Fairer Scotland

GROWING THE SOCIAL ECONOMY

December 18, 2017 by No Comments

Raising awareness of our European Social Fund projects and the activities they are supporting is important to us. We are making positive progress across both the Social Economy Growth Fund and Social Innovation Fund that will help the most disadvantaged areas and people in Scotland.

Working Rite based in Edinburgh received a Social Economy Growth Fund award of £196,094 in Round 1.

Three new posts have been created to build the capacity of their organisation to provide intensive person-centred support. They will deliver a new model of intervention and outreach to help young vulnerable people break the cycle of offending, poverty and potential homelessness. Difficult roads can lead to positive destinations and we are sure with Working Rite’s support the young people will overcome their challenges.

Many thanks to Dennis Murphy and the team for hosting the launch of the Fairer Scotland Action Plan – Annual Progress Report on 23 November.

The Managing Authority held their Lead Partner Annual Publicity Event on 29 November. Dr Eve Hepburn of Fearless Femme CIC presented her social innovation project as an example of Scottish Government’s Inclusive Growth funding – thank you Eve. The Fund is a 3 stage process which develops, tests and scales up new ideas to tackle social issues with academic and third sector organisations.

Eve was inspirational and delivered a powerful presentation on mental health and received excellent feedback from officials in attendance. The project The Mental Health Challenges of Young Women was awarded £149,960 and we look forward to the launch early next year.

The University of Edinburgh as a partner will measure the success of the online magazine developed and data gathered will support future developments. The magazine will empower young people to share their experiences and provide positive support to address many of the hidden issues faced by young people today.

COOL Music is a collaboration between Glasgow Caledonian University and Heavy Sound CIC that involves young people with barriers. The project develops and tests alternative approaches by using music and videography to create opportunities for equal development and inclusion.

We accompanied the European Commission when they visited this ESF Social Innovation Fund project on 23 November. They raised questions on the application process, relationship with Scottish Government as a Lead Partner and the additionality of activity.

We were provided with a project overview and saw the project in action with the participants, who also had some interesting questions for us. The partnership is working well with passionate people on board. I left knowing more about music production and tips for being on camera! Thanks Artur Steiner GCU and Jordan Butler at Heavy Sound for organising the day.

Joanna Gawrylczyk-Malesa, Programme Manager for EU Policies in UK said:

 “It is always very encouraging to see how EU-funded projects help people, elderly and young alike, improve their lives. These, very often innovative, actions like COOL Music are the best proof that the European Social Model is not simple rhetoric, but real progress.”

West Fife Enterprise & Robert Gordon University disseminated findings of their project at Fife Employability Forum on 6 December. Awarded £49,776 to engage with jobseekers in the most deprived areas and employability services they investigated barriers to retaining new employment and explored potential solutions. Barriers included:

  • public transport provision which is unreliable, involves too many connections, subject to cuts and changes and fails to complement shift patterns
  • learning to drive and subsequently buying and maintaining a car

Dr Graeme Baxter, Researcher at RGU said:

We’ve looked at various best practice examples of workplace-related transport schemes from across the UK and Europe and identified 4 innovative interventions that we feel could be successfully adopted in Fife. These include a community driving school, which could be based on a social enterprise model, and would offer confidence building and life skills training alongside conventional driving lessons. And what’s known as a “Wheels 2 Work” scheme, where jobseekers would be offered the hire of a scooter or electric bike for a 6 month period with the right to buy the vehicle at the end of the scheme.

To find out more https://www.facebook.com/keepfifemoving/

The deadline is approaching for the Social Economy Growth Fund. Please ensure guidance is read carefully, your organisation and proposal meets eligibility criteria and documentation is in order prior to submission. We look forward to processing applications in the New Year.

Have a lovely Christmas


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