Award Listings, News May 2023

£1.7M awarded to six projects under our Financial Security Programme Award

We are delighted to announce that six organisations have been awarded over £1.7M under our Financial Security Programme Awards. All of the projects are working to deliver big change that lasts on tackling poverty and trauma in Scotland.

Through our Financial Security theme, we want to fund, support and influence to improve income adequacy, income security, reduce cost-related pressures on finances and improve financial safety nets for people in financial trouble.

We made an open call for long-term change project ideas through our Programme Awards in October 2022 for organisations focused on delivering big change that lasts on financial security in Scotland. 

Our Programme Awards will allow us to work alongside some of the organisations best placed to achieve impact on poverty and trauma in Scotland, allowing us to learn from them and them from us as we go. 

The successful organisations include proposals to develop strengthening social security in Scotland, reducing the costs of essential goods and services, and preventing and relieving financial crisis now and in the future in Scotland. 

We are pleased to share details of the organisations awarded funding:

  • One Parent Families Scotland awarded £384,678.00. This project will deliver evidence-based recommendations to achieve transformational change to the UK child maintenance system to contribute to reducing child poverty. A partnership with One Parent Families Scotland, IPPR (Scotland) & Fife Gingerbread, each organisation will lead on different strands of work, while working together across all activities. Ambitious policy proposals will be developed, at both Scottish and UK government levels, to radically reform the child maintenance system (CMS), informed by robust evidence and lived experience. The project aims to see action to tackle immediate shortcomings of the existing child maintenance system, and secure public and political support for long-term, systemic reform.   
  • The Poverty Alliance – awarded £492,697.00 to fund new work to tackle rural poverty. Too often people living on low incomes in rural parts of pay a premium for essential goods and services – food, energy, transport, etc. Taking Action on Rural Poverty (TARP) will develop new ways of addressing rural poverty in Scotland by reducing the rural poverty premium. The project will do this by bringing together people with direct experience of poverty, community and voluntary organisations, the private sector and public bodies to identify and test solutions to the poverty premium. It will also work to improve processes to involve people in local decision making and to make changes to national policy that will affect rural poverty.  
  • Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) - awarded £249,866.00 CPAG strengthening social security project aims to ensure the delivery of Scottish Child Payment and other national and local payments provide greater financial security and stability for those on the margins of entitlement or excluded altogether. The project will develop new ways of bringing together the voice of lived experience and CPAG’s social security expertise to develop and promote approaches that will ensure more families can access Scotland-based payments, and that these payments can be relied upon throughout changes in family's circumstances. In so doing it will not only aim to prevent families being pulled into poverty but also look to secure greater financial stability for families in Scotland.
  • Save the Children – awarded £249,761.00. The aim of this ambitious project is to inspire and coalesce public support around sustainable policy solutions to meet Scotland 2030 child poverty targets and deliver financial security in Scotland. The project will provide evidence and deeper insight into public attitudes across Scotland on different interventions that could sustainably drive down child poverty. Importantly, it will build a narrative framework - informed by these insights and our lived experience panel - and work with partners across the sector to ensure policy makers and campaigners have evidence on where the public has an appetite for change. Through engagement and influencing the project will build a network of champions to help ensure that findings and insights are lived and breathed and can have real world impact far beyond the lifetime of this project.
  • The Trussell Trust – awarded £230,000.00. The Trussell Trust is launching a three-year project that will help gain an understanding of how to provide better access to and engagement with local advice and support services that reduce destitution and prevent food bank use. The project as a whole will run pilots in six areas – Glasgow, Perth & Kinross, North Lanarkshire, Dundee, Orkney, and Aberdeenshire. By testing different models in six localities that represent key geographies of Scotland, the aim is to learn which interventions work in different areas, support community-led priorities, evaluate and learn comparatively from their experiences, and make recommendations to local and national government. The Robertson Trust is providing funding to part-fund the whole project, alongside a number of other funders.
  • University of Strathclyde (Fraser of Allander Institute) – awarded £158,742.00. The Fraser of Allander Institute and the Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD) are collaborating to address the limited understanding of the additional costs of disability in Scotland. The social model of disability recognises that people are disabled by barriers in society not by their impairment or disability. The extent to which financial barriers constrain and impact the lives of people with a learning disability and their families is a key part of our research. This project, co-produced with a researcher with lived experience, will provide valuable evidence for the Scottish Government for future programmes of social security reform.

