“What is becoming increasingly clear is that there will be no switch that will flick life back to normal. The repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis will be long-lasting, era-defining and significant, reaching into almost every area of our lives from health, to education, society and the economy.
“There is much unknown at this point which is undoubtedly disconcerting. But there are pockets of hope and a firm belief that relationships, innovation, creativity and commitment will be the driving forces that will take us through this new way of life and beyond.
“The Wood Foundation is proud to be an intelligent, proactive and strategic partner and that is where we are focussing on reinforcing our commitment.
“Through our YPI network, we have launched Your Community Fund. This is a unique opportunity for young people to meaningfully respond to the current crisis, empowering them to be advocates on behalf of the issues they are seeing in their communities in a bid to secure funding for local, social service charities. YPI has also written to all recipient charities from finals which took place before the school closures to ensure them that funds can be deployed to meet immediate need.
“STV Children’s Appeal, to which we contribute £150,000 a year to and sit on the board, has removed all ring-fencing for existing funding. It is also working in partnership with the National Emergency Trust on an emergency fundraising campaign for the current crisis, as well as with the Scottish Government to help distribute some of its emergency funding response. We are wholly supportive of both collaborations.
“We continue to work with our other grantees such as Northsound Cash for Kids, currently undertaking one of their biggest ever appeals, to address capacity and support requirements where possible.
“While there is much to contend with in the here and now, I am proud to lead a team which has the space and vision to look to the future and consider what ‘tomorrow’ may bring and how we can mitigate the challenging circumstances, and work intelligently with our partners to provide an essential value-add approach.
“In terms of programme delivery, our YPI, RAiSE and Excelerate programmes are in detailed discussions with stakeholders about how we adapt our models to thrive and provide enhanced structure once schools return.
“We are continuing to be advisers to a number of partner organisations and will continue to deploy our long-established venture philanthropic, funder-plus, model in the months and years ahead.
“The world will not return to normal as we knew it. The third sector and education have vital roles to play in ensuring we foster a ‘new normal’ which provides all of Scotland’s young people with the opportunities to thrive.”