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West coast groups supporting the needs of their communities are being encouraged to apply to the CalMac Community Fund.
Supported by Foundation Scotland, the fund is making awards of up to £2,000 to organisations tackling social isolation, loneliness and/or poverty and poor mental health.
In 2019, Counselling Care Skye and Lochalsh received an award to help improve mental health and buy play therapy boxes for school pupils. Broadford Youth Club, Mallaig Parent Council and Mallaig Football Club also received backing.
This year, applications are also being welcomed from non-profit organisations encouraging community re-engagement following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Examples of what else could be supported include:
• Youth or elderly outreach projects, befriending services, family support groups, key community clubs and important community events
• Counselling services, active or creative projects which help people improve mental health and health and lifestyle projects
• Support for community halls to re-open to enable groups to re-start activities, community gardens or orchards.
Gordon McKillop, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager for CalMac, said: ‘The CalMac Community Fund was created to make a difference to those most in need across our West Coast communities. It is also a fantastic way for us to connect with our communities.
‘The last 18 months has placed a huge strain on people’s lives and grass roots community groups have stepped up magnificently to help those affected.
‘We would love to hear from these groups and would encourage those eligible to apply for an award.’
In 2019, the CalMac Community Fund supported 76 groups benefitting the lives of children and young people and last year supported 60 groups tackling social isolation, mental health, loneliness and/or poverty.
Helen Wray, Head of Philanthropy and Programmes for Foundation Scotland, added: ‘We are really delighted to be working in partnership with CalMac to deliver their 2021 CalMac Community Fund.
‘The fund will provide vital support to charitable organisations that are working hard to reduce isolation and support better mental health in their community.’
Applications for the CalMac Community Fund opened on August 16. More information can be found at calmac.co.uk/community-fund.