Borders TSI - April Newsletter

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News and events

REMINDER: There are now two weeks remaining to participate in the first phase of consultation on Scottish Borders Council's draft Anti-Poverty Strategy.

The strategy has been developed as part of a Borders-wide commitment to supporting individuals, families and communities experiencing hardship, whether that is as a result of economic, fuel, housing, food, digital or any other type of hardship.

This first phase is primarily aimed at partners, stakeholders and other organisations who are involved in providing support to individuals and communities across the Borders, although feedback from members of the public is also welcomed. This stage of consultation will run until 16 May 2021. For more see here


Scottish Borders Council has launched a five-year Community Food Growing Strategy which aims to support and facilitate community food growing in the Scottish Borders, driven by the needs of communities.

The Strategy looks at food growing of all kinds, from allotments to community gardens, and has been developed through engagement with communities and stakeholders across the region.

The approach seeks to provide support to anyone interested in community food growing, which is an increasingly popular model of local food production. For more see here


A series of virtual What Matters Hub sessions are being piloted in the Teviot and Liddesdale locality for 12 weeks from Thursday 22 April.

The hubs will operate via a video call similar to Skype or FaceTime, using the Near Me technology currently used by NHS and Health and Social Care staff.

The hubs can provide support in areas such as welfare advice and benefits and employability support and are also supported by third sector organisations such as the Red Cross and Volunteer Centre Borders. For more see here


All Borders residents belonging to the priority groups set out by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and immunisation have now been vaccinated, a recent update from NHS Borders has confirmed. 

This includes clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (those who were shielding), everyone aged 50 and over and those aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality. 

Additionally, the local health authority announced that over 66,000 people have received their first dose of the covid vaccine and more than 31,500 of those have received their second dose. 


 As the effects of COVID-19 continue to impact on   many aspects of our home and work lives, the stress   and worry caused by financial concerns can have a   detrimental impact on our physical and mental health   & wellbeing.

 To help combat this NHS Borders, Scottish Borders Council and Third Sector partners have worked together to launch the NHS Borders Money Worries App. This free integrated app is designed to help Borders residents affected by a wide range of financial concerns to access the support available.

NHS Borders Money Worries contains a digital directory with information about support services available nationally and locally in the Scottish Borders. The user-friendly design and content are divided into four key areas; Money, Health, Housing and Work. The app is available on both Apple and Android. For more see here

 The programme for this year's Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival has been announced. Now in its 15th year SMHAF covers a diverse range of artistic offerings from film and theatre to music and literature. 

This year's festival runs from 3rd to 23rd May and will explore the theme of "Normality?" through a programme of outdoors and online events by people from all over Scotland - from the Borders to the Highlands. For more see here

One local work featuring as part of this year's Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival is the film Healing The Loss, produced by Alchemy Film and Arts. The film has come from discussions between Alchemy and the Scottish Borders After A Suicide Working Group and asks "What is ‘normality’ after losing someone to suicide?"

The film explores places of special meaning where people remember their loved one lost to suicide. One such place is the Clootie Tree in the heart of the Scottish Borders, where a group of people bereaved by suicide have come together in their shared experience and dedicated the tree to people who have died by suicide.

A screening of the film will take place on May 4th in a digital event which will also include a discussion with the Group. The event is for anyone who has been bereaved by suicide, anyone who knows someone bereaved by suicide, or anyone looking for further information. It will include closed captions for Deaf/Hard of hearing audiences also. The project has been supported by Scottish Borders Joint Health Improvement team. For ticket details see here

 Volunteer Scotland, in partnership with the national Third Sector Interface network, is preparing to relaunch the Volunteer Friedly Award with an event on June 1st. 

The Volunteer Friendly Award has been redeveloped to a new standard which reflects current volunteer good practice and trends, while the new process and offer allow for more volunteer programmes to engage and be recognised for the work they do.

