Tag Archives: funding

Vote for the Pans Labyrinth!

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The Friends of Cuthill Park are asking people to vote for their project to receive funding from the Aviva Community Fund.  (Voting begins Friday 21st October)

This grant will enable the charity to work with international labyrinth artist Jim Buchanan in holding several events in Cuthill Park to design a labyrinth linked to the salt-panning heritage of Prestonpans, and have it installed at the top of our beautiful, sloping park where it will have breathtaking views over the Firth of Forth and bring the benefit of mindful, peaceful, reflective labyrinth walking to our whole community.

The group will involve the community in workshops to develop a unique design for the Prestonpans labyrinth under the guidance of experienced labyrinth artist Jim Buchanan. This is an exciting and unusual opportunity for the community to be part of the development of something beautiful, enduring and positive, which they can take pride in for years to come. Several temporary labyrinths will be mown into the grass in the park, a final design will be chosen and installed using hard wearing, low maintenance materials.

The labyrinth will address the Area Partnership’s priority to improve wellbeing by providing a permanent space for people to go to experience meditative, peaceful pondering. This reduces a person’s stress levels & helps them to develop resilience.

A permanent labyrinth will also provide a focal point for mindfulness events for the community and the varied groups who come to Cuthill Park, from the local Home Educating families, to the nursery, Afterschool Club, DadsWork, and the local schools.  Many families bring their children to play in the park, and grandparents, parents and children alike can enjoy walking a labyrinth. Likewise there are hundreds of local dog owners who visit the park regularly and who will have the opportunity to include a peaceful, meditative experience in their daily walk.

There is a great deal of community support for this project. The results of our 2014 community consultation, showed that a maze was the most requested item from all the online surveys, while it came second to a trampoline in all the surveys handed out to youth groups and schools. Sheila Laing, head teacher of one of the three local primary schools, wrote the following:

‘As Headteacher of Prestonpans Infant School, I wholeheartedly support the creation of a labyrinth in Cuthill Park, Prestonpans. My pupils have benefited in the past from the visit of a temporary labyrinth. It is a great way to help children to learn mindfulness and the importance of reflection and stillness. We already teach this in school as a means of improving children’s mental health and wellbeing. Having a labyrinth permanently in Cuthill Park will give our children a place they can retreat to ponder, be still and exercise mindfulness throughout their lives. It would promote mental and spiritual wellbeing in Prestonpans for all ages, which is one of the priorities of the Preston/Seton/Gosford Area Partnership.’

The nursery and the AfterSchool club both take care of raised beds in the community garden, and feel the addition of a labyrinth to the park will bring another facet to their experience there. DadsWork (a charity supporting fathers) use the park regularly and will benefit from the labyrinth.

Di Williams MBE, the UK Master Teacher for Labyrinth Facilitator Training, advised on the best location for the labyrinth, expressing delight over the effect the stunning view will have on those walking the labyrinth.

As shown by the many projects we have successfully completed in the park, we are experienced at working in partnership with other organisations and have the necessary experience, enthusiasm and resilience to see this project to completion. We find great fulfilment in providing our community with a rich and diverse range of opportunities and experiences when they visit our much-loved park.

Friends’ Secretary, Carole Sneddon said: Please help us bring peace and balance into the lives of our community members – vote for us so we can provide this healing space for all who need it, as they walk the labyrinth and experience the ‘landscape of their soul.’

Vote here: https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/16-2735


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Today, ScotRail announced its partnership with Foundation Scotland, which will manage the train operator’s £90,000 fund to help local communities flourish across Scotland.

Over the course of the next year, the ScotRail Foundation will distribute grants across three separate areas; Community Fund, Cultural and Arts Fund, and Employee Charitable Giving Fund.

Community groups can apply for grants from the £40,000 Community Fund. Awards from £250 to £5,000 can be used to support children and young people, and to improve the environment or general health of communities.

The Cultural and Arts Fund* – launched in November 2015 as part of the ‘ScotRail in the Community’ scheme – will also award £40,000 to charities, individuals and local groups that promote creativity, the arts, community recreation, sports themes and other cultural activity, as well as celebrate Scotland’s cultural heritage in its full diversity. Applicants can request grants of up to £5,000.

The remaining £10,000 has been set aside for ScotRail’s Employee Charitable Giving Fund, where ‘match funding’ will be awarded to staff members who raise money on behalf of their own special causes – up to £250 for each application.

Elaine Bell, ScotRail’s head of corporate social responsibility, said: “We believe we are much more than just a train operator, and that we have a responsibility to try and improve and connect local communities.

“Launching this fund will create many opportunities for groups and individuals across the country, and we want to see lots of eligible hopefuls apply.

