Challenges of funding for social enterprises in social care

Posted: 31 May 2021, in News

As a funder, our team at Shared Care Scotland reacted very quickly over the past year and recognised that, due to the uncertainty, many organisations would need to adjust their funded projects or services and timescales for delivery too.  

We were (and still are) committed to being as flexible as possible around potential changes and worked with a number of funded organisations to agree project variation requests and extensions to ensure they could still deliver their services. 

Without exception, the organisations that we fund have experienced a huge increase in demand for their services, yet many have experienced a substantial drop in income, particularly those organisations that rely heavily on face-to-face fundraising – which obviously ceased to be an option last year. 

The Short Breaks Fund (SBF) from Shared Care Scotland provides grants to third sector organisations that support unpaid carers to take a break from their caring role.

The fund aims to increase the range and availability of short breaks across Scotland, allowing more carers to take the right break at the right time. 

The Short Breaks Fund was established in 2010 and is funded by the Scottish Government on a rolling annual basis. There are four funding programmes, three of which are operated by Shared Care Scotland including: Better Breaks, Creative Breaks and Time to Live.

The fourth funding stream, Take a Break Scotland, is operated by Family Fund.

We distribute around £2 million each year and to date, we’ve granted around £22.5 million to organisations across Scotland supporting the delivery of carer breaks.

Your organisation can apply to the Short Breaks Fund if you’re a third sector (voluntary) organisation operating in Scotland, you’re a registered charity or a constituted organisation that has only charitable purpose(s) and that delivers public benefit.

We will continue to support our funded organisations by being as flexible as we can about changes that may need to be made to their projects. Plus offering enhanced “Funder Plus” support such as ideas on income generation and diversification, business planning to adapt business models and/or re-design/improve short breaks services and activities.

Covid-19 emergency funding was certainly a lifeline and ensured survival for many organisations over this last year, but a key question is what happens to our organisations when this runs out?

Alison Brown, Short Breaks Fund Manager at Shared Care Scotland