Grassroots projects to benefit from increased community fund

Grassroots projects to benefit from increased community fund
Third Force News, by Gavin Stuart 


Community organisations are being invited to bid for awards of up to £5000 under a fresh wave of Scottish Government funding.


Projects fighting inequality and promoting social inclusion can apply for a share of a £333,000 pot being delivered through the Community Capacity and Resilience Fund (CCRF).


The fund, which is being administered by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), is designed to let grassroots organisations pilot new ideas and take risks.


After a successful first run in 2015, the amount available has been doubled for 2016.


Irene Connelly, SCVO’s business growth manager, said: “This is the only fund in Scotland which lets local charities and voluntary organisations respond in such a targeted and unique way.


“It offers new opportunities to test out innovative projects on a small scale, responding to individual needs rather than taking a one size fits all approach.”


The Libertie Project in Inverness is one of the 34 organisations that received support in the previous round of funding.


It ran a project to help people released from prison to avoid re-offending by giving them bags of non-food essentials, which they otherwise could not afford, and would have likely re-offended to secure.


The cost of each bag amounted to just £2.50, netting a social return on investment of £80,000 for each ex-offender who doesn’t re-offend.  


Inch Park Community Sports Club in Edinburgh is another charity that received funding in 2015. It helped children and young people take part in sporting and physical activities, and learn to cook healthy meals to share with their families.  


Communities secretary Angela Constance said the fund was already helping to mitigate the effects of welfare cuts and inequality.


She added: “Last year we were able to fund two initiatives which each took a different approach to reaching and providing support to grassroots organisations, and both successfully showed that investing in local based organisations and groups is an effective way of addressing any inequalities. 


“A further £300,000 will be provided to the Development Trust Association Scotland (DTAS) and the Scottish Community Alliance (SCA), to help community anchors – independent community led organisations – support smaller, grassroots groups in their area.”