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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.

Daily coronavirus roundup for third sector Friday 10 July

This feature is almost 4 years old

What is happening in the voluntary sector #NeverMoreNeeded

Sector more vulnerable than ever

The UK voluntary sector remains “less resilient and more vulnerable” than before the coronavirus outbreak, the charity leaders body Acevo has concluded. The membership body said the latest edition of its rolling monthly survey of charity leaders, carried out at the end of June, indicated that the financial situation for charities remained broadly flat compared with the previous month. The 88 charities that took part were asked about areas including cash flow, employee numbers and reserves. Kristiana Wrixon, head of policy at Acevo, said: “It is positive that the charities we have surveyed are reporting fewer acute financial health challenges this month. “However, talking to our members and looking at data from the previous two months, I am deeply aware that an unchanged picture in June is still a much poorer, less resilient and more vulnerable outlook than four months ago.”

Museums welcome reopening plans

Museums have welcomed plans for them to reopen. Yesterday (Thursday 9 July), the Scottish Government moved into Phase 3 of the return from lockdown – and it was confirmed that attractions can begin to reopen with social distancing in place. A collective statement from Scotland’s museums and galleries welcomed the news but said reopening will take time. It said: “While we are collaborating as a sector to support and share knowledge of how to best welcome back visitors, we will be reopening at varying times starting this summer and will make our individual announcements as soon as we are each able to do so. “Reopening involves individual logistical challenges which we are approaching with a focus on protecting the health and safety of our visitors and employees whilst ensuring a quality visitor experience. We are all becoming more familiar with physical distancing and additional hygiene measures in our public spaces, and museums and galleries are similarly preparing in line with Government guidelines. Training will enable our dedicated teams to continue to provide excellent customer support before and during visits. We support the introduction of the UK-wide ‘We’re Good to Go’ certification in reassuring all our visitors, staff and volunteers that they can be confident of their safety. We know that our visitors are eager to visit as soon as possible so we will be encouraging them to check our opening details online before they visit.”

Concerns rise during lockdown

A charity has said children have become the hidden victims of coronavirus after a sharp rise in calls to its helpline. NSPCC Scotland has revealed that in April, May and June the helpline made a monthly average of 161 referrals compared to an average of 114 in the three months prior to lockdown. Last month, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced plans for young people to return to school fulltime in August, and the NSPCC is today urging the Scottish Government to ensure the recovery plan addresses the full range of children’s needs. This includes ensuring schools are ready to help all children who need it – particularly those who may have suffered abuse, neglect or other traumatic experiences during the lockdown – and investing in children’s social care. During the past three months, the helpline has heard from more than 22,000 adults across the UK concerned about the wellbeing of a child. This is an increase of almost a third (32%) on the monthly average for the three months prior to lockdown, with May seeing 8,287 contacts - the highest number ever made to the adult helpline in a single month on record. During lockdown, the main issues confronting NSPCC child safety experts were parental behaviour, physical and emotional abuse and neglect.

Call for extended support for care experienced youngsters

Scottish care-experience organisations have written to the minister for further education to call for the Care Experienced Students Bursary to be increased so that it is paid year-round – a change that would benefit over 2,500 students in Scotland. The bursary is a non-repayable grant made to care-experienced students regardless of age in full-time further and higher education to incentivise and support them to continue their education. As with other forms of student support it is paid during term-time. The letter welcomes the package of support recently announced for students who face hardship this summer as a result of the pandemic. Many students have been unable to rely on summer jobs as a result of Covid-19 but for care-experienced students financial uncertainty is a reality that will exist beyond the current crisis, requiring a longer term solution. The letter has been signed by the Jo Derrick chief executive of Staf, Scotland’s care leaver charity; Claire Burns, acting director of CELCIS; Lorraine Moore, manager of The Hub for Success; and Duncan Dunlop, CEO of Who Cares? Scotland. Derrick said: “Care-experienced young people are less likely to have the family support network of their peers or have a ‘bank of mum and dad’ to rely on – this does not end when the holiday break starts.”