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Hello everyone

I hope you and your families are well and keeping each other safe, particularly in the run up to the Festive period – while under Tier 4 restrictions!

We have seen the importance of communications during the pandemic. We know the importance of having access to relevant information, support and resources in a timely fashion. We update our Covid-19 Resource Hub on our website with important developments on a regular basis and provide regular updates on health news, funding opportunities, health and wellbeing as well as links to official sites such as WL Council, Scottish Government, NHS Inform, SCVO etc. We continue to utilise social media (Twitter, Facebook) as a proactive communication tool with partners, public and the sector.
In order to further enhance our communications, we have commissioned an external company to help us develop our website further. The new site will improve user journey and experience and enhance our Locator Tool still further. The website is expected to go live in March 2021.

Funding news

£9k VSGWL Response, Recovery & Resilience (RRR) small grants Fund
In partnership with Foundation Scotland, VSGWL launched a £9k small grants fund to help community organisations respond to the challenges associated with accessing food, shelter or basic amenities. Grants of between £500 - £1000 are available from monies provided from the Resilience element of the RRR Fund. 
All grants will need to respond to the following priority: ‘Living with poor, interrupted or impaired access to food, shelter, and necessary amenities (e.g. sanitation, heat)’. Please see one page application form and guidance for further information. Closing date for applications is 4 December 2020.

Strategic Framework Business Fund
The Scottish Government has just announced that the Third Sector can apply for support from the Strategic Framework Business Fund.
Provided they meet all the eligibility criteria, businesses which are Limited Companies (including social enterprises), Sole Traders, Trusts, Partnerships, Community Interest Companies or Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations, may apply for a grant from the Strategic Framework Business Fund.
[Scottish Government]   [West Lothian Council]

Coordination of volunteering opportunities
Over 1200 people from across West Lothian signed up to volunteers during the crisis. We have created a volunteering database that allows us to manage and respond to requests from partners for volunteers. We have signposted individuals to our online Directory of Services which has details about all organisations providing help and support during the crisis.
We are carrying out a more detailed survey of the skills and availability of individuals to enable us to better match them to ongoing volunteering opportunities.

Trustee Week 2-6 Nov 2020

2nd of November marked the beginning of national Charity Trustees’ Week, a time to celebrate and support the work of charity trustees. Board member are volunteers who give their energy, passion and expertise to make sure that charities exist and operate to support their members and beneficiaries and make a difference to the public.
Thanks to all who give of their time, energy and commitment to help Voluntary Organisations to better support local communities.
If you have any ideas or thoughts on how we might further improve the information we provide to you, please let us know.

Stay safe everyone!

Alan McCloskey
Funding Available

Apply for a grant through the Kickstart Scheme - You can use the Kickstart Scheme to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. Updated 11 September with examples of what information applicants can provide to show the Kickstart Scheme job placements are new jobs.
Charity Bank COVID-19 Funding List As a result of the Coronavirus, many organisations are now in an extremely precarious position, often having to deliver additional services with fewer volunteers and staff members, while having to cancel fundraising activities. Here you will find a list of emergency funds for charities and social enterprises that are experiencing difficulties. It will be updated as new opportunities are identified.
Community & Third Sector Recovery Programme The Community & Third Sector Recovery Programme aims to support charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations that are supporting people and communities through the shift from lockdown to recovery. As well as providing ongoing crisis support, they will be planning and implementing changes to adapt and thrive in a very different social and economic climate.
Launch Of £9k VSGWL Response, Recovery & Resilience (RRR) Small Grants Fund - In partnership with Foundation Scotland, VSGWL is pleased to launch a £9k small grants fund to help community organisations respond to the challenges associated with accessing food, shelter or basic amenities. Grants of between £500 - £1000 are available from monies provided from the Resilience element of the Response, Recovery and Resilience (RRR) Fund. 
National Lottery update regarding their Funding Programmes - Like many funders our plans for 2020 have changed significantly as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year at the National Lottery Community Fund Scotland we were due to pause and redevelop our funding offer as it reached the end of its five-year cycle. The current funding programmes will remain open for an extra 18-24 months – however, we will adapt them as needed. We hope remaining open for applications means we can better support the sector through COVID-19. Some of our grants and funding will remain unchanged, and others will be adapted to be more focused on COVID-19 recovery, with shorter grants and quicker turnaround. 
The Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund - In partnership with the National Emergencies Trust, we're providing funding to support charities and constituted community groups that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Our Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund launched at the end of March and by 1st November had distributed just over £6 million in funds to 1,180 charities and community groups the length of Scotland. 
The Robertson Trust - Following the launch of our 2020-30 strategy last week, we are delighted to now introduce our new funds. Scotland’s charities and community organisations will be able to access funding to support work which aims to alleviate the effects of poverty and trauma on individuals and communities across the country.
The Route to Green Recovery - Volunteering Matters Action Earth 2020 Grants now available - Volunteering Matters Action Earth is now accepting applications for 2020. They will support local volunteers and environmental groups in carrying out work in local green spaces to rebuild slowly, steadily and safely while carrying out essential environmental work that benefits communities across Scotland.
General News

