Funding for grass roots initiatives

£1.9m available for community groups to tackle poverty.

The most local groups and organisations across Scotland will benefit from new investment of £1.9 million to tackle poverty and mitigate UK Government welfare changes.

The funding will ensure those working at the most local level can deliver direct support to their communities, for example those which work to improve access to everyday essentials like food and toiletries, provide free meals to children during school holidays and offer basic furniture and household equipment to those in need, as well as giving welfare and work advice and support direct to where people are – including cafes, schools and playgroups.

It builds on work that has been developed with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), the Development Trusts Associations Scotland, and the Scottish Community Alliance, which has seen grass roots groups reach out to communities.

This further investment  will be delivered over the period 2017 to 2020, and will enable local organisations to secure a three-year rolling funding commitment to their work, where this is needed.  

Speaking at the SCVO annual gathering, Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said:

“Local organisations are at the heart of our communities – this funding will go directly to them to help carry out the vital work they do at a grass-roots level across the country.

“These organisations are often a lifeline for people in times of crisis - we know even small amounts of funding have a significant impact on communities and their ability to tackle issues directly with the people affected.

“We intend to lead by example on giving third sector organisations more financial certainty, and I can’t think of better place to demonstrate that, than with local community and third sector organisations, who are delivering support to their communities.

“It is clear that the damaging and continuing UK Government cuts to welfare are pushing more and more people into poverty. We are spending £100 million every year to try to allay the very worst effects of these harmful cuts – this additional funding investment for third sector organisations will help ensure further support is there for those who need it. “

John Downie, Director of Public Affairs at SCVO, said:

“This new and long-term funding from the Scottish Government for building the capacity and resilience of communities and local third sector organisations is very welcome.

“This funding will be warmly welcomed by many small grass roots organisations who desperately need new avenues for sustainable income to support their valuable work with local people and communities.

“The long term nature of the funding is especially welcome. It will help provide greater stability and security for the third sector organisations involved, and sets a strong example for statutory bodies and other funders to follow”.

Angus Hardie, from the Scottish Community Alliance, and Ian Cooke from Development Trusts Associations Scotland, said:

“We welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s announcement of further and long term funding. The pilot projects we have run to date have demonstrated that 'communities know best' and that small amounts of money to grass roots organisations, distributed through community anchor organisations, have both reach and impact."


The Scottish Government have worked with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), the Development Trust Associations Scotland (DTAS) and the Scottish Community Alliance (SCA) on piloting approaches to direct investment in community capacity and resilience. The SCVO pilot allocated funding directly to small grass roots local third sector organisations, which can struggle to find the resources and connections to obtain funding.

The Development Trust Association Scotland (DTAS) and the Scottish Community Alliance (SCA) piloted allocating funding to community anchor organisations, in effect commissioning them to further commission work at a very local level, with those grass root groups that struggle to find the small amounts that nonetheless make the difference on the ground.


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