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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“Gala Water Lockdown Memories” published in Stow

01 December 2020


On the 23rd of March the Gala Water Valley (comprising the village of Stow, Fountainhall and surrounding areas in the Scottish Borders) went into lockdown as a result of the coronavirus Pandemic.  The Gala Water History and Heritage Association (GWHHA) usually spends its time gathering and cataloguing historical memorabilia which make up the Stow Parish Archive.  Realising the seismic effect of the pandemic, GWWHA volunteers embarked on a ‘live capture’ of residents’ experiences, to help the community come to terms with the situation and create a lasting memory of a key moment in local history. 

GWHHA has now published a booklet documenting the “Reflections and Hopes” which emerged from residents during lockdown.  The booklet contains images and comments about the Gala Water lockdown donated by local community members.  Printed copies have been distributed to ‘Friends of the Archive’, can be purchased locally, and the booklet is freely available on the Stow Parish Archive website and Facebook page 

Residents have been extremely complimentary:

“What a lovely positive thing to muse over instead of the general gloom and doom that can swamp these challenging times.  Although the booklet is looking back on people's experiences, in a way it is a hopeful thing for the future in that it is saying ‘this is an historical event we are living through but it will pass’. The booklet is beautifully put together and I imagine a lot of work went in behind the scenes.”

GWHHA committee member Jessica Troughton is delighted with the result: 

“We are very pleased with it - it got to version 10 before we were happy with it - and we are getting some very positive feedback which makes all the preparation worthwhile!”

The EDF Longpark Community Fund has supported GWHHA’s work since 2012.  Grants totalling £74,595 have supported the costs of the sole staff member, a Community Archivist who has worked with local volunteers to catalogue almost 2,000 photographs, postcards, books, account records, maps, audio stories and other items of local memorabilia donated into the Archive.  In normal times the Archive in Stow Town Hall is open throughout the week for residents and visitors, and a searchable catalogue on the Archive website opens up the area’s heritage to people across the world.  GWHHA regularly shares historical photos on its Facebook page.


Pre-lockdown, GWHHA also ran weekly coffee mornings providing a social space enabling a growing number of older residents to socialise, share memories, and discuss items of memorabilia which then go into the Archive.  The Archivist, Mary Craig, is also credited with taking forward and successfully delivering a range of initiatives, events and outreach work with the three local primary schools.  When lockdown kicked in, she rapidly created online learning materials about historical medicines, which teachers and pupils loved.  Additionally (although not funded by the EDF Longpark Fund), the Archivist has also written books about witchcraft in the area and a history of Stow village.

A new two-year grant from the EDF Longpark Fund will support ongoing Archive work alongside a brand new ‘Forts and castles’ project.  Volunteers, landowners and school children will be involved in surveying and photographing sites of old castles, ultimately creating a digital map of forts and castles along the Gala Water Valley. 

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