Blog - Tricia Imrie: The Re-Birth of A Fairer Future

3 February 2021
two justice statues

This weekend marks the second birthday of Impact Funding Partners!  

Having existed since 1986 in various forms, the re-launch of Impact Funding Partners in 2019 provided the perfect opportunity to re-affirm our commitment to the values of equality, openness, and authenticity. Values and visions which in the past year have never been more important.  

It was Impact Funding Partners’ vision and commitment to creating a fairer and more equal society for all which first attracted me to the organisation. I was thrilled to be appointed as Chief Executive in August 2020 and got straight to work, both reviewing the rich heritage of the past whilst looking to the future, with laser beam focus, on the pressing social justice priorities of Scotland. 

We’ve developed a new action plan for maximum impact, we’re forging new alliances and partnerships with like-minded individuals and organisations who share our vision and we are engaging with people across Scotland to co-design and deliver the Scotland they want, which meets their needs, and we are very excited about the future.  Our work and approach are never more needed than today. 

As we look forward to the rest of 2021 with optimism and anticipation, we must also reflect back on the year that’s past and what lessons can be learned.  

For the vast majority of us working in the third sector, 2020 was a difficult year. Unpresented global circumstances forced each and every one of us to find new and inventive ways to continue providing the support many people in our communities rely upon. 

From MOOL writing letters to newly arrived refugee families in Dumfries & Galloway, to Raploch Community Partnership delivering ‘Kindness Packs’ to help keep sprits up in Stirling, and to Forres Area Community Trust in Moray establishing a befriending service where volunteers can check in on older and more vulnerable members of their community, there was real innovation in caring and protecting taking place across the country. We were uplifted by each and every one of your stories on how you adapted and transformed during the pandemic. These stories of triumph over adversity provided a renewed feeling of hope, optimism and faith in human kind. 

Despite the challenges of 2020, big steps were taken to achieving a fairer future. 

This year we had the opportunity to promote equality in the workplace, right to the heart of Government. We were thrilled to be joined by Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for Older People & Equalities, at our Workplace Equality Festival back in September. We also had success in Glasgow where, for a second year running, we supported organisations to alleviate loneliness and isolation during the winter months, through the Winter Social Wellbeing Fund. 

The support our Volunteering Support Fund organisations offered during the first national lockdown was nothing short of inspirational! Between April and September 2020, almost 93,000 food packs were delivered to communities across Scotland; over 19,000 people attended online activities to help alleviate social isolation and loneliness; and over 250 Refugee and Asylum Seeker families were supported and given the basic amenities to help start a new life here in Scotland. 

Volunteers make the world go round. They help bridge the gap between the problems in our society, and the solutions and increase public empathy and understanding on a whole range of big societal issues, which together we can resolve.  

Projects funded through the Volunteering Support Fund recruited 1,756 new volunteers during the height of the pandemic last year. This is an incredible achievement, and a true testament in how our society is taking a stand against the social justice issues that need addressing. 

The skills, knowledge and opportunities opened up to people through volunteering their time can be the key to ensuring we have a fairer future here in Scotland for everyone. Impact Funding Partners works every day to make that happen and build the capacity of communities across our nation to enable them to better respond. 

So, as we reflect on the last 2 years and look forward to what lies ahead, one thing is certain, together we can achieve anything and we look forward to developing many more alliances and partnerships to achieve a fairer and more prosperous society. We’ve only just got started.