Community groups to benefit from major Covid funding packages

Over a dozen community groups are benefiting from major funding boosts with each getting thousands of pounds in support in order to help vulnerable people cope during the coronavirus pandemic.

The funding is being provided through the Scottish government’s Supporting Communities Fund.

The aim is to ensure families on lower incomes and older people get more help, with funding helping to provide crucial lifeline services during the health crisis.

Community groups operate as so-called ‘anchors’ – a combination of charities, volunteers, social enterprises and the public sector – which co-ordinate the local response and channel support where it is needed.

It has already been revealed Lerwick Community Council (LCC) is receiving significant grant funding of almost £25,000 as part of the grant payments.

LCC co-ordinated its application with Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS) in order to avoid duplication.

And VAS is itself in line for a very large payment of £24,750, while a host of other organisations are also to receive major funding packages.

Big payments are going to the Northmavine Community Development Company (£14,070), the Foula Airstrip Trust (£10,000) and the Fair Isle Development Company (£8,200).

Unst Partnership Ltd is in line for £4,800.

However, the bulk of the payments to isles organisations are going to community councils.

• Burra and Trondra Community Council – £5,000
• Delting Community Council – £4,700
• Gulberwick, Quarff and Cunningsburgh Community Council – £12,130
• Sandness and Walls Community Council – £5,500
• Sandsting and Aithsting Community Council – £10,000
• Skerries Community Council – £8,640
• Tingwall, Whiteness and Weisdale Community Council – £9,500
• Yell Community Council – £20,000

Chairman of the Association of Shetland Community Councils Jim Anderson said: “I think it’s got to be wholeheartedly welcomed.

Lerwick Community Council chairman Jim Anderson.

“The main thing is we ensure we cover the whole of Shetland and reach folk who are quietly sitting in need.”

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “We know that community groups working in the heart of our communities and neighbourhoods have a wealth of experience in responding to challenges.

“We have seen this through many examples of the incredible response to Covid-19 in the past weeks that have made such a huge difference to so many people.

“This inspiring work that is already underway in our neighbourhoods is proving essential to our nation’s resilience.

“This funding will be a valuable lifeline for the range of innovative support available for people in our communities, and we are working fast to get that support to where it is needed most.”

Cabinet secretary Aileen Campbell. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The fund was announced on 18th March as part of a £350 million package to help those most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Up to £10 million is being made available as an initial sum available to support community anchor organisations. A further allocation of £10 million has been approved to support the second phase of the funding.


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