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Scottish Children’s Charities to put families at the heart of digital services

Two of Scotland’s leading children’s charities are amongst the first voluntary sector organisations to be awarded grants as part of the National Lottery Community Fund’s new Digital Fund.

Aberlour Child Care Trust and Children 1st are today (MON 15 JULY) sharing in £863,506 from this UK wide fund. In total, eight organisations across the UK have been successful within this round and will receive funding of £3.4 million to help them grow their digital capabilities, particularly around their operations and service delivery.

Making sure every child and family in Scotland have access to round the clock support from their living room at the touch of a button is the ambition for Children 1st’s new digital Parentline hub. Through a £371,896 award the charity will digitally enhance their Parentline service, so that families can get support without a wait, whenever and wherever they need it.

Linda Jardine, Director of Children and Families Services, Children 1st, Scotland’s national children’s charity said:

“Families say that Parentline is a lifeline. Thanks to the National Lottery, Parentline will be transformed so every family can access that lifeline in the way that works best for them. When family life is tough getting early help and support can make all the difference to a child’s future.”

Ali (name has been changed to protect anonymity) said:

“My son and I were at breaking point when I contacted Parentline. Being able to talk to someone neutral helped me see I had to change how I was dealing with the difficult situations because it was just making things worse. Once I changed that things slowly improved and Jenny from Parentline continued to be there when we hit any wee bumps. Thanks to Jenny’s advice and support our relationship has got stronger. I don’t know where we would be if I hadn’t got in touch with Parentline.”

Scotland’s largest children’s charity, with over 140 years’ experience of supporting families across the country to flourish is set to transform the way it delivers its support services, thanks to an award of £491,610. Aberlour Child Care Trust will use the funding to help redesign its services ensuring that children, young people and families can quickly access digitally enabled support before and when they are in crisis. Central to this will be involving young people and families in shaping the design and delivery of services.

SallyAnn Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of Aberlour, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to be awarded this significant fund from The National Lottery Community Fund. This will enable us to progress with our ambitious plans to modernise our organisation and approaches in order that we reach more children and their families faster before they reach crisis point.”

Announcing the funding Maureen McGinn, The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland Chair, said:

“It’s great to see two major children’s charities in Scotland sharing in the first awards from our Digital Fund. Both organisations will put the families they support at the heart of their digital services to transform them for the benefit of Scotland’s children and young people. I am delighted that National Lottery players are helping to make this possible.”

In addition to the grants, the successful projects will all now benefit from being part of an ecosystem of support set up for Digital Fund grantees, made up of Doteveryone, CAST, Shift, Snook, The Dot Project, and a network of coaches and mentors. This support will range from help with recruitment and Board level engagement through to responsible tech practices, service design and data audits.

They will also collectively document and share learning between themselves and the wider sector – a key aim for The National lottery Community Fund when setting up the Digital Fund.

The digital fund was developed through a series of one-to-one interviews and workshops, and builds on The National Lottery Community Fund’s previous experience of supporting the voluntary sector’s digital transition, which extends back over a decade.

Today’s announcement is also a key part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s commitment to enabling civil society to be fit for the future – supporting organisations and the voluntary sector to create opportunities to help local communities thrive.

To find out more visit

Notes to Editors

About us

We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

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