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£1 million for Armed Forces charities

Published: 23 Mar 2021 09:50

Extra money to support vital sector through pandemic.

Armed Forces charities across Scotland will benefit from a new £1 million support fund.

The Scottish Government fund will help the sector offset a shortfall in income due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In May last year a survey by the Scottish Charity Regulator found 75% of charities had seen a negative impact on their finances as a result of COVID-19.

Under the new initiative, Armed Forces charities that have suffered financially because of the pandemic can apply for funding to help them continue to deliver support services.

The Scottish Government is currently working with partners to finalise the eligibility criteria to ensure funding gets to where it is needed most.

Further details of the one year Armed Forces Third Sector Resilience Fund will be published ahead of the launch, expected in April.

Veterans Minister Graeme Dey said:

“Third Sector organisations play a vital role in supporting our Armed Forces community in Scotland and, this year in particular, they have gone above and beyond to provide crucial support for veterans and their families despite the impact of the pandemic.

“I am delighted that we have an opportunity through this £1 million fund to offer these vital organisations financial assistance to help them continue the great work they have been doing.”

Chris Hughes, executive chairman of Veterans Scotland, said:

"We welcome this support to Armed Forces third sector organisations which recognises the vital assistance they provide to veterans, service personnel and their families across Scotland.

“It is much needed, given the current difficult circumstances and additional challenges faced by all in that community and more widely."

Background

In 2020, the Scottish Government launched the Third Sector Resilience Fund and the Community and Third Sector Recovery Programme as a result of difficulties faced by charities in the wake of the pandemic.

Last year, two UK-wide surveys by the Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO) identified a significant increase in demand from their members for services such as mental health and wellbeing support.

The surveys found three quarters of respondents reported an overall fall in income, partly due to declining public donations and money from fundraising events. COBSEO estimates the overall shortfall across the UK at £250 million compared to a normal year.