THE Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has received tens of thousands of pounds to help host a programme of free education and awareness-raising activities to address what the voluntary sector can do to play its part in tackling the climate crisis.

This comes as a result of an SCVO survey that found charities and voluntary organisations need support to engage with the climate crisis, and many didn’t know how to take action.

The award of £33,164 came from the Scottish walking charity Paths for All as part of its "The Smarter Choices, Smarter Places" (SCSP) COP26 Legacy Fund – a programme designed to help tackle climate change by encouraging more walking, wheeling, cycling and using sustainable transport.

It will also support organisations to make vital changes as Scotland moves towards its target of net-zero by 2045.

Keep Scotland Beautiful will deliver 10 cohorts of training, offering 150 people working in the sector the opportunity to become accredited as "Carbon Literate" through a partnership with The Carbon Literacy Project.

To become accredited, all participants will select an individual and a group action to reduce carbon emissions.

The online programme will run for 12 months starting in May 2022, with some in-person events being added to existing charity calendar meets.

SCVO’s head of support services Beth Mukushi welcomed the funding from Paths for All and a further £17,000 donation for the project from CCLA Investment Management.

She said: “Scottish voluntary organisations and social enterprises have a huge role to play in supporting Scotland to tackle climate change and become a net-zero country."

Catherine Gee, deputy chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “We know that we need to do all we can to improve awareness and understanding of climate change across the population of Scotland to ensure we achieve net-zero by 2045.

"The third sector plays a crucial role in supporting communities and individuals across a spectrum of activities, and voluntary organisations are adept at providing practical advice on what individuals can do to make a difference.

“When it comes to climate change, we know that our programme of training can help with upskilling for net-zero as well as combatting climate anxiety and climate change apathy.

"We are thrilled to be working in partnership with SCVO to develop bespoke Climate Emergency Training, accredited by the Carbon Literacy Project, to support the sector’s transition to net zero.”

In response to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in late 2021, SCSP made £110,000 of funding available to form a COP26 Legacy Fund.

The fund was open to projects that would specifically link transport with the wider environmental agenda.

SCVO was one of six organisations to be awarded a grant from the one-off fund.

Graham McQueen, Smarter Choices, Smarter Places manager at Paths for All, said: “SCVO and Keep Scotland Beautiful are creating legacy content, showing how groups can work collaboratively to equip each other with the knowledge, skills and confidence to sustain long-term behaviour changes while making an impact on the environment.

“We can all do our bit for climate change using active modes of travel and there are lots of free resources sharing advice on how to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Paths for All works with the Scottish Government and 30 partners to support and deliver national policies, such as the National Walking Strategy and other "active travel" initiatives.

Funding of up to £50,000 is now available through the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund.