The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) has been awarded funding by the COVID-19 Healthcare Support Appeal (CHSA) to support members who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

RCOT is a registered charity and wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Association of Occupational Therapists, which acts on behalf of all members of the association. It sets the professional and educational standards for the occupational therapy profession and represents the profession at national and international levels.

Now, funding is available for RCOT members who require further support following an application to UNISON’s ‘There for You’ funding and for self-employed members ineligible for UNISON funding.

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Members can apply for a grant of up to £2,500 to help with: general living costs, unexpected bills, disability equipment, and psychological support or counselling.

The grant can also help with other difficulties caused as a direct or indirect consequence of the pandemic, such as job loss, reduced income, relationship breakdown, bereavement, or other work-related or personal circumstances.

“The challenges of the pandemic have been wide-ranging and far-reaching, so if members’ circumstances have been negatively affected by COVID-19 in other ways, they are also eligible to apply,” RCOT states. “Particular consideration is given to those at greater risk from being impacted by the pandemic, including those working in high-risk environments such as critical care or in care homes, disabled individuals or those living with long-term health conditions, including long COVID, ethnic minorities, and people living in areas with higher restrictions on the economy.”

RCOT also reaffirms that it is there to support members throughout the pandemic and any difficulties they experience in their personal or professional lives.

To apply for funding, visit the website

The college recently published its manifesto for the Scottish Election in 2021, which stresses the need to invest in occupational therapy services to help meet built-up demand as the nation recovers from COVID-19.

RCOT is now calling on the next Scottish Government to increase occupational therapy services for children and young people to address physical and mental health needs early; ensure the right to community rehabilitation; and deliver parity between health and social care.

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