As part of the SNP Government’s commitment to support a new five-year social isolation and loneliness plan, £1 million of funding has been allocated to tackle loneliness and isolation as a result of the pandemic.
Projects supporting carers and disabled people are among nine initiatives sharing this funding, in yet another delivery of a commitment for the First 100 Days of this SNP Government.
Other organisations to benefit include YouthLink, which will receive funding to help young people, and Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, which will use the additional money for its Kindness Caller programme.
Minister for Equalities and Older People Christina McKelvie MSP said:
“Research has shown that loneliness and social isolation have increased during the pandemic, and this has disproportionately affected young people, carers and those with disabilities.
“Whether by providing access to counselling, learning opportunities or just a friendly voice to talk to over the phone, this new funding will help ensure people can stay connected and get the support they need.
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“Over the years I have campaigned to help reduce social isolation and loneliness as it can have a harmful effect on people’s health and wellbeing.
"This £1 million of funding is in addition to the more than £10.3 million already invested in reducing social isolation and loneliness and digital exclusion."
Tressa Burke, Glasgow Disability Alliance Chief Executive, said:
“We welcome this funding to mitigate brutal inequalities supercharged by the pandemic on disabled people. Our member survey and engagement revealed that 82% worry about social isolation and loneliness, 60% face digital exclusion, 80% don’t know where to turn to for help and 90% are worried about physical and mental health.
“The funding enables us to provide vital lifelines, programmes and support including digital coaching, wellbeing support and access to online activities which build confidence, connections and ensure the ongoing contributions of disabled people.”
Tim Frew, YouthLink Scotland Chief Executive, said:
“This pandemic has been particularly tough on the wellbeing of young people in some of our most marginalised and disenfranchised communities.
“The youth work sector welcomes this fund from the SNP Government, which will help to identify young people coping with multiple challenges, such as young carers, and develop projects and programmes to meet their needs.”
The organisations to receive funding are: