Scottish Government Accepting Applications for Cash-First Fund

Public-sector and third-sector organisations across Scotland can apply for funding to develop collaborative partnerships to improve local access to cash in a crisis and address food insecurity.

The Scottish Government is offering eight grants of up to £200,000 over two years for partnerships of public and third-sector organisations across Scotland to improve urgent local access to cash in a crisis and reduce the need for emergency food parcels by:

  • Providing funding for local collaboration and tests of change.
  • Providing practical assistance through tailored advice and peer support.
  • Sharing good practice within and beyond the participating areas.
  • Independently evaluating the Programme to inform future decisions.

Through the Cash-First Fund, a total of £1.6 million is available for the delivery of activities between autumn 2023 and autumn 2025 that will improve urgent access to cash and develop a ‘cash-first’ response, such as:

  • Coordination and programme management:
    • Agreeing on a locally shared ambition to improve access to cash in a crisis.
    • Identifying relevant services with high food bank referrals.
    • Facilitating collaboration and improvement between services.
    • Facilitating direct experience participation.
  • Trialling new support:
    • Agreeing new cash-first pathways for services with a high rate of food bank referrals.
    • Targeted activities within specific services.
    • Targeted activities for specific at-risk groups.
    • Measures that directly help to overcome specific local barriers to cash-first.
  • Evidence gathering and analysis:
    • Understanding and overcoming barriers to cash-first.
    • Understanding needs and where to target – including through local measurement of food insecurity.
    • Monitoring the impact of interventions.

Partnerships can consist of local, public, and third-sector services that aid people experiencing financial crisis, including organisations such as local food banks, local money advice services delivered by the public or third sector, and other local services that may currently refer to food banks.

People with direct experience in accessing crisis support must be involved throughout the work of the partnership, including the planning stages.

The deadline for applications is 1 September 2023.

(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)