Twelve charities have been granted additional funding for pilot projects which aim to reduce the impact of welfare cuts and poverty in Scotland.

On 22 February this year Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, Angela Constance announced £1.9 million of new funding, building upon work developed by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), Development Trusts Associations Scotland and the Scottish Community Alliance to ensure local third sector groups can deliver direct support to communities.

In January this year, 28 organisations were successful in applying to the Community Capacity and Resilience Fund to deliver pilot projects over an eight month period, and with the announcement of this new funding we invited these organisations to apply for additional funding to ‘upscale’ their work.

Now, over £100,000 has been granted to 12 of the original organisations and groups to progress their projects – Art Angel, Centipede, Church House, Fife Arabic Society, Kidz-Eco CIC, Lanarkshire Deaf Club, Midlothian Financial Inclusion Network, Minority Communities Addiction Support Services, Outside the Box Development Support Ltd, The Maxwelltown Information Centre, The Ridge (Scotland) CIC, and West Dunbartonshire Minority Ethnic Association.

Irene Connelly, Programme Development Manager at SCVO said: “There has been some amazing work over the past eight months and we’re delighted that we’re able to extend our funding offer. Of the 28 original organisations who were delivering pilot projects, 21 applied for further funding, and by assessing the different projects we were able to identify 12 organisations who we felt could really expand what they have done so far and develop their work over the next year. It’s a great opportunity to build on their success and deepen their impact, which is beneficial to them when applying for more sustainable funding in future.”

Applications to the fund from new projects will open early September 2017 – further details will be made available at http://www.scvo.org.uk/running-your-organisation/funding/capacity-resilience-fund/ .

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Art Angel successfully engaged 20 new participants from chaotic or isolated environments in one to one workshops in photography, creative writing and art. With this additional funding they hope to engage 30-50 new people and introduce an intermediary group where beginners start out prior to the mainstream project.

Centipede delivered 16 workshops in three schools reaching 175 children, to achieve long term interest in food growing and stewardship of brownfield spaces amongst local communities. Now they hope to extend their demographical reach and deliver new workshops around health and the human body.

Church House ran cooking classes that focussed on teaching young people how to cook new and nutritious recipes on a budget, which 24 people attended – with four obtaining their food hygiene certificate. They want to increase the number of cooking sessions to reach 60 people, develop the nature of the sessions to meet needs and introduce a community meal provision.

The Fife Arabic Society work with Syrian refugees. They have trained 12 volunteers, helped 21 people access IT training, and recruited six befrienders so far to provide support to new arrivals. Now they want to deliver more IT sessions, recruit four more befrienders, train seven more volunteers and develop a skills academy with employability focussed activities and support.

Kidz-Eco CIC aim to stop the cycle of children in poverty not participating in school and becoming adults in poverty. They now have referrals, have trained volunteers, collected donations and created promotional materials, and have started distributing Kidz-Start packs to families. They will now recruit a project coordinator to enable the project to continue.

Lanarkshire Deaf Club provide a support service to enable the deaf community to access welfare advice and support to seek employment. Nine of those engaging with the pilot went on to employment. The additional funding will support more volunteers and interpretation services with the aim of doubling the number of people supported.

Midlothian Financial Inclusion Network improve access of individuals affected by welfare reform to affordable, healthy food in their local area. They want to build on their food mapping work and voucher offer to include provision of hot meals and providing a mobile service.

Minority Communities Addiction Support Services work with disadvantaged people aged 18-65 who are having difficulty with benefits and understanding the welfare system. The pilot project reached many and provided a range of services and supports that have enabled positive development for those involved. Now they aim to increase their service with more focus on females, and develop services that address social isolation.

Outside the Box Development Support Ltd sets up peer support for older people around issues with food. So far they have engaged with 20 people and delivered a range of activities and they now want to enable the existing group to become self-sustaining, and develop a second group for 30-40 people.

The Maxwelltown Information Centre provides the local community accessing the centre for foodbank referral with access to fresh fruit and vegetables, and the knowledge to grow their own in future. So far they have provided 40 people with seasonal, fresh fruit and vegetables, with over 12 benefiting from having the skills and knowledge to grow their own produce. They aim to support 15 families via the programme, and 20 people a month through the workshops.

The Ridge (Scotland) CIC offer training for local people facing food poverty, to feed themselves and their families with nutritious/appetising food within limited budgets. So far they have offered 24 training places, and will now increase their courses to eight and provide childcare to address the need for parents to engage.

West Dunbartonshire Minority Ethnic Association support the local ethnic minority community to better understand the impact of welfare reform changes. Through two weekly drop-in sessions they reached 87 people, and now want to increase these to three sessions a week, manned by trained volunteers.