Christmas share of sea farm funding

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Nine good causes around Oban and on Mull have received a share of a £18,000 Christmas gift from Scottish Sea Farms.

The community groups and worthy causes are among 43 in Scotland in total to benefit from the funding from the fish farm company’s Heart of the Community Trust.

Scottish Sea Farms’ Heart of the Community Coordinator Georgie Mackenzie said: ‘Every year, in addition to the larger grants awarded, each of our farm managers is given £500 to support the local cause or causes of their choosing. It’s a great way of ensuring that the money goes where it’s needed the most.

‘This year, however, with the coronavirus taking up everyone’s focus from March onwards, only a small number of farm managers had been able to allocate their awards, with the result that there was still £18,280 remaining in the fund.

‘To ensure local causes benefited before the year was out, each manager was asked to nominate projects in their communities where the money might make a real and positive difference to those struggling because of coronavirus.’

The lucky ones across Argyll were RNLI Oban Lifeboat, the Salvation Army, Oban and Mull & Iona Community Hospital, Hope Kitchen, Kerrera Community Hub, Soroba Young Family Group, Mull Safe and Sound and the Isle of Mull Pony Club.

Alan Tangny, farm manager of Spelve on the Isle of Mull, was also quick to come up with a great way of how a £500 share could soon be spent close to home. As a father of five, with four at Salen Primary and Pre-school he knew it could be put to good use there.

He knew using the gifted money to buy new library books would be well received by the school’s head teacher Mairi Maclean – especially as Covid has been creating a novel problem in their library.

‘They are having to quarantine books that are taken home, so having extra books will be a big help,’ Alan said.

The funds will go towards buying story and factual books, and hopefully they will be on the shelves in time for the children returning for the new term.

Scottish Sea Farms’ Heart of the Community Trust, which marks its 10th anniversary next year, has given more than £1,322,562 to community causes since it was established in 2011.