COVID-19: Scottish Government announces support for individuals and organisations
Date: 9th April 2020
The Scottish Government will make £350 million available to those facing hardship because of Covid-19, with a focus on supporting welfare and wellbeing.
The funding will be made available to local authorities (councils), charities, businesses and community groups. It will include funding for third sector organisations to support their capacity to respond to the outbreak and support the individual they work with.
Scottish Government has made the following funds available:
- £50 million from the UK Government’s hardship fund is being passed direct to local authorities to support their own local resilience, and hardship plans. Local authorities will have discretion to use the funds where they see fit.
- £45 million for the Scottish Welfare Fund, to provide Community Care and Crisis Grants available to those in times of crisis and emergency. This will be administered by local authorities.
- £50 million to support increased demand for Scottish social security benefits and increased cost of the Council Tax Reduction.
- £70 million Food Fund to support households who may be worried about accessing food whether due to an income drop or self-isolation. Local authorities will be able to use funds to continue support to those who receive free school meals, with discretion as to how this is delivered. Charities have welcomed this announcement and called for support to be provided as a cash payment, rather than vouchers or other alternatives.
- £50 million Wellbeing Fund to provide support to charities and others who require additional capacity to work with at-risk people who may be worst affected by the crisis, including homeless people and those experiencing fuel poverty.
- £40 million Supporting Communities Fund to continue the work already carried out in communities which will in turn support national resilience. This includes supporting people at risk because of age, isolation, carers, homeless people and asylum seekers and signposting people to sources of help such as applying for benefits. Together is pleased to see that part of the Communities Fund has been given to Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland. This can ensure victims still have access to support and methods of reporting crimes during the crisis, including using online video platforms, text messaging and phone calls
- £20 million Third Sector Resilience Fund will support organisations across the third sector who are at risk of closure due to a sharp decrease in income or that are unable to deliver their services. The funding’s primary intention is to help these organisations to stabilise and manage cashflows. The Fund will be delivered by Firstport, Social Investment Scotland and the Corra Foundation and will provide grants between £5,000-£100,000. In addition, there will be up to a further £5m available in fully flexible, 0% interest loans starting at £50,000. The Third Sector Resilience fund is now open. For more information click here.
- £3.8 million will also be used to develop mental health services to cope with increased demand. This funding will be used to increase the capacity of NHS 24’s telephone and online services, expand the NHS 24 Mental Health Hub, expand the Breathing Space helpline and web support service, and provide extra capacity for Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
The Scottish Government will keep £25 million in reserve for any future events.
- Find out more and read Scottish Government’s full statement here.
- Together has collated a range of resources related to COVID-19, including information to help parents and carers with their finances. Access these resources here.