YOUNGSTERS dealing with the effects of HIV are to be taken on fun trips to the zoo and beach thanks to a £80,000 windfall.
City charity Positive Help has been awarded the money by BBC Children in Need – one of six Capital organisations to benefit from £486,180 of grant funding.
Positive Help provides services to 30 young people affected by HIV and Hepatitis C. The money will be used to fund fun activities while also offering them the chance to talk through their problems with a befriending volunteer.
Befrienders are matched with children aged three to 18 and on a fortnightly basis they engage in a fun activity together – anything from a trip to the zoo or a climb to the top of Arthur’s Seat.
Matthew Gilbert Straw, manager at Positive Help, said most of the people it helps are carers for adults with HIV.
He said: “We are over the moon to receive another three years of support from BBC Children in Need. The befriending scheme allows these kids to take a break from being a carer. As a small charity, the funding goes a long way and will help us to provide children with much needed breaks from their roles as carers for ill parents.
“These outings help children develop new skills and have better life chances. Equally as important, though, these outings give children the chance to have fun and enjoy just being a kid.”
In total £1.2 million has been granted to 31 projects working with disadvantaged children and young people in Scotland. Fraser Falconer, of BBC Children in Need, said: “We are delighted to be awarding to projects like Positive Help which will go on to make a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the area.
BBC Children in Need’s life president Sir Terry Wogan, left, added: “It’s fantastic to see how the money is being used to help disadvantaged young people right here on our doorsteps.”
One city organisation which has benefitted from more than £100,000 of Children in Need funding is Edinburgh Young Carers Project (EYCP). Chair Margaret Murphy said the financial support received has enabled it “to engage and support” over 60 young carers aged ten to 18. “This project will improve the self-confidence and social skills of young carers and provide them with the support they require to cope with their caring role,” she said.
Organisations to benefit
OTHER city organisations to benefit are the Yard Adventure Centre, which has been given £52,557 to provide play sessions for disabled children and their families in a purpose-built centre, while the Venture Trust received £31,686 to run a expedition with ponies for learning disabled children.
The biggest award of £116,000 went to the BIG Project, which works with children and young people from Broomhouse providing activities and trips, residential breaks and youth support.
The Broomhouse Centre was awarded £31,851 while Nari Kallyan Shangho will use its £10,000 to run after-school and holiday fun for children from Asian communities.