People and Communitites Fund – First Wave of Successful Projects

Earlier this year the Scottish Government launched the People and Communities Fund which will support community organisations grow and strengthen by delivering outcomes to meet and respond to the aspirations of their communities. This replaces the Wider Role Fund and  is an £18 million fund available over 3 years, open to community controlled anchor organisations such as community development trusts and housing associations that have a track record in achieving lasting benefits for the areas they serve.The fund is to enable grassroots community led implementation of the Scottish Government’s current regeneration strategy ‘Achieving a Sustainable Future’ and focussing on primarily revenue cost projects. There are two main priorities:

  • Employability
  • Preventative action

So far over £3m has been allocated to 21 organisations across Scotland for a range of regeneration projects such as training and volunteering opportunities, youth diversionary programmes and financial capability projects. Many of the employability projects as well as achieving training and employment outcomes, also enable wider goals to be achieved for communities such as improving environment, community safety, community facilities and health and wellbeing. There is also recognition that for many of the most disadvantaged in society, employment is not realistic in the short term. Many are faced with barriers such as mental health problems, chaotic lifestyles, addictions, debt problems, homelessness, lack of confidence and poor numeracy and literacy skills. Support is needed to assist people address these issues and to make progress on the route to employment recognising softer outcomes which can be achieved through outreach, engagement, group work, volunteering, basic skills development through to accredited training and employment.

Over half of the awards have been made to housing associations and most are targeted on the most disadvantaged communities in Scotland. We are assisting various client community organisations apply to this fund as the criteria fits with many of their goals to regenerate communities. We have also supported them in developing detailed proposals often in conjunction with other partners.

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