To celebrate the relaunch Volunteer Scotland will be co-hosting an online event with TSI Scotland Network on 1st June, kicking off Volunteers' Week 2021. Book your place here

The Third Sector Interface Children's Services Network will be hosting an event on children's rights on 27th May. In support to the Year of Childhood, the Making Children's Rights Real Across Scotland event will give an update on the UNCRC Incorporation. It will also bring people together to share experiences, tools and practice in relation to children and young people participation work.

Contributors include Aberlour, The ALLIANCE, Children in Scotland, Children’s Parliament, Fife Young Carers, Includem, Licketyspit, Together Scotland and more to be confirmed. Book your place here

Guidance for the delivery of youth work changed on April 26th as lockdown restrictions eased across the country. 

The key information for youth work providers is: 

  • Outdoor and digital youth work remain the preferred methods of delivery at this time. 
  • Indoor youth work may be permitted for select reasons (see the guidance for specific details). 
  • No delivery should exceed 30 persons in any space, including youth workers (under 18 years old) or 15 persons outdoors and no more than 5 indoors, including youth workers (over 18 years old). 
Further information can be found in the Scottish Government's Guiding Framework to support the delivery of youth work services and in the Youth Scotland Post Lockdown Readiness Guide.

Youth Scotland members looking for support and further guidance can book on to a Reopening Youth Work session on May 4th or May 6th.

Social Enterprise Scotland have announced details of their next three #WednesdayWebinar events taking place in May. Follow the links below to book your free spot. 

Business as a force for good: connecting impact-driven entrepreneurs - joint event with Scotland CAN B - connect with social enterprises, B Corps, Zebras and other mission-led businesses.

The role of local authorities in social enterprise development

Meet the CIC Regulator - The rise of Community Interest Companies (CICs) is a social enterprise success story - meet the UK-wide Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies.

There are less than two weeks remaining to apply for a one year internship programme through Borders College supporting young people with additional needs to gain skills and experience to go on to employment. This programme offers students with additional needs (aged 17 to 29) the opportunity to develop employability skills through internships working with a host employer.

The course will be based at Borders General Hospital (provided COVID guidance allows), Monday to Friday from August 2021 till June 2022. The course will also include online learning. Closing date for applications is May 10th, see here for further information. 

What Wheely Matters, a project from the Berwickshire Association for Voluntary Service in partnership with Borders Community Transport Services, has been busy speaking to communities across the Borders and planning the next steps for community transport.   

One recent conversation was with a group in Tweedsmuir that has been providing a Volunteer Car Scheme for more than 20 years. Covid-19 stopped the service from running but as it begins to look at starting up again we have been asked to give support to help the scheme access valuable resources and funding, working with TSI colleagues at The Bridge in Tweeddale. 

This will help to ensure that the scheme can continue to run for another 20 years (or more). It also helps other Community Transport operators to focus on people who might not be able to use a standard car. We are also supporting them with advice and guidance and checking into how our back-office systems could be used locally. 

If this is something that you might like in your area get in touch with Thurston at WWM // This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it /bookings/" target="_blank" style="text-size-adjust: 100%; color: rgb(0, 124, 137); text-decoration-line: underline;">here. 


New: Tesco Community Grants has just launched for new applications from across Scotland. Funding is available to charities and community organisations for local projects that focus on supporting children and families. Projects that tackle food poverty are also invited to apply. 

Funding pots of £500, £1000 and up to £1500 will be available for projects and Tesco customers will be able to choose which project receives the most funding by voting in store every time they shop. The scheme is open to registered charities and not-for-profit organisations, via an on-line application form. Read more. 

