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Hourglass Scotland, which was formerly Action on Elder Abuse Scotland, tells me that it is the only charity in Scotland that works exclusively to support and protect older victims of abuse. Recently, it learned that its funding application to the third sector resilience fund had been rejected, and its application to the communities fund yielded only £12,000, which was £60,000 less than is required. Hourglass suggests that smaller charities may not be receiving the funds that they require to deliver the services that Scotland needs at this time.
Will the First Minister investigate both the Hourglass situation and the funding of smaller charities more generally to ensure that whatever can be done is done?
Yes. I am happy to look into that situation further. As Liam Kerr alluded to in his question, we have made additional funding available for the charitable sector. That funding is still finite, so processes have to be in place for its allocation. It is important that there is a bit of independence in that regard and that it is not done simply at the whim of ministers. That is important whenever we allocate funding. However, it is also really important that there is fairness about that, and that smaller organisations are able to benefit as well as larger ones.
Without straying into the particular details of the specific charity that Liam Kerr has raised, I will certainly ask the communities secretary to have a look at that to see whether there is more that we can do for smaller organisations in particular.