A2E Vacancy Bulletin – Latest Vacancy Bulletin from Access2Employment.
Asda to donate over one million meals to help the most vulnerable this Christmas - This Christmas Asda are donating 1 million meals to help combat holiday hunger. Food grants of up to £1000 are available to community groups through the Asda Foundation, contact your local store for more information.
Blackburn Community Choices - Live in Blackburn and want to have you say on how public funding in is spent locally?
Board Members needed for Community Action Blackburn - Community Action Blackburn are currently looking for new volunteer Charity Directors. They are looking for people local to Blackburn who might be interested in supporting a community led charity in their local area. They would be also keen to hear from people further afield, particularly with financial knowledge.
Consultation Launch - Revision of the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland - The Scottish Government is seeking your views on the revised National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland which will replace the current National Guidance published in 2014.
Cyrenians OPAL Evening Group – Evening online social group for 60+.
Employment Opportunity with CAB – CAB are recruiting a Pension Wise Guidance Specialist.
Equalities Outcomes Consultation - The Equality Act 2010 requires all public bodies (such as councils and the health service) to publish equality outcomes at least every four years. Equality outcomes aim to achieve specific and identifiable improvements in people's life chances, eliminate discrimination and foster good relations.
EVOLVE Employability ProgrammeEVOLVE is a new employability programme currently being delivered by West Lothian Council, Supported Employment Service and we are looking for Covid safe work experience opportunities within the Voluntary sector. Both provider and participant will have the support of an experienced employment advisor during the placement.  Interested then email: or call 07917 814 440 for more information.
Health and Social Care Report November 2020 – Report to the Executive of the Joint Forum of Community Council in West Lothian.
Kidzeco update on current services - An update on the current services provided.
Mental health information for employers - Information and guidance on looking after your employees’ mental health is available from Healthy Working Lives.
ODAP are looking to recruit new Trustees – Exciting new opportunities have arisen for new Trustees to join Open Door Accommodation Project
OPAL Service Provision – Helping older people in West Lothian stay connected in 2020
Org in the Spotlight - This months Org in the Spotlight is River Kids.
Westspace Newsletter -  November Newsletter from Westspace.
WLFIN Team North Pole - This year, West Lothian Financial Inclusion Network, are providing, through local health professionals and charities, child, and teenager ‘Christmas shoe boxes,’ to children and families most in need, throughout West Lothian.  These children and families include those with disabilities, low income, and those families that have been adversely affected by the COVID pandemic. The ‘Christmas shoe boxes’ will be pre-wrapped in appropriate Christmas paper but will not be sealed so that the parent can check through the contents before they gift it to their children. The content of each box will be gender and age specific and filled with new items. The ages will be new-born to 16-year olds. If any of your clients who could benefit from these, please fill out an attached form for each family and submit them (as your group of forms if possible) between now and the end of November. We will attempt to have all your Christmas boxes ready for a single collection.
WLSEN Newsletter - Monthly Round-Up November.
If you would like to make a submission to our eBulletin/Website/Social Media then please email
Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian is a Registered Company in Scotland No. SC244154 and is a Registered Scottish Charity No. SC027612.

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