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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 6 July

This feature is almost 4 years old

Researchers head back into lab in search for breakthroughs

Today (Monday 6 July) some dementia researchers funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK have been given special access to head back into the lab at the University of Edinburgh, while ensuring they comply with the strict government guidelines on social distancing.

While resourceful scientists funded by the UK’s leading dementia research charity were still managing to do some work in innovative ways wherever possible from home, this return marks a change in pace with scientists physically allowed back in the lab to resume their pioneering research.

Almost one million people in the UK are living with dementia, and over half of us know someone affected - in Scotland alone, 90,000, people live with the condition.

People with dementia experience memory loss, confusion, personality changes and gradually lose the ability to manage daily life. And sadly, it has become clear that people with dementia are more at risk of experiencing severe effects of Covid-19.

Speaking about the return to the lab, Dr Katie Askew from the University of Edinburgh, said: “Just as research is vital in the fight against Covid-19, we know that research will help us to overcome dementia. We are looking forward to resuming experiments that were postponed due to lockdown. I am able to return to the lab, albeit in a much-reduced capacity, to set up complete experiments and set up new long-term studies due to special dispensation from the university as my research project has significant time constraints.

“Dementia research has been hit hard and while we won’t be at full strength for a while, our lab is looking to start new experiments to complete our projects when it is safe for us to do so. We will ensure we are working safely to help avoid vital work like this stalling again as Covid-19 is still out there and remains a significant threat to our communities as well as our research.”

Charities launch free uniform service

Glasgow City Parents Group is working in collaboration with Glasgow's Pre Loved Uniforms SCIO and ApparelXchange CIC to provide free school uniform packages.

This new initiative brings three key organisations together, enabling them to provide essential support to Glasgow families, whilst encouraging the re-use of clothing and reducing the impact on our environment.

The service relies on donations, so there is an appeal to wash, fold and bag up donations of school uniform, jackets, blazers and footwear. GCPG will arrange a socially distanced drop off/collection and all donated items will be quarantined for 72 hours in line with infection control guidelines. Get in touch with Leanne on the email above.

Parents/carers/support workers/social work or any family representative can discreetly email GCPG, who will ask for a few details i.e. school, gender, size. The charity does not need to know your financial situation or any personal details.

Since Glasgow schools are closed, parents and families have been unable to access uniform from school run uniform rails and so this service is providing a discrete and supportive alternative access point.

Leanne McGuire, chair of GCPG, said: “This year many families may find themselves in a position they have never been I before, worrying about how to afford school uniform if their income has been drastically effected by Covid19. I wanted to make it easy and discreet for families to access the support they need and give them one less thing to worry about”

Families can make a request via the GCPG email address (

David has the X factor

X-Men star Alan Cumming has been helping to save the world again after allowing a Scottish nurse to hijack his social media channels for a day.

Hollywood actor Cumming, who played Nightcrawler in X2: X-Men United, handed over control of his Twitter and Instagram accounts to Montrose-born medic David Anderson.

Celebrities including Cumming, Hugh Jackman, Julia Roberts and James McAvoy are taking part the anti-poverty group The ONE Campaign’s #PassTheMic promotion, giving frontline health workers and economic experts a platform to discuss the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.

David, 51, a Humanitarian Health Advisor with charity UK-Med, has supported the British government’s UK Emergency Medical Team’s responses to crises including the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.

He recently used his experiences attending global health emergencies to help set up the NHS Nightingale field hospital in Manchester as part of the UK’s efforts to tackle COVID-19.

Olivier Award winner Cumming, 55, said: “Right now, as the world continues to deal with the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to continue to listen to the experts and those on the frontline of battling this disease.

“The response to this has to be global, because disease doesn’t respect borders. Until all of us are safe, none of us are safe – but thanks to the heroes on the frontline around the world, like David, we can beat this virus everywhere.”

David was delighted to get the chance to speak directly to Cumming’s 397,000 Instagram followers and 291,000 Twitter fans about the importance of helping the world’s poorest countries combat coronavirus.

He said: “Crisis inspires people to come together. We need to mitigate against a second wave, whilst balancing the impact on the economy, education and everything else.

“Alan is a really talented actor and it was great fun that he let me have access to his followers and fans.”

Other stars including Sarah Jessica Parker, Penelope Cruz, David Oyelowo, Robin Wright, Millie Bobby Brown, David Oyelowo and Danai Gurira have allowed experts like President Trump’s senior advisor Dr Anthony Fauci to take over their social media feeds.