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£4m awarded to 22 social projects in Scotland

Grants from the Social Economy Growth Fund, which is backed by the Scottish Government and the European Social Fund, have been awarded to 22 community organisations, social enterprises and charity groups. 

The fund will support local action in Scotland that helps to address poverty and social exclusion.

Scotland’s communities secretary Aileen Campbell announced the latest round of funding while visiting Orkney Blide Trust, which has been given more than £218,000 to develop services and expand support for people with mental health problems.

Another project to benefit is Aberdeen Foyer, who have received over £200,000 to provide support to 12 to 18-year-olds who have been excluded from school or are at risk of exclusion.

Kathleen Singer, head of services at the Aberdeen-based social enterprise, said: ‘Many of the young people we work with face additional barriers to progress due to unmet needs and the support they require can be difficult to access when not in mainstream education. This funding will allow us to employ an educational psychologist.

‘This makes sure we can provide a more effective assessment that enables the most appropriate interventions for each individual and a counsellor to improve access to vital mental health support for young people not in school.’

Other projects to receive funding include Partick Thistle Charitable Trust, which offers subsidised places for low-income families on out of school activity programmes and Saheliya, who offer help to vulnerable BME women across Scotland who experience violence and abusive cultural practices and face language or other barriers.

Aileen Campbell said: ‘The Social Economy Growth Fund enables organisations like Orkney Blide Trust to design and deliver community-led solutions to overcome poverty, disadvantage and inequalities – which is a key principle of our Fairer Scotland Action Plan.

‘This is about regenerating and empowering communities so they can become more resilient and find the answers to tackling inequality for long term benefit.

‘To help achieve this we are encouraging councils and third sector partners to develop local strategies that advance the social enterprise sector in every part of Scotland.’

The Fairer Scotland Action Plan included a £29m programme to tackle poverty, with £12.5m from the European Social Fund. Of this £29m, £18.9m has been allocated to the Aspiring Communities Fund and £9.7m to Growing the Social Economy.

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