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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 Tuesday 5 May

This feature is over 2 years old

News on how the sector is responding to the pandemic

Fears over rise in children online during lockdown

There has been a “significant increase” in the number of adults admitting to having sexual thoughts about children during lockdown, according to a leading charity. Stop It Now! Scotland, which works to prevent child abuse, said more people had been contacting it to ask for support. The charity works with adults across the country who fear they pose a risk to children, and said youngsters were vulnerable as they were spending more time than usual online while schools are closed. It has a website where people can contact them to admit sexual thoughts and feelings towards children and seek help. Stuart Allardyce, director of Stop It Now! Scotland, said: “The data shows us that in the week lockdown began we had a significant increase in the number of people looking for support around that area. We worry about those individuals who pose a risk to children online – more children than before are online.”

Fresh food on the up

A new report from the Food Foundation reveals that veg box schemes across the UK have doubled the number of boxes sold weekly as a result of coronavirus. Data gathered via online and phone surveys of 101 UK veg box schemes by the Food Foundation shows that weekly sales of veg boxes have increased by 111% in the six weeks between the end of February 2020 and mid-April 2020. The highest rates of growth were seen by smaller box schemes (supplying up to 300 boxes per week) who grew sales by 134%. With an estimated 500 veg box schemes operating in the UK (pre-COVID-19), a total of 3.5 million veg boxes are likely to have been delivered to households over the last six weeks. More fresh produce could be provided with the right support, though: 82% of box schemes now have waiting lists and are closed to new orders, with the average waiting list numbering 160 people and the largest box scheme turning away 6,700 customers.

Trees a crowd

A team of six people from Trees for Life have been voluntarily isolating themselves at the charity’s flagship Dundreggan rewilding estate in Glenmoriston, near Loch Ness in the Highlands since 23 March – to save more than 100,000 native young trees from being lost due to the coronavirus crisis lockdown. The trees – including Scots pine, rowan, juniper, hazel, holly and oak, as well as rare mountain species such as dwarf birch and woolly willow – have all been grown carefully from seed in Dundreggan’s specialised nursery, and were due for planting out on the hills this spring. Dozens of volunteers help to propagate and grow over 60,000 trees a year at the nursery, from seed collected across the estate. These trees are then planted out at Dundreggan and other Highland sites to restore Scotland’s ancient Caledonian Forest and its unique wildlife.

Quiz night live

Mark Bonnar, star of Guilt, Line of Duty, Shetland and smash new show Quiz, is hosting a charity quiz night on Facebook, raising money for national charity Heart Research UK. Mark, who became a patron of the charity last year, will quiz viewers on subjects including sport, film and TV and music on Heart Research UK’s YouTube channel at 8pm on 6 May. Mark will also be taking over Heart Research UK’s Facebook page to chat live with participants and host a live Q&A after. Heart Research UK are asking for donations if players quiz along at home, with all the money supporting the charity’s pioneering medical research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.

Farm hands

Gorgie Farm, run by the charity Love, has been spearheading support for communities in Gorgie, Dalry and Stenhouse, coordinating different local organisations to deliver key services. Participating organisations are working collectively to provide a range of services to the community. Acting as a one-stop shop they are sharing a request for support with the right organisation if they can’t deliver it themselves. They are also working together to identify existing gaps in support that need filled. The first organisations to witness the benefit of this collaboration has been Gorgie Farm and Big Hearts, who have joined forces to enhance their foodbank provision to the local community. Big Hearts is a family-focused charity, aiming to improve the lives of people who are at risk of social isolation across communities. The community farm closed its doors to the public due to the coronavirus outbreak at the end of March.



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