“The ScotRail Foundation will enable us to provide financial support to local communities across Scotland for many years to come.”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “We know culture and the arts can tackle inequalities, empower people and transform lives. The Scottish Government is working hard to widen access to the arts, ensuring people of all ages can enjoy and participate in cultural activity and experience our heritage.

“The ScotRail Foundation demonstrates an ongoing commitment to ensuring that communities across Scotland are supported to create and participate, so that all the hard work and imagination that contribute to the cultural life of our communities is recognised and rewarded. I encourage charities, individuals and local groups to apply for funding.”

Foundation Scotland* – an independent charity with almost 20 years of grant making experience – has been appointed to manage the fund on behalf of ScotRail.

Giles Ruck, CEO Foundation Scotland said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the ScotRail Foundation to deliver this new fund supporting communities across Scotland.

“I am sure the combination of our grant-making experience and ScotRail’s commitment to supporting local communities will ensure this new fund will create a lasting legacy for future generations.”

To apply, or to find out more about the above Funds, please visit:  www.foundationscotland.org.uk/scotrail 

Funding boost for ploughing championships in East Lothian

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The first European Reversible Ploughing Championships to be held on Scottish soil is among 21 events across the country which are receiving backing from the latest round of awards from the EventScotland National Funding Programme, as part of VisitScotland’s work to deliver the national events strategy Scotland the Perfect Stage.

The European Reversible Ploughing Championships (19-20 October) and Scottish Ploughing Championships (22-23 October) both due to take place in East Lothian have been awarded £7,000 in total funding.

Ploughers from 13 countries will compete in the 33rd European Reversible Ploughing Championships at Saltcoats, Gullane – the first time the championships have been held in Scotland. Around 1000 visitors are expected to attend the spectacle involving countries including France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and Scotland.

The 54th Scottish Ploughing Championships will take place at West Fenton, North Berwick, in front of an expected 2000-strong crowd. Alongside the competition ploughing there will be machinery stands, demonstrations by modern farm machinery as well as vintage machinery and a display of vintage tractors and stationary engines on site.

The ploughing championships and the other 20 forthcoming events across 13 of Scotland’s local authority areas have received a combined total of £232,700 from Round 32 of the National Funding Programme.

The National Funding Programme – which is administered by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate – was established to enable the strategic development of events taking place outwith Edinburgh and Glasgow, with the aim of driving domestic tourism and increasing economic impact for local communities throughout Scotland.

Thanks to the funding, and in keeping with the objectives of the National Funding Programme, organisers will now be in a position to further develop by extending and enhancing its programme in order to increase attendance figures and improve the overall spectator experience.

John Tait, Chairman of the Scottish Ploughing Championships, said:

“The support from the EventScotland National Funding Programme has enabled us to promote the event to a wider audience than would otherwise have been possible.

“We are looking forward to welcoming ploughers and visitors from all over the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Europe and Russia to East Lothian to showcase the best in modern, vintage, classic and horse ploughing.

“The European event on the 19 & 20 October will be a great contest to select the Champion European Reversible plougher, followed by the 54th Scottish Ploughing Championships on 22 & 23 October with over 200 ploughers competing to be Scottish champions.”

Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:

“I’m delighted that the Scottish Ploughing Championships have been selected as funding recipients in the latest round of EventScotland’s National Funding Programme. I’m sure that the financial boost combined with the fantastic programme the organisers have planned will ensure they are a superb success.

“These funding awards for regional events provide invaluable support by helping them create an even more attractive proposition to attract increased attendance – not only from their local areas but also from much further afield. That promotes the venues as excellent visitor destinations and contributes greatly to the region’s economy – which is hugely important.”

Votes in to support greenspaces in East Lothian

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Hundreds of thousands of Tesco customers in Scotland have voted to help community groups benefit from a share of a £11.5million carrier bag charge fund. Over eight million votes were cast across the UK with almost one million coming from Scotland alone.

The supermarket teamed up with greenspace scotland to launch its Bags of Help initiative, which sees grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects.

Around £1.4 million will now be distributed to 144 projects across 48 Scottish regions from the Shetland Islands to Gretna in the Borders as a result of the scheme.

The results were announced on 17 March and the groups will now use their award to bring their projects to life and transform their community. The final award winners can now be seen on a map of successful projects, http://bit.ly/scotbagsmap1 and include three East Lothian organisations:

Prestonpans Primary School – Playground improvement, £12,000

Flourish Garden Therapy – Dementia Friendly Garden, £10,000

Volunteer Development East Lothian – Strive Wellbeing – Natural Connections, £8,000
Tony McElroy, Tesco’s Head of Communications in Scotland, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response of our customers to the Bags of Help initiative. A total of 144 groups across Scotland will now be awarded substantial grants to bring their projects to life. From new play parks and play grounds to sensory gardens and sports field refurbishments – so many wonderful schemes will now have the opportunity to become a reality. The awarding of the grants is only the first step in the process and we can’t wait to see the progress over the coming weeks and months.”  

