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Essentia Foundation: Empowering Grantees with Crucial Cost of Living Support

In a bold move within their charitable endeavours, the Essentia Foundation has taken a significant stride by providing cost of living uplifts to the organisations that secured awards in the inaugural year.

This distinctive approach sets them apart as leaders in the sector, going above and beyond to address the pressing challenges. 

As the Essentia Foundation looked back on the initial year of project activities, a stark truth emerged: the ongoing economic crisis has left its mark on young people and families. Grantees disclosed a concerning surge in the number of children attending activities in dire need of a warm meal, shedding light on the financial hardship’s families are grappling with.

The burden didn’t end there. Behind the scenes, the operating costs of the grantee organisations have surged. Rising utility bills, fuel prices, and rental rates have combined to create a daunting financial landscape, and this has made it increasingly challenging for them to function effectively, pushing some to precarious positions.

In response to the pressing challenges faced by the organisations and communities, Essentia Trustees convened in August 2023 to devise a solution. Acknowledging the strains experienced by these first-year projects, which submitted proposals before the onset of the crisis, the trustees decided to grant a financial uplift that would be in line with the current inflation rates.  This much-needed infusion of support promises to offer a respite from the challenges these organisations face. 

Remarking on the uplift to their awards, many grantees extended their thanks.

Glasgow based arts charity, Hopscotch Theatre said: “On behalf of Hopscotch we would like to thank you for your continued support during these challenging times.  The uplift will ensure that we can fulfil our duties as a charity and support us through this stage, and we are grateful to be awarded this. Please pass on our thanks as this aid will be used to bridge the socio-economic and geographical gaps which prevent children and young people from accessing theatre. Our team will also be able to develop our good work. We passionately care about how the arts and theatre can have a positive impact on children’s health and wellbeing and utilise this as our tool to provide arts and cultural experiences without barriers!”

In the city of Edinburgh, community youth organisation, LAYC said: “Frequently, projects are running at a loss or organisations are having difficult conversations with funders to reduce outputs. It is refreshing to have the cost-of-living impact pre-empted by Trustees and for this LAYC are grateful.”

Health charity, Haemophilia Scotland stated: “A lot of the costs involved in the project would be impacted by the increases to inflation, so this will help ensure that we can continue as originally planned and produce another 12- or 16-page comic next year.”

In a landscape where the third sector is facing numerous challenges, the Essentia Foundation's response exemplifies their commitment to organisations working with young people. By standing with these projects and recognizing their value, the trustees are not just offering financial relief but also reinforcing the spirit of resilience that drives these initiatives forward.