Last minute grants of between £250 and £10,000 are available to voluntary and community organisations, community councils and statutory bodies in Scotland for projects that meet at least one of the following outcomes:
• Improve the quality of life of children (pre-birth to eight years old) through greater access to early learning, play and child and maternal health support.
• Enable communities to shape and deliver support for families.

Funding is concentrated on projects that benefit children, or parents and families of children, who are eight years and under. Examples of the types of local projects that funding is available for include the following:
• Parenting support and development projects that:
o Provide sessions for parents to promote confidence and a healthier and more active lifestyle.
o Promote IT to parents as a way to spend good quality, educational time with their children.
• Community play projects that:
o Develop or refurbish play areas for local children and families.
o Deliver a community fun day to engage children and families in community play.
• Projects that support better nutrition for young children through:
o Healthy breakfast clubs for children.
o A community garden that promotes healthy eating and encourages families to grow fresh produce.
• Community-based family support and childcare projects that:
o Develop community-led playgroups and crèches or improve the services they currently offer.
o Deliver services to help families through challenging times, for example therapeutic family play.

Since opening, the programme has awarded over £5.4 million to groups working with children across Scotland.

Applicants have until 29 February 2016 (12pm) to submit their proposals before the fund closes.

For more information please click here.

A chance to raise your charity's profile, potentially recruit new volunteers and be awarded a £3000 grant toward your charity.

Youth Philanthropy Initiative photo

Voluntary Action Orkney has been approached by Kirkwall Grammar School to help identify 30 eligible charities to participate in the Youth Philanthropy Initiative.

The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) is an active citizenship programme (supported by the Wood Family Trust) that raises awareness among young people about philanthropy.  All S3 pupils from Kirkwall Grammar School will be involved in the project to consider the needs of their local community and identify a grassroots social service* charity they believe make a positive contribution.

Participating students will work in small teams and learn how to study the charities management, budget, strategy and staffing arrangements. 

Students will aim to build relationships with representatives from their chosen charity while being taught-in school about investigating, teamwork, public speaking and presentation of findings.  The group judged to have made the most compelling and thorough presentation wins a £3000 grant to award to their charity.

There will be a launch event for pupils and charities on:

Friday 11th March 2016 at Kirkwall Grammar School.

If you would like to know more please visit 

or if you would like to register your organisation to be involved please contact VAO.

*Please note:

Eligible charities: All social service charities registered in Scotland through OSCR are eligible, there are no limits to how many teams you work with or how many YPI grants you receive.

Get your benefits questions answered during the Carers Trust Online Benefits Q & A Expert Event on Carers Space, starting 25 January 2016, running for 2 weeks

Details from Carers Trust here

Orkney Voices has carried out research into the availability of public toilets across Orkney and have now produced an on-line guide. 

To find a loo near you go to

The group, Orkney Voices, aim to inform, discuss, consult, co-ordinate, campaign and represent the view of anyone aged 50 and over. 

For more information telephone Kasha Jarosz on 01856 872897 or email

The Council is inviting local groups and organisations to take part in the events for the St Magnus Commemorations next year, when a cultural programme of activities, performances, education and research will be held throughout 2017. An open Drop In Session will be held today (Thursday 21st Jan) between five o' clock and seven at the Warehouse Buildings in Stromness.

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