Carcant (Moorfoot) Fund shows Covid resilience
In response to the effects of the pandemic on the Moorfoot community in 2020, Foundation Scotland and the Moorfoot Community Fund Panel recognised the need to provide immediate funding support for their community. This was a change from the standard practice of running a single open grant-making round each year. Panel members highlighted that sudden and prolonged loss of income was posing immediate and ongoing financial risks to the three village halls in the area; Temple, Carrington and Moorfoot Village Halls.
When threatened by a the sudden loss of income the fund stepped in to ensure they were protected for the long-term. The Greencoat Carcant Wind Farm Community Fund successfully distributed funding to help sustain their vital facilities in Moorfoot as their income evaporated. Responding to support the immediate community needs means there will no longer be a round of funding in 2021. However, the fund will re-open for applications in 2022 and in the meantime, groups can apply for a micro-grant from Moorfoot Community Council; visit their website for more details.
The village halls all played a vital role in the communities they served. One provided the area’s only nursery facilities and was actively coordinating service for shielding and elderly or disabled residents, plus a food bank open to all. One operated a ‘fareshare’ food bank scheme, but the premises was at risk of being reclaimed by Midlothian Council and potentially closed for good if the voluntary hall association ran out of funds. One had already elected to mothball the hall for the duration to save costs, but faced some unavoidable recurring costs such as insurance and utilities and had very low reserves.
Following a fast-track application and assessment process devised by Foundation Scotland, the Moorfoot Panel rapidly agreed to award immediate grants to all three, proportionate to their financial situation and taking into account their immediate contributions to alleviating the effects of the pandemic situation locally.
The panel subsequently agreed to provide a further grant to each group in Autumn 2020. This was due to the pandemic continuing, evidence showing the ongoing need plus the initial grant's utilisation. The groups subsequently took up all three grants. Foundation Scotland also shared pertinent information with grantees about the range of financial and non-financial resources available to them and to the Covid-related information hub set up by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO).
"Through grants totalling £11,500, The Fund has played a vital role in retaining and protecting vital community assets for the long-term benefit of the Moorfoot community. Thanks to the Panel, who all live locally, the fund was able to respond rapidly and effectively to the particular challenges facing local groups. I'm delighted that Foundation Scotland was able to play its part in making all this happen."
Malcolm Jack, Community Fund Manager at Foundation Scotland