Applications for the next round of the initiative will open on the 18th April so we hope to hear from lots more groups across the country who want to bag a share of the fund. To find out more http://bit.ly/bagsofhelp2

Voting ran in stores from 27 February until 6 March – with customers choosing which local project they’d like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check-out in store.

Emma Halliday, Community Enabler Co-ordinator at greenspace scotland, said: “We have been delighted to have been involved in the Bags of Help initiative. It has been wonderful to follow the projects through the application process to the final announcement.

This is money which will go directly back into the communities up and down the country creating places to meet people, grow food, be active, play or simply relax. This initiative is really putting something back into the local environment, transforming greenspaces and helping the community at a grass-roots level.”

Applications for the next round of Bags of Help funding will open on April 18. As well as applying direct, suggestions for projects and sites can also be nominated by people living locally. For more info http://bit.ly/bagsofhelp2

Ongoing project updates will be available on Twitter via @tesco_scotland @greenspacescot #BagsofHelp

Funding boost for dementia friendly choir in East Lothian

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A dementia friendly choir in North Berwick has been given a funding boost of £5,000. LothianLoop: Making Life Easier for Lazy Churnalist

Centrepiece Choir, which is part of North Berwick Day Care Association, was started two years ago by people with dementia and their friends who wanted to sing and perform, with money from a local Trust fund.

The choir have already performed a programme of successful events, and practice weekly in the local church hall under the direction of gifted choir master Andrew Brown. The choir themselves decide what they would like to sing, and where they would like to go to perform, and are supported by community volunteers who organise the music, venues, transport and outfits.LothianLoop: Making Life Easier for Lazy Churnalists

The funding will allow this community of interest to continue to come together, to meet in a familiar group with like-minded people who enjoy singing and performing in a dementia friendly space, and entertain their local community.LothianLoop: Making Life Easier for Lazy Churnalists

Funding has come from the Life Changes Trust, an independent charity set up with a Big Lottery Fund endowment of £50 million to improve the lives of two key groups in Scotland: people affected by dementia and care experienced young people. The Trust will be investing £3million in 14 different dementia friendly communities over the next three years.LothianLoop: Making Life Easier for Lazy Churnalists

Valerie MacAdam, one of the choir organisers and a member herself, said,

‘This funding is very important to our choir. Activities like singing help people rediscover old skills, build confidence and have fun. Over the years, many people in the choir have had dementia but they really enjoy singing because, for them, the memory of singing has stayed long after everything else goes. Our choir will continue to build on the positive outcomes that the power of music, and being part of a community can bring to people with dementia.’LothianLoop: Making Life Easier for Lazy Churnalists
Elma Danks, Chair of the North Berwick Day Centre Management Committee and also a choir member said, ‘It gives them huge pleasure and you can see such a positive change in their appearance each time you meet them and they have sung. They really enjoy entertaining others because they feel they are still able to give back, they are contributing, and taking part.’LothianLoop: Making Life Easier for Lazy Churnalists

Anna Buchanan, Director of the Life Changes Trust dementia programme said ‘Many people living with dementia stop taking part in activities that may have given them great pleasure in the past, or which allowed them to mix with their peers. Initiatives like these bring people together in a dementia friendly community of interest where they have opportunities to be part of something that is meaningful to them. This is a self-directed group who make decisions about what they do and how they do it. This funding will support them to continue to be empowered to do the things they love and make decisions about their own activities.’LothianLoop: Making Life Easier for Lazy Churnalists

In Scotland:

  • It is estimated that around 90,000 people have dementia
  • The number of people with dementia in Scotland is increasing, because the population is getting older. Based on current dementia prevalence rates, the number of people with dementia in Scotland is projected to double by 2038*.
  • Much of that financial burden falls on family carers and friends, who may also experience social isolation, exhaustion and health problems associated with the demands of caring.
  • Dementia costs the country more than cancer, heart disease and stroke put together.

The Life Changes Trust is committed to funding and supporting the development of Dementia Friendly Communities across Scotland and to supporting transformational improvements in the quality of life, well-being, empowerment and inclusion of people affected by dementia – both those who have dementia and those who care for them.LothianLoop: Making Life Easier for Lazy Churnalists


LothianLoop: Making Life Easier for Lazy Churnalists