Daily coronavirus roundup for third sector Monday 13 July

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News around the country on how the sector is responding to the pandemic #NeverMoreNeeded

13th July 2020 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Vital support given to charities

Scottish charities that support homeless people have received support from the Morrisons Foundation’s Covid-19 Homeless Support Fund. Shelter Scotland, The Wheatley Foundation, The Salvation Army Edinburgh, Justness, The Parish of St Cuthbert, Edinburgh City Mission and Simon Community Scotland each received a share of the fund which in just 12 weeks has donated over £560,000 to nearly 100 homelessness charities in communities throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Charities working with homeless people raised concerns that if someone does not have a permanent place to call home, it can be particularly difficult to self-isolate and maintain social distancing. This was recognised by the major supermarket’s charitable arm, who committed a ring fenced fund of half a million pounds to support homelessness charities across the 12 week period in the immediate aftermath of the UK lockdown announcement. The fund provided grants of up to £10,000, available to cover a wide variety of costs including outreach support for rough sleepers, provision of essential items for services in hostels, shelters and advocacy services for people without a permanent place to call home. Hugh Hill, director of services and development at Simon Community Scotland charity which received a grant of £8,000 said, "In the last few weeks we have supported hundreds of people off the streets in Edinburgh and Glasgow and into a safe place where they can be safe and well. Our staff are working 7 days a week to make this happen, made so much easier by the support of The Morrisons Foundation helping us to reach more people, fund clothing, food, toiletries and mobile phones so people can stay in touch during this anxious time.”

Disabled children lose out to heartless vandals

Charity staff were reduced to tears when their respite facility for disabled children was trashed at the weekend. Fabb Scotland took a booking for one of their newly refurbished rooms, near Callander, from someone saying they were a family with an autistic child who needed a weekend break. It was the first booking since the ease of lockdown restrictions. But a group of more than 20 people turned up on Saturday night, leaving a room meant to sleep five in such a mess that the charity launched a £2,200 online appeal towards the costs of cleaning and repair. Hannah Trickett from the charity said: “This would be bad enough at any time but during a global health pandemic this is not what our staff should be left to deal with. “As well as trying to break into the main building, a new radiator was pulled off the wall, curtains and rails ripped down, toilets broken and there were bottles and rubbish everywhere, all in a room that has been recently done up for families and disabled young adults who need the break.” The facility provides a lifeline for families who need time away from everyday life and allows children with additional needs to take part in social and educational activities outdoors.

Uniforms to help most needy

Almost 200 families have requested a clothing package for their children from a pre-loved uniform organisation set up just two weeks ago. Glasgow’s City Parents Group is working in collaboration with Apparel Xchange and Glasgow’s Pre -Loved uniforms to help and support families struggling to find school wear. Donations will be donated to Glasgow schools who offer a uniform rack for pupils. Leanne McGuire, of the Parents Group, said: “There have been almost 200 families who have requested a uniform package for their children, and we have only been running for two weeks. “Referrals have been received from families directly but also through various support networks and community organisations who are referring on behalf of the family. It is a fantastic example of partnership working across the city with a huge support including the support of Glasgow City Council who have added the information to their website.” The service will continue to run until the end of September, when it will be reviewed and evaluated to consider future opportunities. The organisation is continuing to accept donations of uniform and children's casualwear, shoes, jackets and bags. Donations and drop offs can be arranged by emailing GCParentsGroup@gmail.com

Kind hearted bankers

Glasgow Credit Union has donated more than £15,000 to help good causes across the city amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The ‘Giving Glasgow’ fund was set up several years ago to provide local charities with cash boosts. Most of the requests for donations come directly from members who are involved with various good causes. But when seeing the impact the ongoing crisis had on Glaswegians, the credit union’s board of directors donated more than £10,000 between them. Amongst the charities to receive funds include WellFed Scotland CIC, who received £2,000 to provide food parcels to vulnerable people and St Roch’s Juniors’ who received £1,000 towards their Roch Talk initiative - a mental health support group based in the north east of Glasgow. Brian Davidson, Glasgow Credit Union chairperson, said: “The credit union genuinely cares about our members and their communities. Seeing the immediate hardship caused to so many by the lockdown situation, we knew we had to do more, so on top of the usual budget allocated to Giving Glasgow, the board of directors personally donated more than £10,000 to our charitable fund. Glasgow Women’s Aid also received £300 to help them continue to provide temporary refuge to women and their children, and Mel-Milaap Community Centre, who have been providing hot meals and essential household items to the elderly and vulnerable received £500. Credit union workers have continued providing essential financial services to more than 50,000 members since the start of lockdown. Equipment was made available so staff could work from home, and a new mobile app was launched so services could be more accessible. David Ross, Glasgow Credit Union’s chief executive, said: “The financial effects of lockdown were immediate for many of our members, and we worked quickly to ensure that we deferred loan and mortgage payments where required.