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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Evidence library

Support for community organisations during the Covid-19 crisis

Initial snapshot from SCDC Covid-19 / Coronavirus survey, looking at key issues and potential solutions.

What are some of the big issues community groups are coming up against?

  • Issues with how we work: Community organisations worry about the transition from office working, to working from home (costs, skills, working environment)
  • Staffing: paying wages/ rent, staff stress, increased pressure due to demand
  • Issues with the communities we work with: social isolation, health and mental health
  • Issues with funding

What kind of funding support would be helpful right now?

Most community and voluntary organisations in our survey require immediate funding.

  • Funding for supplies and community support: Community organisations require funding to pay for supplies to vulnerable people. This is mainly for food but other supplies include general household items, fuel, phones and digital devices, art and crafts, exercise and play equipment.
  • Organisational running costs: Nearly half of responses require immediate funding to cover organisational costs including rent and staff. Where specified, the amount required for organisational costs appears to be quite significant.
  • Increasing capacity: includes funding for more staff, transport costs and other resources.

What, other than funding, would help to resolve these issues?

  • Communication with community members, particularly those who may not be online: Community organisations need support in the form of tools, guidance, equipment and skills to use online communication methods so that they can maintain contact with their members. Respondents note that this is difficult as many of the most vulnerable people do not have the technology, skills or financial resource (data etc) to do this, and are just not used to using social media etc.
  • Moving what we do online: Community organisations need guidance, support for volunteers/ staff and the technology to move their activities online where this is possible. They also need adequate equipment that is accessible for members so that provision is inclusive.
  • Specific services/ resources needed: Counselling and mental wellbeing support (including for volunteers/ staff), transport for deliveries of meals etc, free postal service. Some are receiving in-kind support from other local organisations already.
  • Need for more volunteers/ donations: Community groups rely heavily on their limited staff and volunteers. They are concerned about the impact of increased self-isolation on covering their activities. Childcare is one barrier to increasing volunteers. Guidance is needed on how to protect volunteers. Groups also require support to increase food donations.
  • Information sharing: Sharing of information across community settings, e.g. local authority, social enterprise, & 3rd Sector. Relaxing of GDPR to allow information sharing and referrals was mentioned.
Last modified on 18 May 2020