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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.

Covid charity shares funding fears for lifeline services

This news post is over 1 year old

Covid Aid, set up during the pandemic, has supported those with long Covid. 

A charity set up to support those living with long Covid has warned of a funding battle when service users need it the most. 

Covid Aid, launched in May 2020, helps thousands of people every week across the country - particularly those severely impacted by the virus - as well as those facing financial issues. 

The numbers of those living with Long Covid in Scotland now exceeds more than 150,000, but the charity has said they are now facing a battle to keep their staff amid their own funding concerns. 

Founder Michael MacLennan told the Herald: “When launched in May 2020 we began signposting people to charities, but as we got up and running and started to run information articles related to Long Covid and related.

“Towards the end of last year we launched our support community which is an online, safe space and is led by the members. There are now more than 750 members. We have reached more than 125,000 people through our website hub.”

The charity’s founder believes that as the attention on Covid diminishes it is difficult for them to continue with what they want to do.

Mr MacLennan, a volunteer, added: “It is now a case of living with Covid but in actual fact there are people living with Long Covid whose lives have been changed. 

“There are 1,000s of people who have lost loved ones and due to the nature of grief in the pandemic have not been able to properly recognise that and go through the grieving process.

“We feel the case for the charity is stronger than ever because there is a need for support for those who have been affected.

“However, Covid Aid is now facing the situation where they are having to reduce their paid staff members due to funding issues.

“It is clear that we will be experiencing Covid as an issue for some time. People are still losing loved ones or getting Long Covid, but it is vital that there is support. We need significant funding to provide more support in the year to come.

“We are aware that there is more than 150,000 people in Scotland with Long Covid. That number is growing, it is not contracting. 

“Getting funding has been extremely difficult and challenging and we are having to go from four full time staff to one paid team member.

“We have struggled to get funding through the likes of the Long Covid Support fund so far which means we can’t expand and are reducing what we can do instead.”

The project has been mentioned in Holyrood, with meetings held with Public Health Marie Todd, where the charity pleaded for greater support. 

Mr MacLennan added: “We ran our services on little more than £30,000, but if we secured funding we could reach 250,000 and support networks across the country. Funding for us is crucial and it cannot wait for the people who need the support.”