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From the Chair: Working towards a fair and compassionate Scotland

Please note that The Robertson Trust has published its new Giving Strategy. This sets out the priorities we will have when awarding funds through our open grants programme. The existing application form and guidelines can still be used until July 31st. In line with our existing procedures, we will aim to assess and present all applications received by this date to our September Board meeting. In the event that we are unable to do so, your application may be held until our November meeting. In such cases a member of staff will contact you and provide any assistance required to realign your application with the new Giving Strategy. Find out all you need to know here.

The last year has been an important one for the Robertson Trust and for me. Our Annual Review provides details of the funding and support we have given to charities across Scotland to support the provision of services and advice to the most disadvantaged in our society. The excellent achievements of the Robertson Scholars are uplifting. Our charity hub at Stirling is nearing completion. We continue to use our voice on issues such as the pressing need for new funding models to facilitate system change within public services in Scotland.

During the year described in our Annual Review, I have had what is euphemistically described as a Big Birthday. Born some 3 years before the creation of the Robertson Trust, I have ruminated on what progress has been made in my lifetime and that of the Trust towards building a fair and compassionate Scotland where everyone can realise their potential.
We are living through an age of escalating challenge ranging from climate change, the inexorable impact of technology on all of our lives, to an ageing population and diminishing resources to provide care for the most vulnerable in our society. Despite the excellent work undertaken by the third sector in Scotland, it both saddens and angers me that there is a rising tide of inequality with little progress being made to allow the constraints of poverty to be dismantled. We know this from the applications we receive from charities where so many have to address the immediate pressing needs of individuals, families and communities as they struggle to cope.
The sector’s capacity to tackle root causes has been diminished. We have begun our strategy renewal process and are turning our minds to consider how we can play our part in making a fair and compassionate Scotland a reality. We have been listening to our grant holders and stakeholders to understand their concerns about the challenges and opportunities we must address.
Like them we are determined to address the root causes of inequality and realise that we cannot do that in isolation. Accordingly, we will build and contribute towards collective effort to find new ways to provide theupport and encouragement required to unlock potential for the benefit of everyone in Scotland.
During the year, the Trust has grown in number as we have welcomed new colleagues to the outstanding staff team, ably led by Kenneth Ferguson, all of whom are dedicated to delivering the Trust’s core purpose. On behalf of the Trustees,I offer our gratitude for their contribution to the Trust’s work.~
We have strengthened our Board with the appointment of Edel Harris of Cornerstone and Gerry McLaughlin of NHS Health Scotland whose respective expertise and experience is already proving to be invaluable to our work. I greatly appreciate the time and expertise given so freely by our Trustees and Committee Members to the Trust.
Our income is generated through the efforts of the leadership and staff of Edrington Group Limited. During the year we bade farewell to Ian Curle ,Chief Executive of Edrington, who had overseen extraordinary growth at Edrington during his tenure to the benefit of the Trust. We wish him well in his retirement.
Looking forward to the Trust’s Big Birthday in a couple of years’ time, I hope our new strategy will set out our path to create a fair and compassionate Scotland, while continuing to honour and follow the example of the Robertson Sisters and their determination to make a positive difference for the people and communities of Scotland.


Find out more about The Robertson Trust's 2018-19 in numbers below:

#TRTAnnualReview - Our Year In Numbers from The Robertson Trust on Vimeo.