Advice Direct Scotland secures £180,000 of investment to support vulnerable communities

Advice Direct Scotland secures £180,000 of investment to support vulnerable communities

Millie Reilly

Advice Direct Scotland (ADS) has announced £180,000 of investment provided by Big Issue Invest (BII), to support vulnerable people across Scotland with advice, training and volunteering opportunities.

The social investment arm of The Big Issue will be providing support to ADS, a Scottish charity supporting struggling families, individuals, and communities, to enable it to offer free advice services, training, and volunteer opportunities to under-represented and vulnerable communities across Scotland.

ADS’s trading arm, Social Enterprise Direct, delivers a UK-wide business support service across the public, private and third sectors. Profits are invested back into the organisation to support more vulnerable individuals and families.

Through its volunteer recruitment programme, ADS is able to provide employment opportunities. 80% of employed staff were previously volunteers.

Volunteer Millie Reilly joined ADS in 2020 as part of their new training programme, focused on providing meaningful job experience in roles such as policy and marketing.

Millie said: “During my time with ADS, I have been offered the opportunity to engage with a variety of different roles and responsibilities, including article writing, visual design, video editing, and webpage UI/UX. I have been able to join a fantastic team of people and have been offered immense support and constructive feedback with each task I have undertaken.

“Volunteering with ADS has allowed me to gain invaluable insight into the digital marketing/media industry and offered numerous opportunities to build and strengthen my skills in a practical way, which I will be able to take forward into my professional career.”

Advice Direct Scotland secures £180,000 of investment to support vulnerable communities

Andrew Bartlett

BII’s investment will support the organisation’s working capital and ensure that the company’s short-term operational needs are covered. This will ensure the organisation can continue to support those hardest hit by Covid-19.

Andrew Bartlett, CEO of ADS, added: “The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have been all-encompassing. Impacting not only our customers, but also our staff and volunteers. As an organisation, ADS has successfully navigated the challenges presented by the public health crisis, through the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers.

“Our passion for technology and innovation has made the continued delivery of our vital services possible and ensured that we can continue offering training and work opportunities to those who need them most. ADS will continue to innovate and develop key partnerships with organisations such as Big Issue Invest, offering practical solutions and help to the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Danyal Sattar, CEO of Big Issue Invest, said: “We are proud to be supporters of ADS who help connect advice and information to those who need it. It’s an incredible organisation providing training and opportunities for work at a time when employment is required now more than ever. This links closely to our mission to support the most vulnerable in society with self-help solutions and to provide people with the tools to lift themselves out of poverty.”

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