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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.

Cash will help groups work together to tackle the causes of inequality


Funding will help groups go beyond dealing with the symptoms of inequality and contribute to reducing it at its root causes

Two groups have been awarded £100,000 to tackle inequalities in their community.

Gordon Rural Action and Networks of Wellbeing in Huntly have been awarded a total of £100,00 from a new fund being piloted by Foundation Scotland called the Tackling Inequalities fund. 

Working in partnership, the two organisations will use the funding to gain a deeper understanding of their current service provision and examine the drivers of inequality in their Aberdeenshire community. 

The aim of the Tackling Inequalities fund is to provide organisations with the financial support to develop, test, implement or scale up activity that contributes to tackling and reducing inequalities either in their local areas or through their project more widely.  

Funding will help groups go beyond dealing with the symptoms of inequality and contribute to reducing it at its root causes. Giving agency to communities themselves to work in this ‘upstream’ way can help build an evidence base for what works and begin to challenge political and economic systems.  

This is the first thematic fund that Foundation Scotland has delivered, and seven projects will receive a funding total of around £500,000.  

Gordon Rural Action has been operating in Huntly for 45 years, providing free, confidential advice and support, while developing initiatives that tackle poverty, inequality, and responding to the needs of the local community.

Its Huntly Advice Hub gives people the support and information needed to make informed decisions about benefits, financial situations and rights, and can signpost on for issues such as debt or legal matters. Its school uniform exchange and baby bank are both completely free services open to everyone while its befriending services match individual needs and preferences while dovetailing into existing services.

Networks of Wellbeing (NoW) is a person-centred charity that has been working in mental health and wellbeing for 32 years. 

It provides a range of supports, services and activities for people aged 11 and over, and who live and work within the NHS Grampian area.

A particular service it provides is support for people who are experiencing moments of crisis - including those who are feeling suicidal, those who are experiencing stress, anxiety and panic attacks, or those experiencing social isolation and loneliness - with more and more young people looking for help and support.

NoW's services are free at the point of delivery which means that it is inclusive and open to all. This is especially important given that the impact of the current cost of living crisis means that there are an increasing number of people in the area who are living on or below the poverty line. 

Gordon Rural Action and NoW have a history of partnership working and often collaborate on mutually beneficial projects for the wider community.  They will work together to ensure that the £100,000 funding is put to best use for strengthening the community, researching more fully how they might jointly tackle the inequalities and drivers of poverty and mental health, engaging with the community to gather shared experiences. 

Helen Wray, head of philanthropy at Foundation Scotland, said: “Alongside responding to immediate and vital demands, Foundation Scotland is increasingly adopting a developmental approach, allocating funding to groups working differently to create a fairer and more just Scotland.

“We wanted to develop a new fund to test local, community-led approaches to preventative, or ‘upstream’ solutions that tackle the underlying causes of inequality.

“We’ll be learning from the funded projects about their own approaches and what works well, which will help inform our own thinking in the future.”   



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