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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.

Coronavirus sector funding call

This news post is about 4 years old

A call has been made for specific funding to be created to help the voluntary sector respond to the crisis

A call has been made for emergency funding to be made for the voluntary sector in light of the Covid-19 crisis.

Organisations across Scotland are facing mass uncertainty and potential disruption as a result of the coronavirus.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has requested that discussions begin with the Scottish Government on creating a resilience fund for the sector.

A letter from SCVO chief executive Anna Fowlie to communities secretary Aileen Campbell highlights funding is already a challenge for the sector and many organisations face a demand in their services or further issues presented by the outbreak of the illness. Further letters have also been sent to finance secretary Kate Forbes and Cosla president Alison Evison.

Fowlie said: “As you know, funding is a perennial challenge for voluntary organisations and, given the budget delay this year, many find themselves in even more uncertain and difficult times as usual. It is critical, therefore, that the financial impact of Covid-19 on the sector is understood to avoid financial crisis for a number of organisations. This financial impact may look different for different organisations as fundraising events are cancelled, payment-by-results contracts are unable to be fulfilled, trading income falls or contracts do not cover sick pay.

“While at SCVO we are providing practical advice to the sector on how to predict, understand and model these impacts, we would also ask that the Scottish Government considers ways in which it might provide financial support to ensure that no voluntary organisations are forced into insolvency due to difficulties with cashflow as a result of the current situation. I am writing to the cabinet secretary for finance and to the president of Cosla to ask that discussions on how to protect businesses from the impact of Covid-19 explicitly include voluntary organisations, but we would also ask the Scottish Government to urgently consider the creation of a voluntary sector resilience fund, which could protect the organisations most at risk. We would be pleased to work with you and your officials to consider how this might best be managed and prioritised.”

On Saturday, a £320 million package of support for businesses was announced by the Scottish Government on Saturday (14 March), and it’s hoped that a similar solution can be found for the voluntary sector.

“This is an awful situation for everyone and I am anxious to maximise the resilience of the sector so that individuals and communities get the best support they can and so that the sector can play its part in Scotland’s response.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We understand this is a challenging and worrying time for those working in the third sector and we will continue to work closely with local government, SCVO and others to identify what further support is needed for local services.”