COVID-19 support for the third sector

Information and support for third sector organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community and third sector support 

We're working with the Scottish Government and our partner agencies to bring you information and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. We're in daily contact with the Government helping to shape and influence specific support packages related to the third sector to ensure those operating in our region are represented. 

The main hub for third sector support at the moment is through the SCVO website. This hub is being updated on a daily basis and includes information on funding sources available, remote working, new service delivery models, as well as giving you the option to sign up to a newsletter to keep you up to date as regularly as possible. 

Visit the SCVO website

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Funding for communities and the third sector

On 18th March, Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government announced an investment of £350 million to support local communities and households in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The investment comprises a range of funds to be delivered using a combination of approaches to ensure that resources are mobilised quickly to the places and people where it is needed.

Funds available include: 

  • NEW 15 July: Inspiring Scotland’s Creative Communities Cultural Funding Programme Now open, the Creative Communities Cultural funding programme will distribute up to £600,000 to support communities to develop new initiatives involving culture and creative arts for the period October 2020-June 2021. Inspiring Scotland is working with Scottish Government to deliver the Creative Communities Cultural funding programme. The programme has been developed to deliver aspects of the new Culture Strategy for Scotland. Inspiring Scotland will also provide a number of community organisations with development support to progress ideas to the point where they can be more fully funded over the course of a second year. 
  • Published 27 June: CARES funding available to help communities make a green recovery Communities, public sector organisations and rural businesses looking to make long term environmental changes and play a part in the green recovery after COVID-19 are encouraged to apply.
  • £20M THIRD SECTOR RESILIENCE FUND - phase 2 open The Scottish Government has allocated £20m towards a third sector resilience fund. It has been set up to help third sector organisations affected by cash flow and other problems as an impact of COVID-19.
  • £20m Supporting Communities fund - open The supporting communities fund includes an initial investment of £10m, with approval for a further £10m, targeted through community anchor organisations (CAO) that are already playing a key active role in providing services within the community and will likely have established networking and connections through the communities.

    A list of all communities who have secured an award through the Supporting Communities Fund is available on the SCVO website here
  • The SCVO website is also being kept up to date with a list of Coronavirus specific funds from independent funders, keep an eye on the list here

Closed funds

A list of funds that have now closed are included below.

Wellbeing fund - closed

Background: The Wellbeing Fund was set up to support organisations across the third sector that are providing important services for people as a result of coronavirus.

£10m has already been allocated for immediate priorities and £7 million has been committed to provide around 2,000 charities with small grants through Corra, Inspiring Scotland, STV Appeal, SCVO and Scotland’s Third Sector Interfaces. The remaining £33 million was open to bids from Third Sector Organisations until 22 May.

Food fund - closed

£60 million has been allocated to structured public sector responses to support people facing additional barriers to accessing food, including those in the “shielded group”. A further £10 million is being used to support third sector infrastructure and community based action on food provision.   

Applications were made through the Wellbeing Fund.

View all awards made here




Communities across the region are benefiting from the Scottish Government’s Supporting Communities Fund and bringing vital resources to their residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other sources of funding for communities and the third sector

There are a number of funding sources available to community groups and third sector organisations now available. The following includes government funds being delivered through some of our partnership organisations and includes links to their websites to find out more and information on how to apply. 

Community Response, Recovery & Resilience Fund - paused

In partnership with the National Emergencies Trust, Foundation Scotland is delivering the Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund. The RRR fund supports local charities and grassroots organisations across Scotland to help them respond to the outbreak of Covid-19 and recover from its impact.

The Response, Recovery & Resilience Fund is temporarily paused and not accepting any new applications. This is to allow all remaining applications to be assessed and for the Response phase and develop new funding criteria for Recovery.

The initial Response phase of the fund has attracted over 900 applications with more than 650 grants and £2.8m in funds being distributed to communities right across Scotland.

Keep up to date on the Foundation Scotland website

Credit Union Resilience Loans - fund closed

The Scottish Government had set up the Credit Union Resilience Fund to support credit unions who needed additional support during this difficult period. Social Investment Scotland (SIS) is managing the fund.

Find out more on the SIS website

CAF rapid response fund - paused

CAF (Charities Aid Foundation) has launched a rapid response fund to help smaller charitable organisations affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 will help them to continue to deliver much needed support to our communities across the UK.

Applications are currently paused. Find out more on the CAF website.    

Visit the CAF website






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Plunkett Foundation

A dedicated programme of support has been launched by the Plunkett Foundation to help rural community businesses across the UK as they battle the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus lockdown.

Thanks to funding from the Co-op, Plunkett will offer a dedicated package of free Covid-19 support for open and trading community businesses, as well as those developing groups that have been affected by the pandemic.

The new scheme will focus on getting one-to-one support to groups that need it the most. This will include free practical support from Plunkett’s national network of specialist community businesses advisers. All forms of community business – including woodlands, farms, bakeries, pubs and shops – will be able to get support, advice and guidance on a range of issues such as;

  • developing short – medium term cash flow,
  • reviewing business plans,
  • applying for funding,
  • upholding good practice governance,
  • utilising community shares and accessing government support.

Get support here

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Employee ownership sector support

Read coronavirus (COVID-19) advice from the Employee Ownership Association - including access to their webinars and FAQs from members of the employee-owned community.

Visit the EOA website 

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