Community projects awarded £8m to combat isolation



The Scottish Government has awarded more than £8 million to help community projects deliver mental health support and wellbeing services for people who are feeling isolated during the coronavirus pandemic.

Communities secretary Aileen Campbell

The funding was allocated to 344 projects, who are providing support in communities across Scotland, including those who are self-isolating or shielding.

It is part of a £50m Wellbeing Fund that is helping people through the pandemic.

Communities secretary Aileen Campbell said: “Adjusting to life under lockdown is tough and although we have all found it difficult, for some, the strain on their mental health and wellbeing has been a real struggle.

“A quick phone call or dropping off a few essential groceries can have a huge positive impact on people who may be self-isolating or shielding for health reasons. Small acts of kindness will also help those people who have seen their support network – whether that be friends, extended family, colleagues or community groups – disappear almost overnight.

“That is why this funding has been so important. It has enabled groups providing mental health and wellbeing support, alongside other vital services, to offer help and advice as we deal with this pandemic. I am glad we have been able to support groups across Scotland to provide these lifelines at a hugely difficult time.”

Space and Broomhouse Hub in Edinburgh is using £20,500 of wellbeing funding to provide services supporting mental health and combating isolation for a range of age groups. That includes keeping in touch by phone with elderly people who are self-isolating and providing food parcels and ‘boredom buster’ packs to families.

Bridie Ashrowan, chief executive of The Broomhouse Project, added: “Our community hub is helping many people locally to manage the traumatic consequences of COVID-19, such as empty kitchen cupboards, paying bills, anxiety, social isolation, digital exclusion, increased stresses on family relationships, and lack of respite for carers, young carers and adults.

“Our amazing staff, volunteers and trustees are delivering this with kindness and community. A huge thank you to the Scottish Government for enabling us to progress this work when it is much needed.”

In Dumfries and Galloway, the Lincluden After School Group has used £15,841 of wellbeing funding to provide extended respite care services for parents of children with additional support needs, helping to prevent burnout and maintain stability during the crisis.

Kathleen Procter, manager of the group, said: “At this scary and unprecedented time, we can’t thank the Scottish Government enough for putting the Wellbeing Fund in place to support charities. The funding we received will allow us to provide vital support for children with additional support needs or disabilities. This is a very unsettling time for these children and we are grateful to be able to play our part in continuing to provide as much normality and routine for them as possible.”

  • Read all of our articles relating to COVID-19 here.


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