A NEW £10 million fund has been launched to help organisations improve access to services which can reduce the impact of inequalities and disadvantage experienced as a result of childhood abuse.

Support can range from individual talking therapies and group work to peer support, physical and outdoor activities, arts and cultural activities, and is available over the next four years.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Childhood abuse devastates people’s lives in many ways and we want to help ensure that they get the support that they need and deserve.

“Many third-sector and community-based organisations are doing remarkable work with survivors of abuse, reducing inequalities, improving mental and physical wellbeing and reducing social isolation.

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“We know that individuals’ needs vary considerably and so we expect to see a wide variety of creative and high quality applications, aiming to strengthen resilience and wellbeing, and connect our local communities.”

The application process is managed on behalf of the Scottish Government by Inspiring Scotland. Chief executive Celia Tennant said: “It has been a privilege to work alongside Scottish Government’s Survivor support team for the past three years to help manage the Survivor Support Innovation and Development Fund.

“It has enabled us to take significant steps towards the key Scottish Government commitment of reducing inequality for survivors and it is encouraging to see a new fund announced today, which will build on the successes so far, while striving to make further progress towards this ambition. We are delighted to continue providing support to Scottish Government through the new Survivors of Childhood Abuse Support Fund.”

The £10m Survivors of Childhood Abuse Support Fund will run from 2020 to 2024 with a maximum of £2.5m available each year. It is a successor to the innovation and development fund, managed on behalf of the Scottish Government by Inspiring Scotland.

Scottish registered charities, community-based organisations and eligible social enterprises can apply from today, with application forms available from the Inspiring Scotland website. The deadline for bids is Friday, November 1.

Applications will be reviewed by a new panel, involving people with lived and professional experience of abuse.