Important Message On Coronavirus

Foundation Scotland – We are open

Reassurance on supporting communities, charities and social enterprises following the impact of Coronavirus
Foundation Scotland appreciate that the Coronavirus situation will have a big impact on communities. We know that charities, local organisations and social enterprises will play a critical support role - providing practical and emotional support, helping to mobilise local services, care for those most in need and tackle isolation.
We want to reassure you that we will do what we can to support communities.

We are open as usual – our staff are now are working from home - we are working differently, working digitally. Staff work travel has been suspended so we will hold our meetings online.
All contacts including telephone numbers and email addresses will remain the same. Please just continue to contact our staff through these means. Our IT systems enable us to work from home with no risk to data security and ensure there is limited disruption to services.

Please continue with grant applications – however please scan and email in any supporting documents. Our offices are closed for the time being, and we cannot receive mail – so please do not post any supporting documents. If you don’t have a scanner an option is to download a scanner app onto your smart phone – this uses the camera function to scan the document and convert it into a PDF for e-mail.

We aim to be as helpful as possible over the coming weeks - so our grantees can focus on supporting communities. Alongside continuing to deliver all our community funds and published grant-making programmes, we are taking the following steps:

  1. Relaxing deadlines for monitoring reports
  2. Increasing mentoring and support for grantees and investees
  3. Establishing payment holidays for social enterprises supported with loans
  4. Increasing cash flow support loans to social enterprises
  5. Planning to introduce rolling deadlines for some place-based Funds for those delivering any projects that address immediate community needs in light of the Coronavirus
  6. Working with other funders to pool resources
  7. Working with local community organisations and umbrella groups to gather information about local needs and how best to support these
  8. Establishing a Community Resilience and Recovery Fund
  9. Giving our staff paid time to work flexibly so that they can care for loved ones and also volunteer and support activity in their local community dealing with needs arising from the Coronavirus
  10. Asking you how we can best support your community

Please do get in touch, as normal, if you have questions.

 

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Entrepreneurs gather for seminar

14 March 2014

Entrepreneurs from up and down the west coast gathered at Arisaig House on 13 March for the annual West Coast Communities Growth Trust seminar.

Guests were invited to question leading business, finance and media experts on how best to identify development opportunities to help to grow their businesses sustainably. This year’s key speakers included successful businessman Angus MacDonald, journalist Mairi Watson and representatives from Chartered Brands and Highland and Islands Enterprise.

One organisation to benefit from an award from the Trust is Via Ferrata Scotland (VFS), the first outdoor climbing development of its kind in Scotland which will open later this month.

Located beside Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall in Kinlochleven, the new climbing experience using metal staples and cable bridges will open up access to one of the most visually stunning areas of the highlands; attracting new visitors and keen climbers alike.

Ben Starkie, Director of VFS and Vertical Descents said: "The West Coast Communities Growth Trust is a real support to my businesses. The grant has supported the construction of Scotland's first Via Ferrata. This will not only be a great asset to tourism and outdoor activities in the west coast of Scotland, it will also create employment and sustainability for the local area. Along with financial support, the Trust seminars have helped me develop my entrepreneurial skills and have inspired me to develop my company. "

Angus MacDonald who set up the West Coast Communities Growth Trust with his wife Michie facilitated discussions throughout the seminar. He said, “Vertical Descents is showing great initiative in expanding their offering for visitors to Lochaber. West Coast Communities Growth Trust is delighted to support them.”

The West Coast Communities Growth Trust provides grants for local businesses. The aim of the programme is to enhance prosperity and promote thriving communities in North West Scotland by supporting sustainable local business and employment opportunities. Foundation Scotland manages the fund on the behalf of the West Coast Communities Growth Trust.

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