Commenting on the announcement of our new Programme Awards, our Head of Programmes and Practice, Russell Gunson, said:

“I’m delighted to share the details of the Robertson Trust’s new programme awards today. Each of the awards we have made have demonstrated the potential to deliver big change that lasts on poverty and trauma in Scotland. We’re really excited to be working together to make the most of the potential for long-term change in Scotland. 

“Our support comes at a time when people and places facing poverty are experiencing gale force winds against them and their living standards. We have been living through crisis after crisis, stretching back through this cost-of-living emergency, the Covid-19 pandemic and at least back to the financial crash 15 years ago.

“It is often hard to think long-term when the immediate challenges are so pressing but the Trust has protected significant funds for this long-term change work so that we can prevent poverty and trauma in the future, while also helping to make a difference here and now. We will only be successful if we commit to the belief that things can change – we’ve made progress before and we know we can again – if we build the participation, partnerships and coalitions necessary to make change irresistible, and if we build social change over the long-term to reshape the systems and structures that sit underneath why we have the levels of poverty, trauma and inequality that we do.

“We look forward to working with each of the projects and are keen to learn alongside them, to understand what helps and hinders in achieving our mutual ambition of ending poverty and trauma, and its negative impacts, in our society."

Commenting on the announcement of the Programme Awards, our partners said:

David Reilly, Communities and Networks Manager at the Poverty Alliance said:

“Rural poverty is an issue of growing concern for the Poverty Alliance. This important grant from Robertson Trust will not only allow us to test ideas to practically take action on rural poverty, but will also help us to strengthen the networks and relationships that we need to make long term progress on rural poverty.”

John Dickie, Director of Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland said:

“Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland is delighted to be awarded funding by The Robertson Trust. This grant provides us with a unique opportunity to help shape the way Scottish Child Payment and other local and national payments support those currently on the margins. It will enable us to bring our expertise together with the voice of lived experience to prevent poverty and increase families financial stability by helping create more inclusive, consistent and secure financial support through the social security system”.

Satwat Rehman, CEO of One Parent Families Scotland, said:

“One Parent Families Scotland is delighted to receive this funding from The Robertson Trust. Child maintenance is an issue which single parents have raised with us time and again, calling for there to be a fairer and more equitable system. Four in ten children in poverty in Scotland live in a single parent family but maintenance payments can contribute to the costs of raising a child and in giving them a decent quality of life.

However, over £474 million in child maintenance in the UK has gone unpaid – money owed to children. This is an issue of children’s rights and the rights of the child to financial support. Working alongside our amazing partners IPPR Scotland and Fife Gingerbread we will develop ways of supporting families through the maze that is the current child maintenance system and work with families to design a model that works for them and contributes to lifting children out of poverty. “

Claire Telfer, Head of Scotland, Save the Children said:

"We are thrilled to have received The Robertson Trust grant for this exciting work. We believe this will be a game-changing project in the development of policy and actions to drive down child poverty and we can't wait to get started".

David Brownlee, the Trussell Trust’s Financial Inclusion Lead, Scotland, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with The Robertson Trust for this ambitious project. The Trussell Trust has just released its end of year stats, showing the highest levels of need ever in Scotland. The record levels of need seen this year, represents a 50% increase in the number of parcels distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust network in Scotland compared to five years ago in 2017/18. The chronic cost of living crisis has only deepened our commitment to end the need for food banks in Scotland and the whole of the Trussell Trust network – this project will play a key part in enabling us to see how to achieve that aim.”

Emma Congreve, Deputy Director of Fraser of Allander Institute, said:

“The Fraser of Allander are delighted to be collaborating with SCLD and embarking on this project to produce better evidence to underpin more effective policy for people with learning disabilities in Scotland, especially as this will enable us to recruit and support a researcher with lived experience which we would not have been able to do without this investment.”

Please note that our Financial Security Programme Awards are currently closed. To be kept informed of our future funding opportunities or to keep updated on our financial security related work, please sign up to our mailing list or follow our social channels.