Successful grant scheme opens to Edinburgh causes

June Horne, who runs the  Sweet Dignity Clothing Library in Midlothian, is encouraging others to apply for funding
June Horne, who runs the Sweet Dignity Clothing Library in Midlothian, is encouraging others to apply for funding
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A successful community funding initiative which has already helped groups in East Lothian and Midlothian has been expanded into the Capital.

Charities, community groups and good causes across Edinburgh are being invited to apply for a share of £10,000 from this year’s CALA Homes Community Bursary, funded and organised by CALA Homes (East) and run in partnership with the Edinburgh Evening News.

Penicuik First Responders Yvonne Mitchell and Mark Halliday hope the CALA grant will benefit the whole community

Penicuik First Responders Yvonne Mitchell and Mark Halliday hope the CALA grant will benefit the whole community

June Horne, one of last year’s Midlothian applicants, was able to officially open the Sweet Dignity Clothing Library in May last year after being awarded a £1,000 grant.

Encouraging others to apply, June says: “I would whole-heartedly recommend the bursary scheme to anyone – CALA was a delight to work with on getting our project off the ground.

“The funding allowed us to invest in sturdy rails and storage, as well as provide essential items for families such as clothing, home-starter kits and baby crisis packs.

“One year on, we have about 100 members – most are families – which we support and we’re in the final stages of opening a second Library in another nearby deprived area.

“I hadn’t done any funding applications prior to this but it was such an easy, straightforward process.”

Penicuik Community First Responders also received a £500 share of the bursary in 2018, enabling the group to supply a public access defibrillator for the local community.

The charitable organisation was one of the first of its kind in Scotland and relies solely on donations to help with ongoing costs of vital training and equipment.

Mark Halliday, chair of the group, said: “The funds we received from CALA have gone to fantastic use and will hopefully benefit the whole community.

“At the time of applying, we had two public access defibrillators but the local primary school are also keen to house another and this should be in situ within the next few months.

“By expanding our current network, we’ve managed to cut down our average response time to just over four minutes, which can really make the difference in life-threatening situations.

“We simply couldn’t do this without the additional support.”

CALA says it is committed to delivering long-term and tangible benefits to the areas within which it develops, with over 200 good causes benefitting across the UK since the bursary’s launch.

Philip Hogg, Sales and Marketing Director with CALA Homes (East), added: “The Bursary Scheme allows CALA to support and give back to the communities that we build in.

“We were so pleased with the reaction we had from running the bursary last year in the Lothians and it’s fantastic to hear that the money is making a real difference.

“We look forward to seeing how the 2019 bursary can benefit communities in Edinburgh and would encourage groups of all sizes to apply.”

Applications for a share of the community bursary funding can be downloaded from the CALA website at www.cala.co.uk/bursary-edinburgh

The closing date for applications is Friday, March 8.