Emotional Wellbeing and Relationships

We want to see a Scotland that builds stronger wellbeing and relationships for people, families, communities and with services, to maximise the potential and wellbeing of those currently held back by poverty and trauma

Personal relationships, especially in childhood, play a fundamental role in a person’s physical and mental health. Emotional wellbeing and positive relationships can also provide powerful protection against poverty and trauma.

We know that damaging relationships in childhood, and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), can lead to risky behaviours, limit someone’s life chances over the long term and put them at greater risk of poverty. There is a clear but complex connection between complex and developmental trauma and poverty.

A number of factors are known to be protective. For children, these include having a warm and stable relationship with at least one parent or carer, having links to peers and teachers with positive attitudes behaviours, having resilience and self-efficacy and being happy and engaged in school.

For adults, strong networks and support from family, friends and neighbours is important. So too is access to high quality schools, health and community services, their own resilience and parenting skills, and being able to access appropriate advice when required.

During 2022, our Emotional Wellbeing and Relationships team has undertaken a discovery phase to understand this theme better, including through conversations with a broad range of stakeholders and those with direct experience of poverty and trauma. We have also focused on beginning our journey to embed trauma responsive approaches across all of what we do. Over the course of 2023, the team will focus on building our knowledge and skills as a trauma-responsive organisation, before beginning further work with grant-holders and wider stakeholders. We will undertake work across our four strategic themes to build an emotional wellbeing and relationships perspective across all of our activities. In order to stay up-to-date with our work in this area, all updates will be shared on this page. You can also join our mailing list or follow our social channels.

Available funds:

Our Funds

We are particularly interested in work that focuses on the following issues:

  • Parenting, early years and family support which focuses on child attachment.
  • Mental health support which aims to reduce dependency of children and young people on crisis or clinical services
  • Activities which empower vulnerable girls and women, including crisis support for those affected by gender- based violence
  • Services and supports for adults affected by severe and multiple issues including addictions and homelessness.

Within Emotional Wellbeing and Relationships, we are interested in funding work that supports the emotional and relational needs of people and families affected by or at risk of experiencing poverty and/or trauma. We understand that we still have a great deal to learn about the complex nature of Trauma. We are committed to working with partners, whilst listening to experts with lived experience to better understand where the Trust can focus its resources in this area. 

It is important to us that we understand how any applications to our Funds will improve outcomes for people affected by poverty and/or trauma. For our Large Grants, unless the activities outlined in your application are purposely designed to address those issues listed above, we will be unable to consider your request.  

Where possible, work should consider any underlying financial challenges. Relationships do not happen in a vacuum and consideration should also be given to measures which support the wider family socioeconomic context (e.g. housing, debt, employment). Work should be delivered in community settings where possible.

If your work involves a universal approach, please tell us why this approach is best and how the work will target and engage those most at risk of poverty or trauma.

> Find out more about how to apply here.

>> Applying for a Large Grant: Emotional Wellbeing and Relationships 

Read our recent update which aims to support those applying for a Large Grant through Our Funds. This update looks a little deeper at each of the issues relating to Emotional Wellbeing and Relationships and provides examples of what we have recently funded.

Programme Awards

We do not currently have any Programme Awards open for Emotional Wellbeing and Relationships.

Project: Each and Every Child

We are proud to host Each and Every Child at The Robertson Trust. This is a partnership project between CELCIS, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Life Changes Trust, The Robertson Trust, Scottish Government and Social Work Scotland. 

Each and Every Child aims to tell a compelling story about children and young people in the care system, transforming the current public narrative and mobilising people at all levels in the community to take action to improve the life chances of all children, young people and families across Scotland 

How we talk about care experience matters. This story looks to build and improve public support for the progressive vision outlined in The Promise. To help with this challenge, Each and Every Child is sharing framing recommendations from FrameWorksUK’s research into public attitudes towards care experience and the care system in Scotland. 

Now in the second year of the initiative, Each and Every Child has been delivering sessions on how to frame care experience to organisations such as the Care Inspectorate, The Scottish Government, Barnardo's and different local authorities across Scotland. These sessions explore how changing the language we use can radically shift public attitudes towards people with experience of care and the care system, challenging stigma and building support for progressive policies. The team has now delivered 75 Introduction to Framing and Framing Care Experience sessions to over 1600 people, as well as delivering more intensive additional sessions and intensive support to early adopter organisations.  

You can read more about Each and Every Child’s work and keep up to date with their progress here: https://eachandeverychild.co.uk/