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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, Thursday 14 May

This feature is about 2 years old

How the sector is responding to the pandemic #NeverMoreNeeded

Donation scheme backed by thousands

More than 10,000 food packs are set to be distributed to vulnerable families.

itison launched a fundraiser for Social Bite this week to help those hard-hit by the Covid-19 crisis. The online experiences site is asking big hearted Scots to donate £5 to buy a food pack for the most vulnerable people across the country right now including the homeless; families relying on school meals and the elderly.

In under 24 hours, kind-hearted members have donated over 10,000 food packs and counting for the most vulnerable people across the country right now including the homeless; families relying on school meals and the elderly.

Oli Norman, chief executive of itison, said: “Every time we launch a Social Bite campaign we’re blown away by the generosity of our members and this time is no exception, 10,000 donations in under 24 hours is just incredible - a massive thank you to everyone who’s donated.

“It’s never been more important that we look out for each other, so we’d encourage everyone to keep the momentum going - please dig deep, donate what you can and share with your friends and family – you’ll be putting food on people’s tables at a time when they truly need our help!”

To donate £5 to buy a meal for a vulnerable person in Scotland visit the itison website.

Keeping creative during lockdown

A social enterprise which specialises in trauma and lived experience has been keeping children across the country busy after setting up a project to home deliver boxes packed full of arts and craft materials.

The initiative has been developed by the Resilience Learning Partnership (RLP) and its team of volunteers, some of whom are care experienced young people. They have supplied more than 650 boxes to children and their families in just three weeks, helping them to get creative while spending time indoors during the Coronavirus crisis.

While leaving the organisation’s office just as the lock-down was announced, managing director, Shumela Ahmed quickly packed a selection of office supplies including coloured paper, felt-tip pens, glue and card for her own children.

However, after speaking to other parents she realised these types of materials are not easily available to everyone which gave her the idea of creating the RLP Crafty Kids project.

Shumela and her team, many of whom are care experienced young people, have had hundreds of requests from housing associations, front-line service providers and individual families, setting to work to build and fill more than 650 boxes with an exciting assortment of art supplies for young children.

After securing funding from Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface (CTSi) and National Lottery Community Fund, plans are already in place to provide boxes for teenagers and RLP is also looking at options to create a similar service for elderly recipients or men under the age of 45.

Shumela said: “As with a lot of small social enterprises, the pandemic created a huge amount of uncertainty for our operation. It was getting really difficult to plan ahead and I knew working from home with my children off school was going to be a challenge in itself.

“After the initial idea, the project grew pretty quickly and thanks to everyone’s hard work, it has been an immediate success. It is amazing to see everyone coming together to make it happen, growing from just a single box to distributing hundreds per week thanks to the team around me.”

First Minister offers reassurance

The First Minister sent a special video message to Matthew Burrows to reassure him that it is ok to let social care staff into his house during lockdown, thanks to intervention from ENABLE Scotland.

The seven-year-old lives in Stirling with his twin sister Ava and their parents. Matthew has autism and learning disabilities and ENABLE Scotland has supported the family for a while. Since the lockdown was introduced, the traditional way of supporting Matthew to go out for a few hours a week to allow his parents some respite had to stop. His parents wanted some extra support at home for a few hours to allow them a short break from caring, and ENABLE Scotland was working with the family to make this happen.

ENABLE Scotland’s Stirling service manager Nicola Smith explains: “The family haven’t had support for a while due to the Covid-19 situation, however they are really struggling, and they needed a break, so we pulled out all the stops to get support ready immediately. But, we had a problem.

Matthew met Nicola Sturgeon last year when she visited his primary school, and he listens to everything the First Minister says. The rule that you shouldn’t have people coming to your house during the lockdown made him stressed and anxious about his personal assistants coming into his home. He didn’t understand that this is an exception and needed some extra reassurance that it’s ok. We need to provide support to allow the parents a break once a week, but don’t want to be causing Matthew any increase in stress.

ENABLE Scotland contacted the First Minister – and she was delighted to help. She has sent a specially recorded video directly to Matthew.

She said: “Firstly, thank you so much for listening to all the advice I’ve been giving; telling people to stay at home and follow all the rules and do proper social distancing. People like you are really helping us right now in the fight against this virus. But I wanted to send you a wee message about your Personal Assistants and to tell you that it’s ok to let them in your house because people like that are doing really essential jobs; they’re there to help you and your family.”

Social committee chips in

An Ayrshire retirement housing development were treated to a fish and chip delivery to lift their spirits amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The social committee at Bield’s Carrick Gardens in Ayr decided to organise a mass takeaway delivery for 26 people from local restaurant Fish Plus Chips.

Nicola Hogg, Manager at Carrick Gardens, said: “It’s such a nice idea to keep everyone connected at a time when they can’t physically interact with one another.

“Some people at Carrick Gardens are over 75 and have had very little contact with the outside world since Covid-19 started, so the development is looking at doing little things to keep the spirits and moral high during a challenging time.”

More than £1m raised for national appeal

The Big Give has announced that its match funding campaign supporting communities hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic has now closed, raising more than £1.36 million.

Launched in March, The Big Give’s #Covid19EmergencyAppeal enabled donors to make twice the impact during the campaign. Donations were doubled with match funding from philanthropists and trusts, and then sent to the National Emergencies Trust, who allocated funding to grassroots organisations and community foundations across the country.

Highlighting the importance of this collaboration with The Big Give and the vital boost of matched giving in maximising the value of donations, Lord Dannatt, chair of the National Emergencies Trust, said: “We were delighted to partner with The Big Give to enable the public to double the value and power of their gifts in generating vital funding for grassroots charities across the country.

“We have been humbled by the public’s response. This means that we’ve been able promptly to issue grants to frontline charities and community foundations to fund critical services like food banks, mental health provision and support for those living in isolation.”



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