Crisis-hit charities in Tayside and Fife are applying for emergency funding at almost double the rate of last year.
Bosses at Foundation Scotland, which provides urgent funding to charities, say they have given out more money in the last six months than the whole of last year.
Since the start of lockdown, crisis grants worth almost £430,000 have been given to 115 groups in Tayside and Fife – supporting more than 50,000 people.
The foundation launched its Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund at the end of March and has made £3.6 million available across Scotland, in partnership with the National Emergencies Trust (NET), and the number of community groups staff have been in contacts with has soared by 92% since.
Helen Wray, programme manager at Foundation Scotland, said: “We are working relentlessly to get support to where it is needed most through this challenging time.
“Since April this year, we have assessed the same volume of applications as we did through the entirety of 2019.
“We could see the impact coronavirus was going to have and we knew we needed to move extremely quickly so that we could continue to deliver reliable financial support to groups delivering essential services across the country.
“Fortunately, our partnership with NET meant we were able to respond immediately and could open and offer new funding opportunities.
“At the same time, we have kept all of our other important funding streams open as normal.”
In Fife, 49 charities have received grants from the crisis fund, as well as 27 in Dundee, 21 in Perth and Kinross and 18 in Angus.
Charities to benefit include Kirkcaldy YMCA, Perthshire based isolation charity Elder Voice, Angus Creative Minds and Dundee-based Yusuf Youth Initiative.
Yusuf Youth Initiative received a £5,000 grant to provide emergency food and support through it’s foodbank, Taught by Muhammad, after they saw a spike in demand during lockdown.
The charity delivered an “unprecedented” 2,300 parcels to homes in four months during lockdown, compared to the 3,000 normally sent out in a whole year.
The charity is now eligible to apply for a second grant, as staff prepare for a further spike in demand due to furlough ending.
Faisal Hussein, chief executive of the Yusuf Youth Initiative, said: “The pandemic has been a very difficult moment for individuals and organisations around the country.
“Foundation Scotland was one of a few organisations that really stood out and helped Yusuf Youth Initiative.
“Their support has been phenomenal, the turnaround time was quick and we can’t thank them enough for their ongoing support.
“The funding helped reach out to so many vulnerable clients across our city.”
The foundation also gave £1,800 to Relationships Scotland, to provide free counselling to couples in Fife during lockdown.
Charity manager Mieke van der Zijpp, said: “We have been able to offer free counselling to people who were very isolated during lockdown and experiencing financial difficulties.
“Normally we must ask the clients for a financial contribution, but thanks to the funding we were able to offer the service free. We targeted people from low income, single parent families, carers and clients who are looking after an autistic child.”
Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are still available. Foundation Scotland staff are now focusing on the “recovery phase”, supporting organisations to plan ahead, to survive in the ‘new normal’ or re-design their activities to comply with new regulations.
For more details or to apply online visit www.foundationscotland.org.uk