Aberlour Children’s Charity awarded over £400,000 to tackle poverty and trauma in Scotland


Aberlour Children’s Charity is one of six charities to be awarded funding from The Partners in Change fund. It has been awarded £409,153 for their Tayside Family Financial Wellbeing project, which aims to facilitate the systems-change needed to promote new and different approaches to financially assisting vulnerable families. This project will be delivered in partnership with local families and Tayside Councils.

The Partners in Change fund, run by The Robertson Trust, opened for applications in May 2021. And had 155 applications from organisations all seeking to prevent and mitigate the negative impacts of poverty and trauma in Scotland.

Partners in Change focuses on the concept of change, and its application to how services and support for people experiencing poverty and/or trauma are designed and delivered across Scotland.

It is estimated that 17% of Scotland’s population (910,000 people each year) were living in absolute poverty after housing costs between 2016 and 2019. During the same period, it is estimated that 24% of children (230,000 children each year) were living in relative poverty after housing costs.

Commenting on the announcement of the Partners in Change awards, Lesley MacDonald, Head of Giving at The Robertson Trust, said:

“The current global health crisis has clearly demonstrated the role that communities, as well as the organisations working with them, have in addressing need and enacting change. But the crisis has also highlighted the huge strain under which these communities and organisations already were, and the need they have for better resource and support.

“Partners in Change aims to get behind aspirational change plans to shift the problems caused by poverty and trauma in Scotland. I am delighted that we are able to support these organisations, which have demonstrated their ambition to make a difference to the communities and people with whom they work and who are affected by poverty and trauma across the country.

“We received an extremely high number of applications for funding, totalling over £47 million. Unfortunately, we are unable to fund every project in this round of funding, but are committed to working with the third sector, organisations, communities and individuals to ensure we can support them in other ways, including helping to build capacity, skills and capability.

“We look forward to working with our partners and are keen to learn alongside them, to understand what helps and hinders in achieving our mutual ambition of ending poverty and trauma, and its negative impacts, in our society.”

The Robertson Trust is one of the leading grant-making charitable trusts in Scotland. It aims to improve the quality of life and realise the potential of people and communities in Scotland. Last year the Trust launched a ten-year strategy, committing in excess of £200m over the next decade to fund communities across Scotland working to tackle poverty and trauma.

SallyAnn Kelly, CEO of Aberlour, commented:

“Every day Aberlour encounters families trapped in poverty and debt. We know what can help them get back on their feet. We are so grateful to The Partners in Change Fund for this generous investment.

The grant enables us to act on what families tell us. We will undertake systems-change work with partners across Tayside to make financial support systems work better. We will be working closely with families, councils and local organisations to improve financial wellbeing. The funding will allow us to undertake debt relief work including hiring two strategic Financial Wellbeing Co-ordinators and test potential change activities.”