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Guest blog - New conversations about severe and multiple disadvantage

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.

Hard Edges Scotland was published earlier this month. In it, the voices of frontline workers and people with direct experience of severe and multiple disadvantage are foregrounded. In setting them alongside each other, the report creates a chorus of voices all seemingly in concert – the harmony is striking. Everyone is saying the same thing – it’s poverty and trauma, it’s crisis services struggling to cope, it’s feeling safer and getting more help in prison than on the streets. 

When we’ve talked about the findings with people in the research advisory groups, in charities, foundations and in government, we’ve heard the same thing too – yes, we know, this is the truth, we understand. Given this remarkable alignment you’d think it would be fairly straightforward to sort out a situation that affects a relatively small number of people in its most acute form. Of course, it is not that easy. We are all trapped in a situation none of us would design. The policy, commissioning and practice landscape has come about for what seemed liked good reasons at the time, even if it serves us badly now. So, what are we all to do?
 
We think the answers can be found everywhere, from individual conversations between those using and delivering services right up to government policy. We’re making funds available for people to have conversations about what changes might be in your sphere of influence – in your locality, organisation, in the plans and policies that you have influence over. We think everyone can find a bit of flex from our respective positions in systems. Let’s see what happens….
 
If you are interested in applying for a small grant to hold a new conversation about severe and multiple disadvantage go here.
 
To read the full Hard Edges Scotland report go here.