.foundationscotland.org.uk to apply for support.