Go For It Fund distributes £4.7 million in five years

The homeless, children and families projects, and support for refugees and asylum seekers are among the latest groups to benefit from the Church of Scotland’s Go For It Fund.

Brechin Cathedral
Brechin Cathedral Crossroads Storytellers, based in Angus, are using a Go For It grant to fund weekly drama groups and a drama holiday club so local school pupils can perform dramatised Bible stories

The first round of Go For it grants in 2017 brings to almost £5 million to total donated to good causes in the 5 years since it was created by the General Assembly.

The money has been distributed to 252 applicants across Scotland, reaching those who need it most in almost every Presbytery.

Ministries Council Convener Rev Neil Glover says Go For it is fulfilling the vision laid out for it by the 2012 General Assembly.

"Go For It grew out of a movement in the Church called Church Without Walls which sought to break down the barriers between the Church and the people of Scotland,” he said. “Each of these inspiring projects is testament to the fulfilment of that vision.

"I am thrilled to see the range of projects supported by Go For It. Each of them shows how different Churches have been dreaming of what might be possible, learning from the best ideas, responding to their local communities and daring to take risks.”

Go For It has just chosen 10 organisations to receive the first round of grants for 2017 which total £333,740 with homelessness charity Borderline securing this Spring’s largest Go For It Main grant.

Borderline will receive £76,639.50 over three years to help fund access to accommodation for homeless Scots in London, re-connection to Scotland and specialist support. Find out more about Borderline

Shona Fleming, Borderline's chief executive, said:

"Borderline is delighted and extremely grateful to receive Go For It Funding from the Church of Scotland. The grant will fund half of our Scottish Outreach Worker project for three years.

"This project is vital to Borderline’s work with homeless Scots in London, as we are able to reach some of the most vulnerable and entrenched rough sleepers.

"With this multi-year funding, we are able to plan for the future and strive to meet our vision that every Scot in London will have a home and receive the support they need to lead a healthy, independent life.

"Borderline is also very pleased as we trace our origins to the Caledonian Christian Club and later to the Church of Scotland London Advisory Service (COSLAS).”

Rev Jane Howitt

Rev Jane Howitt, minister at St Rollox Church in Glasgow and vice convener of the Go For it fund said:

“When we set up the Go For It fund we never imagined it would have such a wide reach or such a significant impact on the mission of the Church.

“The funding is helping local congregations broaden their reach in the community since it helps employs about 150 staff who can support the work of ministers and congregations.

Jane pointed to the work of Go For It-funded organisations such as The GK Experience which works with youngsters in some of Glasgow’s most deprived areas through activities and residential experiences.

“Young people might come in as service users to enjoy the activities, but over the years they can then become one of the group leaders. They grow through the project, gaining skills and self-confidence.”

David Williams

David Williams, Go for It Fund manager said:

“I am delighted that Go For It continues to support a very wide range of projects which are transforming church and community.

“From Borderline which is the only organisation specifically helping homeless Scots in London to St Rollox which offers services and support to local residents, asylum seekers and refugees in North Glasgow, and from The Croft which is supporting families affected by imprisonment to Penicuik South Christians Against Poverty, offering a proven process to help people find release from feeling trapped by debt.”

Other groups to receive grants are:

Carlops Parish Church through Carlops Patio Garden will receive £10,000 over 1 year to turn a piece of ground between the village hall and the church into an area which both can use both for events, such as a market. This is the only piece of public green space in the village. Find out more about Carlops Parish Church

The Croft will receive £40,000 over 2 years to support families affected by imprisonment at HMP Barlinnie in person, online and over the phone. Offering welcome and hospitality, signposting, and advising visitors of prison procedures. The Croft also helps support families and children’s visits. Find out more about The Croft

Church House Family Support Centre, Bridgeton will receive£40,000 over 2 years to fund a project manager who can build on the church’s 75-year track record inoutreach work to young people and expand it into a full family support centre. Find out more about Church House Family Support Centre

Greyfriars Charteris Centre will receive £42,500 over 3 years to provide space to allow local people, organisations and service users to connect informally in a semi-supported way and to “be community”, to study, organize, connect, plan or just escape for a while. Find out more about Greyfriars Charteris Centre

Kate’s Kitchen will receive £40,000 over 2 years to provide free hot meals, food parcels and bespoke support services five days a week, for people in Annan tackling poverty and isolation. Find out more about Kate's Kitchen

St Rollox Community Outreach Project, Glasgow will receive£20,000 over 1 year to continued its work with local residents, refugees and asylum seekers. The project aims to help and advise those adversely affected by destitution and sanctions. It helps families on low incomes and those who are lonely as well as supporting new migrants to improve their language skills. Find out more about St Rollox Community Outreach

Penicuik South Church Christians Against Poverty will receive £4,600 over 2 years to support people who are struggling to cope with debt. The project visits clients at home, assists them in creating a budget and applying for benefits as well as encourages them to apply for jobs, be part of church and community groups, and attend CAP social events. Find out more about Penicuik Christians Against Poverty

Tulloch NET will receive £20,000 over 2 years to continue providing a drop-in centre for those experiencing social isolation and poor health outcomes. Tulloch Net also helps people to see themselves as assets to the community, provides a listening service and trains others in being listeners. Find out more about Tulloch NET

Kilmarnock: New Laigh KirkImagine Life project will receive £40,000 over 2 years to continue its outreach work with children, teenagers and families, including people in high-poverty areas who largely have no connection with church. Find out more about Kilmarnock New Laigh Kirk

Who should apply for a Go For It grant?

Go For it takes applications from churches and faith-based groups to fund projects that that meet at least two of five criteria:

  • Meeting identified needs in the community
  • Nurturing Christian faith within and beyond the church
  • Tackling poverty and/or social injustice
  • Developing new ecclesial/ Christian communities
  • Creating work which is genuinely innovative and shares good practice with others

The fund takes Main and Continuation grant applications twice a year and small grant applications on a rolling basis.

Small grants are intended to help people develop or test new projects and generally amount to £5000 or less.

Main and continuation grants offer long term funding for core work on projects. The maximum award for a Main grant is 90,000 over three years. Continuation grants can be awarded after that time for a maximum of £40,000 over two years.

Main and continuation grants can be supplemented by smaller Training grants, which help train people working on projects and Help grants, which are one-time payments to cover an unexpected crisis or to help grantees take advantage of significant opportunities.