Voluntary groups awarded grants from £3m fund

Sixty seven voluntary organisations helping vulnerable and disadvantaged children and their families in Edinburgh will benefit from a £3m fund.

The groups, which include youth projects, children’s clubs and mental health charities, have been allocated the grants by the Communities and Families service of the City of Edinburgh Council on an annual basis until 31 March 2019.

In addition 26 organisations are benefiting for the first time after a new formula used to allocate the money opened up the bidding process to a wider range of applicants.

The grants were approved at a meeting of the Education, Children and Families Committee today (Thursday 11 February).

Other positive developments include:

• £108,000 for a Small Grants Project which will allocate grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 for the next three years
• Setting up a small fund to develop breakfast clubs in areas of deprivation in the city. This will be £2,888 for next year which will increase to £57,746 in the following two years

In total 107 organisations – with 26 being the new applicants - submitted bids of £6.4m from the Revenue Grants fund of £3m.  

Successful new applicants were given 50% of their bid whilst organisations that had received funding in 2015/16 were given 95%. The allocation means as many groups as possible can now benefit. This was a key aim after feedback from the voluntary sector who said allowing more organisations to receive grants would achieve maximum value for money.

Councillor Paul Godzik, Convener of the Education, Children and Families Committee, said: “This is a new process for allocating grants which we feel meets our strategic objectives for helping vulnerable and disadvantaged children and their families across the whole of Edinburgh.

“It’s a really positive development that 26 new organisations will benefit from our funding and we have taken on board advice from the voluntary sector about spreading the money as widely as possible.”

Iain Gordon, of Safe Families for Children Scotland, said: “We are most grateful for this grant award. It is a wonderful affirmation of the outcomes that Safe Families for Children Scotland staff and volunteers have seen through the Edinburgh pilot project. 

“It is a huge encouragement to us to continue to grow and develop our partnership with the Council to support more struggling families across the city; strengthening family relationships and reducing the number of children who have to be looked after away from home.”

The Lothian Autistic Society applied for the first time and is set to receive £33,000. 

Ann Brown, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the award because for small organisations like ours it’s really significant especially in the ever-changing financial environment.

“We’re a charity that operates on a shoe string so we always have to be creative with our ideas and projects so this is great recognition which means more than just money.”

Project Scotland, which is an Edinburgh Youth Volunteering Project, also applied for the first time and is set to receive £24,000.

Paul Reddish, Chief Executive of ProjectScotland, said: “We’re obviously delighted given how tough funding is just now in the voluntary sector and this grant will allow us to continue with our work. 

“It means we will be able to increase the number of young people we can help in Edinburgh over the next three years supporting them to get on in life through volunteering.”

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