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Lochaber Hope funds have been give a huge boost by employees of an international company who took the community to its heart.
In June, representatives from infrastructure group Balfour Beatty, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and Terrafirma took part in a sponsored walk up Ben Nevis and raised £3,143.75.
Balfour Beatty workers were in Fort William in January 2018 to refurbish the 132kV overhead line between Fort Augustus and Fort William on behalf of SSEN. The team worked closely with the community and wanted to give something back.
Balfour Beatty chose to support Lochaber Hope, a charity which provides a wide range of services to the community.
On August 22, at a company barbecue, a cheque was handed over by those who took part in the walk to Lochaber Hope director Judith James-Davies.
She said: ‘Lochaber Hope is delighted to receive this donation from Balfour Beatty. Thanks go to everyone who took part in it and donated.
‘The funds will be used to support Lochaber Hope’s new workshop aimed at reducing social isolation and mental health issues in the community, especially among men, while increasing social and practical skills.
‘Initially, in response to community feedback, we will build a St Ayles Skiff which will allow participants to develop their woodworking skills. The workshop will then craft bespoke, quality items for sale.’
Lochaber Hope manager Alyson Smith, added: ‘This non-profit-making social enterprise will plough profits back into Lochaber Hope to allow us to work towards being self-sufficient.
‘Lochaber Hope has had to rely on grant funding for the past 14 years. With the development of the social enterprise, we can spend less time fundraising and more time delivering this invaluable service to the community we care about so deeply.’
Balfour Beatty senior project manager Robert Christie said: ‘Wherever we operate, we seek to support the local community. Our team was proud to offer their time voluntarily to climb Ben Nevis and raise funds for Lochaber Hope.’
In addition to counselling, mentoring, personal development and help getting a job, Lochaber Hope runs groups including ‘Crafternoon’, creative writing, peer support for anxiety sufferers and a daily drop-in service.
It also supports the new Mindfit suicide intervention groups now running every Monday and Tuesday night in Fort William.
Amy Fraser of Balfour Beatty, left, presents £3,143.75 to Lochaber Hope director Judith James-Davis. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos
NO F36 Balfour Beatty Lochaber Hope