Councillors recognise positive impact of Fairer Aberdeen Fund

A report detailing the positive impact of funding in tackling poverty and deprivation across the city in 2019/20 was commended at Aberdeen City Council’s Full Council meeting today [Wednesday 03 March].

The annual report on the Fairer Aberdeen Fund allocated by Aberdeen City Council highlighted the success of the fund in supporting partners to work together to tackle area-based and individual poverty and helping more people access and sustain employment opportunities.

For the financial period between 2019 and 2020, the Council allocated £1.6million to the Fairer Aberdeen Fund for dispersal the Fairer Aberdeen Board in tackling poverty and deprivation in the priority areas of Cummings Park, Mastrick, Middlefield, Northfield, Seaton, Tillydrone, Woodside and Torry, and to help vulnerable groups and individuals across the city.

The Fairer Aberdeen Board is made up of representatives from identified priority areas, the Civic Forum, Aberdeen City Council, NHS Grampian, Police Scotland and ACVO (Aberdeen Council of Voluntary Organisations).

The Fund is aligned with the Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP) and community representatives from Locality Partnerships participated in considering applications for funding and made recommendations to the Fairer Aberdeen Board.

The Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP) is a 10-year plan, which sets out how Community Planning Aberdeen (CPA) will improve outcomes for and with local people and communities through three key themes: Economy, People and Place.

Councillor Jenny Laing, Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council and Chair of Fairer Aberdeen Fund said: “The Council agreed to give £1.6million to the Fairer Aberdeen Fund for 2019/20 and the same amount again for 2020/21.

“I am delighted that their annual report underlines the outstanding work undertaken by everyone involved in reaching out to support our citizens of all ages to empower them particularly in these very difficult times.”

“The objectives for the Fairer Aberdeen Fund align with the Local Improvement Outcome Plan aimed at helping make the city a place where everyone can overcome challenges and prosper.”

During 2019/20, Fairer Aberdeen Funding was awarded to 41 projects within the main programme, as well as a Community Support Fund to support community engagement, an Employment Support Fund to support costs associated with getting people back into work, and a Participatory Budgeting event to reduce social isolation in Froghall, Powis and Sunnybank. Grants ranged from £2,200 to £156,000 in value.

A total of 34,431 people were involved in, or benefited from, funded initiatives and 9,327 of them were under 16 years old. A total of 973 volunteers contributed 145,324 hours of volunteering time with a value of over £2.2m.

Across the themes of Economy, Place, People the Fund achieved numerous successes including:

  • 270 people moved into work and 62 young people moved on to employment, education or training.
  • 2,126 people received money advice or income maximisation advice, with 1268 reporting a total financial gain of £3.1m, an average of £2500 per person.
  • 5,625 people saved with a credit union, providing £1.7m in affordable loans.
  • 9,327 children and young people were supported, along with 469 parents and families with complex needs.
  • 359 young people accessed 3,076 counselling sessions and 186 young people were involved in producing youth media. At least 5 families no longer required Social Work During 2019/20:
  • 404 people accessed counselling provision delivered in priority areas.
  • 654 people took part in adult learning activities.
  • 105 older people were supported to develop digital skills.
  • 130 volunteers provided support to rough sleepers.
  • Additional patrol hours were allocated to reduce harm to women involved in the sex trade and to protect communities from the risk and harm caused by prostitution.
  • 61 ex-offenders were supported in the community after their release, 20 secured a positive destination and 11 moved into work.
  • 484 tonnes of free food were distributed, the equivalent of 1.4m meals, and three community pantries operated with 205 members.
  • 582 food bank users were referred to other services for support and 1,021 received financial support through their SAFE Team.
  • Five Community Flats/Projects in priority areas were able to provide youth work, adult learning, support and advice and tackle the issue of isolation.
  • Participatory Budgeting (PB) event held in Froghall, Powis and Sunnybank – areas that have pockets of deprivation but are outside the priority areas that normally receive funding. From 18 proposals, £25,000 was allocated to the 16 projects that received the most public votes at the event.

To read the financial report, please click on link.