Member Body  Covid-19 Support

Petplan Charitable Trust announces new Covid-19

Equine Rescues Emergency Fund

The Petplan Charitable Trust (PPCT) has joined together with World Horse Welfare and the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) to create a Covid-19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund.

The purpose of the fund is to help smaller equine welfare organisations across the UK who are being significantly impacted by the current crisis and will go live on Monday 11th May 2020.

All equine welfare organisations have experienced unprecedented financial and operational challenges as a result of the coronavirus crisis.  On top of looking after the animals in their care with very limited rehoming possible, they have had to close their centres to visitors, cancel fundraising events and see donations dry up during the ongoing crisis. This can be especially devastating for smaller charities.

Support for the Fund, which was set up at the end of last month with a commitment of £50,000 from PPCT has already raised a further £80,000 from the RSPCA, The Donkey Sanctuary, Redwings, World Horse Welfare and the British Horse Society (BHS).

There will be three rounds of applications - the first round is open now.  Click Learn More for further information and to apply online. The deadline for the first round of applications is Friday 5th June 2020.

BEF update - venues

BEF COVID-19 update 15/05/20
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) issued further guidance on 13 May regarding outdoor facilities, as a follow-on from the government’s revised policy on exercise. This advice permits venues that provide outdoor sports and physical activities to reopen. At present, this applies to facilities in England, but we’re expecting an update from Wales shortly. The guidance for Scotland and Northern Ireland remains unchanged. For the equestrian industry, this includes riding centres, training facilities and venues, cross-countrycourses, farm rides and the like. Those involved with the facilities should feel adequately prepared toreopen and be confident that they can do so safely for their participants and staff.


Requirements for opening include:
 Any activity should fully align with government guidance regarding public health, social
distancing and hygiene

 All attendees can maintain the social distancing standard of two metres

 Good hygiene practice is implemented throughout opening, including hand washing facilities
and/or hand sanitizer stations, and regular cleaning

 Anyone involved who is symptomatic or suspects they have been exposed to the virus does
not take part and remains at home.

 Participants should be individuals, members of the same household, or two from different
households with social distancing at all times. Any coaching activity must be on a one-to-one

 Organisations/venues should publish an action plan detailing their plans to re-open safely
and how they’re managing risk

 Organisations/venues should be flexible and able to quickly adapt to any changes in
government guidelines

 Car/lorry parking should be conducted to allow adequate social distancing

 Booking and payment should be done online or over the phone to reduce contact

 Indoor areas should remain closed except for access to outdoor facilities and/or toilets. Food
and drink outlets should only operate on a take-away basis. It’s our understanding that
indoor schools should remain closed.

Participants should make use of facilities individually, with members of their own household or with one person from an additional household, provided that social distancing is maintained. This could be a coach, trainer or additional participant.
Horses can be transported to venues freely, but anyone involved in helping with the travelling must be from the same household only. This also applies when travelling by car. Where participants are under-18, a parent or guardian may be present for one to one training sessions for safeguarding purposes, but must adhere to social distancing and hygiene requirements.

Read more here:

Furlough scheme extension

📌 The job retention scheme will be extended, for four months, until the end of October.

📌 Until the end of July, there will be no changes to the scheme whatsoever.

📌 From August to October the scheme will continue, for all sectors and regions of the UK, but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work. Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time.

📌 Further detail will follow by the end of May but one thing won’t change: Workers will, through the combined efforts of government and employers, continue to receive the same level of support as they do now, at 80% of their salary, up to £2,500.


More details about furlough can be found on the BGA Coronavirus page:

Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant.

Further expansion of COVID 19 Testing for Scotland


The First Minister announced a further expansion of coronavirus (COVID 19) testing in Scotland


Under the new guidelines symptomatic people over 65 and those with symptoms who cannot work from home and need to leave their homes to work will be eligible for testing. Households of these two groups will also be eligible for tests where they have symptoms. This is in addition to key workers who are currently eligible according to the testing prioritisation matrix published last week and are performing essential roles including those relating to animal welfare, food supply chain and food processing.

Tests will be booked through the UK Government’s on-line system at and will be conducted at five regional drive-through test sites in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Perth  and at mobile test sites initially located at a number of locations including Motherwell, Dunoon, Prestwick, Stranraer, Galashiels, Peterhead and Elgin. 

Small businesses boosted by bounce back loans

New 100% government backed loan scheme for small business

  • businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days

  • loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form

The new Bounce Back Loans scheme, which will provide loans of up to £50,000, would help bolster the existing package of support available to the smallest businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.  

Bounce Back Loans.jpg

Please click the following link to useful information and guidance for sports clubs in Scotland seeking to address some of the most common questions that clubs may have during this time.

Advisory: COVID-19 exploited by malicious cyber actors

Practical advice for individuals and organisations on how to deal with COVID-19 related malicious cyber activity.