New: Small grants of between £5,000 to £7,500 per year are available to organisations focused on work with infants/babies and their carers. The First 1,000 Days Small Grants funding is being offered through Cattanach and will focus on community based projects providing support to children aged 0-2 in Scotland. Successful applicants will be awarded funding for one or two years, depending on the context of the individual organisations and services. Read more. 
New: The UK government is providing £220 million funding through the UK Community Renewal Fund to help local areas prepare for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022. This Fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches and will invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. All places across the UK are eligible for pilot funding. The Scottish Borders is one of 100 UK priority areas. Read more.
New: The Empowering Women Fund, part of the Labyrinth Project, is a Tampon Tax funded grant scheme, led by Solace. It will provide funding to support small women’s groups and organisations to develop innovative ways of empowering women in their local area and build the capacity of small organisations. The fund is divided into two strands and grants can run for up to 12 months. Grants of £500 to £1,000 and £1,000 to £25,000 are available with a closing date for applications of 28th May. Read more. 

New: The National Lottery's new Bringing People Together fund can support projects that build stronger connections across communities, and improve the infrastructure and conditions that are needed to strengthen these connections. Funding pots of up to up to £300,000 in total for up to two years are available and successful applicants must deliver projects across at least two countries in the UK. Read more. 


Meanwhile, the National Lottery's ongoing Awards for All Scotland fund remains open to applications for funding between £300 and £10,000 even if the group already have a National Lottery Awards for All grant for something else. Read more.

Deadline extended: The Community & Third Sector Recovery Programme aims to support charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations that are supporting people and communities through the shift from lockdown to recovery.

As well as providing ongoing crisis support, they will be planning and implementing changes to adapt and thrive in a very different social and economic climate. The programme, delivered in partnership by Firstport, Corra Foundation, SCVO, Just Enterprise, Community Enterprise and Social Investment Scotland, has recently extended the application deadline for the Adapt & Thrive strand of funding. The new closing date for applications is June 30th. Read more.

Closing soon: The FCC Communities Foundation's Scottish Action Fund has opened to applications for the first of two rounds of funding in 2021. The fund will provide grants of between £2,000 and £40,000 to not-for-profit organisations for projects concerned with: Land Reclamation; Community Recycling; Public Amenities and Parks; Biodiversity and Historic Buildings. The closing date for applications for this round of funding is 2nd June. Read more.

Ongoing: SSE Renewables has opened the Scottish Borders Sustainable Development Fund for applications. The fund has £250k available and is open to not for profit groups which operate within the Scottish Borders local authority area. The fund received contributions from Clyde Wind Farm and the funding decisions are made by an independent panel.

The panel is looking for applications from projects which would boost local employment, help communities take ownership of local assets and help local people to adjust to the new ways of working following the pandemic, which might include the creation of local business hubs or apprenticeship programmes. The deadline for applications is June 23rd. Read more.

Ongoing: A fund worth £500,000, which supports those who are connecting and supporting people within their local community, has recently been announced by the Corra Foundation. 

The Enabling Neighbourhoods and Communities Fund is a Scottish Government initiative, administered by the Corra Foundation, which has been announced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on our communities. The fund is open only to groups that are rooted in their community with strong local relationships who require a small amount of money, and have received little/or no emergency funding during the pandemic. Read more

Ongoing: Radio Borders Cash for Kids grants have reopened to applications after being put on hold for a period last year to concentrate on supporting those affected by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Grants support children from birth up to the age of 18 years who are vulnerable, come from disadvantaged backgrounds or are living with an illness or disability. Support will typically range from £1,000 to £3,000 though larger amounts will be considered. Read more.

Ongoing: Funding awards of between £500 and £20,000 to support smaller charities and local community groups that are working for the benefit of people and planet will be awarded throughout the year by the People's Postcode Trust, funded by players of the People's Postcode Lottery.

Applications for the first round of funding opened on February 1st and this will continue on or around the first of each month until October 1st. Read more.

Ongoing: The Robertson Trust offers a range of grants from 'wee' to large for registered charities and constituted community groups that help people and communities in Scotland who are living with poverty and trauma. The trust offers both revenue and capital funding with no set closing date on applications. Read more.
TSI partners The Bridge and Bavs can assist organisations with project development and funding bids. Contact us by locality: Berwickshire:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   Eildon:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   Cheviot and Teviot & Liddesdale:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it    Tweeddale:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Job opportunities

Borders Additional Needs Group has an exciting opportunity for a Project Coordinator 15 Hours PM from June 2021-Jan 2022 to lead on our Better Breaks ASN Family Summer Camp and New Parent Carer Initiative. 

This 15-hour per month role is an exciting opportunity for a motivated and enthusiastic individual to use their creativity, skills and experience to make a difference to lives of ASN Families in the Scottish Borders. The Project Coordinator will work with the Board of trustees in the planning and delivery activity program, working with Branching Out Youths providing opportunities for learning and social interaction. The activities will aim to develop the peer to peer Parent Support, emotional health and wellbeing and provide sensory fun family activities. The project aims to help ASN families, Young carers and ASN youths feel more connected to their community and have improved access to respite.

The closing date for applications is May 10th.

For further information or informal enquiries about this role please contact Sarah Fitch, Chairperson, Borders Additional Needs Group:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Volunteering opportunities

Beyond Earlston - Treasurer

Beyond Earlston is seeking a treasurer to maintain an overview of the organisation’s financial affairs, ensure its viability and ensure that proper financial records and procedures are maintained. The role can also be supported by the development of a finance subcommittee. The treasurer will work closely with the manager to ensure that the finances of Beyond Earlston are kept up to date and presented to the board and others as requested. See more. 


Museums Northumberland, Union Chain Bridge Project – Walking Guides

The focus of the role will involve researching and developing content and interpretation materials for the proposed walking routes in the vicinity of the Union Chain Bridge, Paxton, Berwickshire; Researching examples of good practice and popular local walking trails; Co-creating online walking resources with professional interpretation experts to create a public walking guide resource.

Although not an essential requirement of the role, volunteers may be interested in walking the suggested routes, testing and recording detail about them. See more. 


Borders Pet Rescue – Charity Shop Volunteers

Borders Pet Rescue is a small non-profit, registered charity in the Scottish Borders dedicated to the care and re-homing of dogs, cats and small animals. The animal centre is based in Earlston, with four shops in Duns Kelso, Hawick and Galashiels. Shop volunteers are the first point of contact for customers when they enter our shops. You will be meeting and greeting customers with a smile, providing assistance and ultimately helping to increase sales and donations. You may even have to say “hello” to some of their four-legged friends! All necessary training will be given. See more. 


Thirlestane Castle – Room Stewards

Volunteers will have the unique opportunity to present one of Scotland’s most historic castles to visitors and tell the story of the Maitland family. Help bring history to life!

Initially volunteer Room Stewards are only required to provide a presence in the castle, to warmly welcome guests, and to answer visitors’ questions and to ensure that the security of artefacts are not compromised. As Room Stewards gain in knowledge they will be able to answer questions more fully and offer guided tours to individuals and small groups. See more.


Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland

Charity Shop Volunteers

Chest Heart and Stroke currently have 4 shops in the Scottish Borders – Galashiels, Melrose, Hawick and Kelso. The shops and hubs help raise funds to provide services to the people who need them. Every store relies on a team of volunteers to help run it and support staff. By helping in one of the stores, you can make a difference to people and their families in Scotland who are isolated, scared or anxious about their condition. 

Community Connectors

Being a Community Connector Volunteer is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the success of a leading health charity and make a real difference to the people they support.

The role will include:
Researching potential CHSS partner organisations using guidance provided; this may be groups, associations, local companies and schools.
Locating contact details for mailings / event promotion
Inputting data into a excel spreadsheet
Providing the fundraising team with feedback to research
See more. 

For further information about any of these and other opportunities please email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   or call Volunteer Centre Border’s Placement Advisor, Margaret McGlynn, on 07818 795608.
Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to share your news story, event, job vacancy or training opportunity with the Borders third sector community. 
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Our mailing address is:
3 Roxburgh House Court, Roxburgh Street,
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