Coronavirus Support and Information

MVA, Volunteer Midlothian and SEAM are working hard to help our third sector partners be as resilient as possible during this unprecedented crisis.

If you need support related to funding, governance, volunteering or any other issue at this time (or if you simply want to let us know what is going on for you) please do get in touch. We will be happy to meet via Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

If you are looking for updates about opportunities for funding or new rules of lockdown and how they relate to the third sector, one of the best things you can do is sign up to our COVID-19 bulletin, which goes out at least once per week at present. If you are not on the current mailing list, you can now sign up directly for bulletins and email updates via our homepage.  

MVA and SEAM can also provide one-to-one support and guidance to Midlothian organisations who have concerns and questions about governance, sustainability and service provision during this time. To get in touch, email Rebecca. Alternatively, check out these other websites and sources of funding/support.

Business Support and Information

Business Gateway Midlothian: Business Gateway offer business support and have a series of free learning workshops that are open to the third sector. Keep an eye on their website for details of courses that are moving online.

Just Enterprise: Scotland’s national social enterprise support programme can work with organisations to address loss of trading income and other challenges during this time.

Social Shifters Scotland: Developed with support from the Scottish Government, this platform features bitesize e-learning, inspirational videos and downloadable resources. It’s been designed for community leaders, charities and social enterprises.  To help organisations through the tough months ahead, the platform includes uniquely developed COVID-19 response strategies and checklists, as well as daily updated advice from third sector regulators, funders and advisory services (Finance, HR, Law, Communications, Insurance etc.). The platform also enables users to connect with others in a similar situation, ask questions and offer mutual support.  You need to sign up – but note you can skip the question on age!

Funding

CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund: This Fund is to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available. Open to charities, CICs and other third sector organisations with an annual turnover under £1 million. The site also includes useful information about how organisations can survive, adapt and thrive during these challenging times.

Creative Scotland Sustaining Creative Development: A fund to focus support on helping individuals and organisations to sustain themselves. Funding available for between £1k and £50k, the fund aims to enable organisations to explore ways of working that will help them to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances. Applications open Friday 3 April, with no current deadline for applications.

Foundation Scotland: Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund: £1k-£5 for constituted groups making emergency responses within their local communities.

National Lottery Community Fund (Scotland): Lottery are directing funds toward new groups who are supporting communities through the pandemic. Midlothian groups interested in seeking funding should contact Emma Honeyman, funding officer: emma.honeyman@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk

Neighbourly Community Fund: Micro grants for community groups: Currently closed to new applications but worth keeping an eye on. (November 2020)

Scottish Government Funding: There will be additional Scottish Government funding for community anchor organisations and those providing essential responses within the community. We will keep you up to date with these details via our bulletin when they are available. The two main funds to look at currently (Nove 2020) are Adapt and Thrive, a stream that aims to support organisational change in response to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and the Communities Recovery Fund, which supports the delivery of services in communities that were suspended or reduced because of the pandemic. 

UK Government Employee Retention Fund and other support for businesses: This website includes details of how to apply for 80% salary support for furloughed staff and various other business support schemes. It was announced in early November that the scheme will now continue across the UK until the end of the current financial year (31st March 2021). 

Volunteering

Volunteer Midlothian: The best way to get information about volunteering in Midlothian is to visit the landing page for Volunteer Midlothian on this website, where you will find FAQ’s for volunteers and organisations. You can also read news and updates about what’s been happening with local volunteering projects and the voluntary response to COVID-19 in Midlothian’s communities. 

Ready Scotland: You can still visit the Scottish Government website that was used to enable people to sign up to volunteer during the initial wave of COVID-19. The site contains lots of useful information about how to help during the pandemic, not just through volunteering but also in terms of understanding and following local prevention guidelines. 

NHS Lothian: Information about volunteering for the NHS during the pandemic.

British Red Cross Community Reserves: Information about to sign up for COVID-19 response volunteering via the Red Cross, who are very active in Midlothian. 

Befriending Network: For organisations who are moving from face-to-face volunteer delivery to telephone support, this organisation has some excellent resources. 

​Employment and Legal

Note: The UK government has introduced a temporary new law to deal with coronavirus disruption.  Employees and workers can carry over up to 4 weeks’ paid holiday over a 2-year period, if they cannot take holiday due to coronavirus.  It will be important to be aware of this as we enter the new financial year.   

ACAS: Good information for employers and employees about employment law.

Burness Paul: A legal firm with specialist knowledge of charity law. They have a hub of information related to employment, pensions and other topics that are relevant to third sector organisations. 

​Other Important Websites to Check for Updates

Midlothian Council: There is lots of useful local info on Midlothian Council’s website. You can also check out their #KindnessMidlothian campaign on Twitter. 

OSCR: The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

Disclosure Scotland: For information about protection of vulnerable groups including children and vulnerable adults.