Due to the significant challenges presented by enforced changes to current working practices, keeping staff and volunteers, especially staff who have been furloughed or are working reduced hours, engaged and providing them with support to assist with well-being is vital. During this difficult time, additional downtime can be utilised in positive ways and offers the chance to learn new skills and continue professional development (CPD).

One way to boost engagement and morale levels is to offer opportunities that can be undertaken remotely, remembering that even furloughed staff are able to undertake training and CPD opportunities. The Scottish Sports Association has compiled links to some of the organisations that provide predominantly free e-learning, from general skills that are applicable across a variety of disciplines to sport-specific training.

Click here for further information.

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Response, Recovery and Resilience [RRR] Fund
The RRR Fund is supporting local charities and grassroots organisations across Scotland to help them respond to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and recover from its impact.
In partnership with the National Emergencies Trust, Foundation Scotland is delivering the Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund. Launched by the Duke of Cambridge, the National Emergencies Trust is a fundraising appeal which is distributing money through several foundations which cover the UK. Foundation Scotland is the lead partner for NET in Scotland.
Most immediately, Response is about providing emergency funding for local charities and grassroots organisations who are currently supporting some of Scotland’s most affected and vulnerable people.
In the medium and longer term, Recovery and Resilience will be about funding a wider group of local charities and community organisations whose operations and finances have been affected so they can recover, re-establish or re-design their activities once the outbreak eases in response to community needs at that point.
Click here to read more

Skills matching service to help rural business

Workers connected to farming and animal welfare sector.

A new service is being launched to match rural businesses with potential employees and volunteers during the response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Skills Matching Service (SMS) will ensure that key businesses, such as farms, crofts and organisations which need help to continue to meet their animal welfare obligations, are able to find workers with relevant skills and experience.

It has been set up by Lantra Scotland, a charity funded by the Scottish Government which works to increase the number and diversity of employees in the land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation sector, and drive their skills development.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy Fergus Ewing said:

“It’s vital the Scottish agriculture sector can continue to produce the food that our country needs.  Equally, the industry and individuals must continue to meet our animal welfare obligations.

“This Skills Matching Service (SMS) has the potential to enable everyone with livestock and multiple animals to get the labour support and help they need during the pandemic.

“Our students and staff from colleges and universities; vets and vet nurses furloughed or made redundant, and individuals with relevant transferable skills and experience can play a critical role in offering support in the coming weeks and months.”

Director of Lantra Scotland Liz Barron-Majerik said:

“This new service should make it easier for employers and potential employees with the right skills to get in touch with each other in these challenging times.

“We want to hear from individuals with skills and experience in areas such as agriculture, animal care and machine operation who are perhaps looking for work, a career change, or even those who are just happy to lend a hand, if needed.“

To join the skills matching service, visit


Find out more by contacting Lantra Scotland on 01738 310164 or emailing


Lantra Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government and is meeting the costs of the design of the Skills Matching Service within its current budget provision (£515k).

Since 2004, the Scottish Government has funded Lantra Scotland to help ensure the land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation sector attracts and supports the skilled new workers that it needs. This is done in close partnership with the Scottish Government, education partners, workforce development and skills agencies, trade organisations, membership bodies and individual businesses.

The Skills Matching Service has been developed with the support of a range of organisations including the National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS), the Scottish Crofting Federation, Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA), the British Horse Society, World Horse Welfare, Zoological Society of Scotland, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Edinburgh University, Glasgow University, University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and Scotland’s machinery rings.

The service will focus on providing skilled and semi-skilled paid and unpaid labour for livestock and animal welfare purposes to land based businesses, animal welfare organisations, animal charities, zoos and others in need of help during COVID-19, while maintaining essential social distancing requirements.

Employers looking to recruit a large number of key seasonal or unskilled workers for agricultural tasks should contact NFUS or register with Our Skillsforce Job Hub

Please note this applies to livery yards, riding schools etc.and to join the skills matching service, visit


Find out more by contacting Lantra Scotland on 01738 310164 or emailing   

Please check the Scottish Government website for information on business support:


SCVO has announced this morning that the Third Sector Resilience Fund is now open for applications. It is open for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations working in Scotland. An initial £20m emergency fund is available to help organisations stabilise and manage cash flows.


The links include details on eligibility and how to apply:

Grant funding is available through your local council of up to £10,000. Your business must be located in a non domestic property (ie a shop/office) and in receipt of Small Business Bonus Scheme. My understanding is that if you don't pay rates because the rateable value of your premises is £18,000 or less then you are already in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme so you would be eligible for the grant.


The application form will ask you for your Rates Reference Number which you can find here by typing your postcode

You need to apply to your specific council (examples below):

Glasgow City Council
South Lanarkshire Council
North Lanarkshire Council


See attached for further information.


FAQs on furloughing  click here

Charity Aid Fund 

British Horse society hub for information


The National Organisation for all things Equestrian Sport & Activity in Scotland.


Phone: 07815962964

Address: Horsescotland PO Box 8523 , Prestwick

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