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Community / Funding boost of half a million for charitable projects

Shetland Charitable Trust headquarters at North Road. Photo: Shetland News
SCT headquarters on North Road, Lerwick. Photo: Shetland News

OVER £500,000 in extra grant money is being paid out by Shetland Charitable Trust to local charities, groups and organisations aiming to tackle social isolation and inequality.

The new funding for local charitable organisations was awarded by trustees on Thursday following an application process which had to be halted temporarily due to Covid-19.

A total of £530,173 will go to the 16 successful projects which aim to fill gaps in existing services and reduce social isolation and inequality in Shetland.

The largest grants were payments of £70,000 to Shetland Women’s Aid and COPE.

There was a £100,000 cap on each grant application.

Trust chairman Dr Andrew Cooper said: “Trustees and staff were impressed by the vision and hard work that local charities put into their wide-ranging proposals, which are about supporting those of us who need a helping hand in life.

“Putting their plans into action will be all the more challenging with social distancing and stringent hygiene requirements to contend with so we wish all these organisations well in their endeavours.”

The successful applicants and what the money will go to are as follows:

  • Ability Shetland – £34,954: To provide direct support to children, families and adults with disabilities and additional support needs
  • Advocacy Shetland – £35,000: To provide a free independent advocacy services in Shetland.
  • GAADA – £49,400: To contribute towards a visual culture within Shetland which is dynamic and representative of the diverse demographics of communities and individuals that exist across the isles.
  • Mind Your Head – £61,420: To relieve those in need by reason of mental ill-health.
  • Shetland Link Up – £7,623: Continuing to offer support and relief to, and facilitating friendship for, those affected by mental ill health.
  • Shetland Rape Crisis – £28,467: To relieve the distress and promote the welfare of anyone affected by any form of sexual violence or exploitation.
  • Shetland Women’s Aid – £70,000: To advance; and continue to work towards ending domestic abuse and other Gender Based Violence in our community.
  • Shetland Islands Citizens Advice Bureau – £40,897: Providing an independent advice and information service, which is free, confidential, independent and impartial.
  • The Swan Trust – £14,000: To support the costs associated with recertifying Swan to MCA code 0 for 2021 season, to enable the Swan Trust to resume sail training opportunities.
  • British Red Cross – £27,064: To provide a Shetland Community Support Service.
  • COPE – £70,000: Providing focused placements, training, support and employment opportunities to adults with learning or physical disabilities.
  • Royal Voluntary Service – £10,000: RVS exists to enable older people to get more out of life by delivering practical support and a range of community-based services tailored to individual need.
  • Shetland Befriending Scheme 16+ Service – £7,000: Provision of a Befriending Service for those aged 16 and over.
  • Shetland Care Attendant Scheme & Voluntary Action Shetland – £39,708: The relieve of stress on the person or family caring for physically or mentally disabled or elderly persons
  • Voluntary Action Shetland – Core – £20,000: To provide a central point for the voluntary sector, providing administrative support, sign-posting, advice and information to the voluntary sector in Shetland.
  • Voluntary Action Shetland – Market House – £15,000: To maintain, manage and operate Market House as a central point for the voluntary sector, providing office space and services.

The extra funding made available for the projects is part of the charitable trust’s £8.2 million main grants scheme for 2020/21, which helps pay for the operation of the rural care model, Shetland Recreational Trust, Shetland Amenity Trust, Shetland Arts and a number of locally based charities.

The budget was increased from £7.3 million last year due to the trust’s success in steering its reserves back to a self-sustaining level of over £300 million for the first time since 2000.

Trustees were told on Thursday that the vale of the reserves at the end of March stood at over £315 million.