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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, Monday 11 May

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How the sector is responding to the pandemic #NeverMoreNeeded

Urgent appeal launched

A small charity that supports refugees living in desperate conditions has launched an urgent appeal.

For the past six years volunteers from Edinburgh Direct Aid have been there for 50,000 Syrian refugees in the remote border town of Arsal in Lebanon, supporting them through cold, trauma, poverty and despair.

But this summer, with the borders closed, the charity cannot visit, just when the refugees are fighting for their very survival. They are threatened simultaneously with the universal spectre of Covid-19 and hunger resulting from rampant inflation and decreasing UN aid.

The charity said in this war the weapons to combat these new enemies are simple - food, water and soap.

Edinburgh Direct Aid is now urgently appealing for funds to buy these & other vital supplies. You can find out more and donate on the charity’s website.

Funding boost for project

Queens Cross Housing will continue to deliver healthy meals and food packages to residents in Glasgow after the association secured over £23,000 in fresh funding from the Scottish Government’s Supporting Communities programme.

The association has been working in partnership with mental health charity Flourish House, who run the Courtyard Café in Westercommon, to prepare and deliver healthy, cooked meals to local residents over the lockdown period.

This new funding will financially support employees of the café, who have been preparing nearly 400 meals every week for residents in the association’s four areas of Dundasvale, Queens Cross, Westercommon/Hamiltonhill and Woodside.

The grant will also continue to support the supply of emergency groceries to vulnerable tenants as part of the association’s emergency food scheme.

Community organisation brings people hope

While the whole nation is in lockdown, the severe consequences of the pandemic are felt by the most vulnerable. The No.1 Befriending agency is helping to tackle this with its new Bringing Hope project.

The social enterprise that was formed in 2016 to fight loneliness and isolation among the elderly, and has launched a telephone support service during lockdown.

The organisation has received funding to be able to respond to increased demand and also provide shopping for up to 80 isolated older adults. The telephone befriender role and the volunteer shopper role have already been advertised through Volunteer Glasgow, with an amazing response rate, and the staff team is already developing a series of new online volunteer training.

“It has been amazing to see how people have truly come together and are willing to help during this crisis,” said Audrey Mutongi, the organisation’s founder. “We have been so lucky, – while so many charities and social enterprises had to close their doors, we have been able to quickly transform how we operate and respond to the increased demand for our service. I am really proud of us.”

If you are interested in volunteering, visit the social enterprise’s website.

Online library launches

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has launched a new online library offering people with sight loss instant access to thousands of free books in formats they can read.

The new platform already has more than 26,000 titles making it the UK's largest online library of Talking Books – the world’s first audio-books, which were originally created by the charity for soldiers who were blinded in the First World War.

Funded by voluntary donations, RNIB’s Library service sends out up to 10,000 books per day and lent more than 1.5 million titles last year on CD, USB and digital downloads.

It is hoped that this new platform, which aims to improve the current service, will provide even more blind and partially sighted people with access to reading at a time when lockdown measures due to the coronavirus have restricted outdoor activity.

To sign up to the online library, visit the RNIB website, or call the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999 to find out more.



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