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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Coronavirus roundup for Tuesday 1 September

 

News from around the third sector #NeverMoreNeeded

Vital charity hit by funding decision

A charity for people with additional complex needs has launched a petition after it was denied funding by Glasgow City Council. Buddies Clubs and Services, which provides one-to-one support for children and adults as well as family respite, was among groups 'not recommended' for a discretionary grant from the Glasgow Communities Fund this week. Bosses behind the club have now launched a petition to "seek transparency on who made this decision, how they came to this decision, the criteria surrounding this and to have this outcome rejected at the City Administration Committee next week". So far, over 2000 people have signed the petition. Jane Hook, Founder of Buddies, said: "We are deeply grateful for all the interest and support which is being given in this petition and do hope that people will realise how much our organisation means to many families." Decisions will be made this Thursday by the City Administration Committee. A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “Demand for grant support has been exceptional – with applications received for well over double the total value of the fund. “Unfortunately, this was always going to mean disappointment for some organisations with applications that scored less highly during assessment. Decisions on citywide grants will be made at committee next week – followed by a further round of local awards."

Virtual choir goes the extra 500 miles

A 'virtual choir' of ten blind and partially sighted people has recorded their own version of The Proclaimers iconic 'I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)', the chart-topping hit that became an instant classic of Scottish pop. But this version has changed the lyrics to give a humorous take on the frustrations and difficulties that people with sight loss have experienced during lockdown. Mike Holroyd, who brings the RNIB Scotland Connect Singers together over the phone, said: "When it comes to social distancing, too often sighted people think that others are being careless if they are getting too close to them. But the reality is that those who are blind or partially sighted can't always fully see other people even when they are alongside. "Singing has become an important pass-time during lockdown in many countries, and this has certainly been true for some of our members in Scotland. "Our singers, who continue to meet over the phone each week, decided to write a song about some of the challenges they face as we emerge out of lockdown. They were all involved in writing and re-writing lines of the song until everyone was happy with the result. "We asked Steven Johnson, an RNIB Scotland volunteer and himself a singer/song-writer, to record some guitar and vocals. We were then able to add piano and further vocals through sending audio-files backwards and forwards and even collecting some vocals via phone call. It’s a serious message in a light hearted way. “

Charity shops horrifying” lockdown haul

Horror film dolls and hand grenades have been given to charity shops which say donations have more than doubled since reopening after lockdown. The World War One relic was handed in to a shop in West Yorkshire and had to be taken away by bomb disposal experts. Mind said it had received 14,000 bags in its first week back - 8,000 more than during the same week last year. Andrew Vale, from the charity, said given each bag is worth about £30 it was "a great problem to have". In May the Charity Retail Association warned charity shops may face a deluge of donations and one charity in Lincolnshire asked people to stop donating after receiving more than 50 tonnes. Oxfam volunteer Alex Leggat was manning the till at the shop in Otley, near Leeds, when his colleague brought down a plastic bag marked "brought back from school battlefield trip". Inside was a hand grenade and a bullet," said the 68-year-old. "I thought let's take this out of the way so it's not going to blow the customers up." The area around the shop was cordoned off and nearby buildings evacuated until an Army bomb disposal team was able to confirm it was a "harmless battlefield souvenir".

Rashford ramps up food poverty bid

Footballer Marcus Rashford has formed a taskforce with some of the UK's biggest food brands to try to help reduce child food poverty. The 22-year-old Manchester United forward successfully campaigned to extend free school meals this summer. He has spoken about his own experiences of using a food voucher scheme as a child and was praised for pressing the government into a U-turn on the issue. He has written to MPs, outlining the help he feels some families still need. The group of supermarkets, businesses and charities - including Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Deliveroo, FareShare, Food Foundation, Iceland, Kellogg's, Lidl, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose - have formed a taskforce and backed proposals from the National Food Strategy, an independent review of UK food policy. Rashford said he was "confident" the group could help change lives "for the better".

Recovery month goes ahead despite lockdown

Campaigners are highlighting Recovery Month, promoting efforts to help get people off drugs. Events and campaigning will take place during September to promote the evidence that rehabilitation and getting people into recovery works to take and keep people off drugs in the long term. Groups taking part in the month of events also want to celebrate the stories of those who have sustained their recovery and become drug free. The theme for 2020 National Recovery Month is ‘Join the Voices for Recovery’. Campaign organisation of Faces And voices of Recovery (Favor) is one of the groups promoting Recovery month in Scotland. It wants more government resources invested in recovery services instead of what Favor says a funding imbalance towards Opioid Substitution Treatment (OST )like methadone. Annemarie Ward, Favor chief executive, said that recovery services have suffered from funding cuts and lack of political will for years. She said: “The story of the last 10 years is of all services being stretched and funding cut, at a time when drug problems were diversifying and deepening. “Within that overall picture, it is the recovery/abstinence services that have been most depleted.”

 

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