£50k fund boost for good causes

Princess Beatrice, patron of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, with six-year-old Rebecca Cullen on a visit to the Sick Kids in September. Picture: SWNS
Princess Beatrice, patron of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, with six-year-old Rebecca Cullen on a visit to the Sick Kids in September. Picture: SWNS
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NEARLY £50,000 has been awarded to community groups in the Capital after thousands of citizens voted for their favourite good causes.

The Bank of Scotland Community Fund Awards seek nominations from the public to find the most deserving recipients of grants worth up to £3000, with 208 organisations across 52 Scottish communities receiving an award.

Good causes chosen by the public in Edinburgh include the Sick Kids Friends Foundation; 6VT, which delivers holistic services to young people; Gorgie City Farm; and Open Door Edinburgh, an organisation providing “friendship, laughter, companionship, and a sense of purpose” to the elderly.

One of the big winners was the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, which will be using its £3000 award to ensure the proper upkeep of PJ’s Loft, the on-site accommodation made available to parents. The seven-room facility, which opened in 2003, originally cost £200,000 to set up.

A spokeswoman said: “We are absolutely delighted with the donation, which will be used to ensure that PJ’s Loft, which we also provide a housekeeping service for, is kept to a high standard.

“Parents are always telling us that having the accommodation there and being able to be near their child at all times makes a huge difference in what is obviously already a very stressful situation.

“From our point of view we are especially thrilled to have been chosen for an award voted for by the public and that they feel what we do is worthy. This money will make a huge difference to roughly 1000 parents who use our services each year.”

Analysis of the 380,000 votes cast across the nation showed that the highest percentage of votes – 62 per cent – went to groups supporting young people. Groups supporting families received 53 per cent of the total, while special needs groups totalled 43 per cent.

Graham Lindsay, group director of responsible business at Lloyds Banking Group, said the public response to the awards had been “incredible”.

He said: “Bank of Scotland scaled up the Community Fund considerably in 2013 and in return we have had an incredible response from the public, which has resonated right across the country.

“We know that receiving a promotional boost and public support is as important as the financial investment and can have a sustained impact on groups’ engagement with their local community over time.

“Helping our communities thrive in this way is crucial to us delivering our ambition to help Britain prosper.”


Edinburgh Women’s Aid: “We are delighted to receive this award, which will enable us to provide a much needed groupwork programme. Groupwork builds confidence and self esteem and can really help the recovery from the trauma of domestic abuse and without this funding, we would not be able to provide this. We’d like to thank everyone who voted for us, you’ve helped to make a difference to someone’s life.”

Corstorphine Dementia Project: “We are thrilled to receive the £3000, it’s a big donation for a small community charity like ours. The money will be put towards the design and launch of our new website, which will be very much aimed at people looking for support and services in the community.”

Davidson’s Mains and District Pipe Band, which gives children the opportunity to play the bagpipes and drums: “The money will be used to purchase a new set of drums for the band. The ones we have been using up until now are second-hand and around 16 years old, which means we have not been able to compete properly with other bands. However, we can now purchase a new set, along with some smaller drums which can be used by the younger children.”

The Yard, which is the only adventure play centre for children and young people with additional support needs in the east of Scotland: “We are delighted to receive funding for our new Young Adventurers Club. The weekly club is a fantastic opportunity for them to have fun, make new friends and have a new found independence.”