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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.

Health charities face struggle to survive

 

A coalition of 30 organisations has called for a Third Sector Recovery and Renewal Fund to be created, to allow vital work to continue #NeverMoreNeeded

Leading health charities from across Scotland have warned they will struggle to survive without recovery funding.

A coalition of more than 30 health and social care organisations operating in Scotland has called for the Scottish Government to take action to mitigate the stark financial impact of Covid-19.

In a letter sent to the First Minister last week, the voluntary sector organisations highlight that lost fundraising income as a result of the pandemic is challenging the sector’s ability to support people, and will in some cases pose a threat to organisations’ very survival.

Organisations who have signed the letter include Age Scotland, CHAS, Food Train, Alzheimer Scotland and Penumbra.

The signatories call on the Scottish Government to establish a Third Sector Recovery and Renewal Fund for national third sector health and care organisations, to invest in progressing a sustainable model of integrated care for the future.

The move comes as one in five respondents to a recent survey by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) report a critical threat to their financial viability in the next 12 months.

Commenting on the intervention, Professor Ian Welsh, chief executive of the ALLIANCE said: “For many of our member organisations the early summer months would normally see the height of their fundraising activity, but the cancellation of events and the closure of charity shops and other venues in response to Covid-19 has disrupted that massively.

“Cruelly, this financial impact is being felt at the very time that many organisations face unprecedented demand for their services, as disabled people, people living with long term conditions and unpaid carers seek much needed information and support.

“The sector has again demonstrated its ability to respond to challenging circumstances in an agile and flexible way. But as welcome and essential sources of emergency funding and the furlough scheme draw to a close, more support is needed to ensure that national third sector health and social care organisations are sustainable as key recovery partners through Covid-19 and into the post-pandemic period.”

The letter was released ahead of findings of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery for Scotland being published this week. The group has warned that without support and investment, the voluntary sector will struggle to survive, as it faces a perilous financial situation but rising demand.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said details of further support for the sector will be announced in due course.

“The cabinet secretary for communities and local government announced an emergency £350 million package of funding on 18 March to support people and communities in responding to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have moved quickly to ensure that the urgent support needed was delivered to community and third sector organisations through a range of funds to address the critical needs arising from the emergency.

“We recognise there will be a need for further support for the sector and we are considering our approach to recovery. This will include the consideration of the impact of different phases of lockdown. Details will be announced in due course.”

 

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