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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.

New partnership supports hundreds of voluntary sector heroes

This news post is almost 2 years old

Foundation Scotland has announced a new strategic partnership with SAMH to deliver much needed mental health training to funded groups

A new partnership is aiming to provide vital mental health support for those working or volunteering in the third sector.

Foundation Scotland has developed a new partnership with the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH). The funder has awarded the national charity an initial £20,000 to deliver 40 training sessions specifically designed for those working or volunteering in the third sector. This strategic collaboration showcases the foundation’s unparalleled commitment to the sector and all those working within it. 

Foundation Scotland has to date awarded over £7.3 million to over 1,100 charitable groups supporting the most vulnerable people through the crisis. This support has already reached more than two million people living across Scotland.  However, the community foundation recognises the vital and urgent need to protect and maintain the wellbeing of the individuals who have worked tirelessly to deliver this incredible support.

Funded in partnership with the National Emergencies Trust, this significant award recognises mental health as a key priority need through the pandemic. Recent research found that two thirds of charities have experienced an increase in staff stress levels through the pandemic and 44% of organisations cited staff burnout as a significant threat to their operations. 

The funding will allow SAMH to deliver tailored workplace sessions. Individuals will get to choose from a range of virtual sessions including A Manager’s Guide to Mental Health in the Workplace, Introduction To Suicide Prevention, Maintaining Wellbeing and Building Resilience. These courses aim to develop participants’ knowledge, skills and confidence to protect themselves and provide support to colleagues.  These practical, solutions-driven, courses will enable organisations to become more resilient, and help them further support the people who need them.  

Helen Wray, programmes manager at Foundation Scotland, said “We have been continually impressed by the hundreds of passionate and dedicated third-sector heroes delivering incredible support through this dreadful time.  Yet we recognise it is often these very people who feel like they can’t talk, or even have time to think about their own issues as they are so focussed on helping others. This is very concerning, supporting others just isn’t sustainable long-term unless you are looking after yourself and others within your organisation.

"We need to ensure these individuals feel equipped, trained and able to cope with the increasing pressures they face.  This week we’ve contacted over 1,000 organisations that have received an award through our Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund with an invitation to take up to two free places. We have already seen a huge take-up in places”.

Fiona Benton, assistant director of delivery and development at SAMH, said “As a charity, SAMH knows first-hand how hard third sector staff and volunteers have been working since the start of the pandemic: finding new ways to support people who need help, often while dealing with their own personal stress and worries. We’re grateful to Foundation Scotland for recognising the need to protect the mental health and wellbeing of people working in charities. We are looking forward to delivering our expert training to charities across the sector, thanks to Foundation Scotland’s support."

This £20,000 award is the second strategic crisis grant provided to SAMH by Foundation Scotland.  The charity previously received over £100,000 in October 2020 to design and deliver a partnership programme offering mental health support to key workers.



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