13 community projects in Dumfries and Galloway given £230,653

Funding of more than £8 million is helping projects to deliver mental health support and wellbeing services for people who are feeling isolated during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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

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

In Dumfries and Galloway, where a total of over £230,000 has been given so far, 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.”

The £50 million Wellbeing Fund supports organisations across the third sector that are providing important services for people as a result of coronavirus. It is part of the £350 million emergency coronavirus funding announced by the Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell on March 18.

She 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.”

£33 million of the Wellbeing Fund is open to applications, with grants available between £5,000 and £100,000.

The fund is being delivered through national organisations and funders including Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Corra Foundation, Inspiring Scotland, Impact Funding Partners, The Hunter Foundation, The STV Children’s Appeal, and all of Scotland’s 32 Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) which provide a single point of access for support and advice for the third sector within local areas.

Phase one of the Wellbeing Fund worth £14 million, has been awarded to a total of 558 projects to provide targeted support in local areas. As of Wednesday, 237 applications had been received during round two worth £4,169,206.