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Oban Toy Cupboard and Lismore community transport projects are among groups benefitting from the latest round of CalMac community funding.
The ferry operator has announced awards of up to £2,000 each to 59 charity groups working to provide community services.
The new awards have been made through the CalMac Community Fund, benefitting the lives of people living across the ferry network by helping non-profit groups achieve their goals.
This round of funding was delivered in partnership with Foundation Scotland, welcoming applications from west coast community groups addressing mental health, improved well-being and social isolation including encouraging re-engagement with community activity.
The Oban Toy Cupboard provides toys to families suffering the effects of poverty, providing specialist resources to children with additional support needs and a social network to parents with limited resources.
Oban Toy Library chairperson Annie Anderson said: ‘We are grateful to CalMac for its support. Its generous funding will help Lorn Toy Library achieve our goal of updating our toy lending library with high quality educational and durable toys that help nurture early childhood development and the bonds of attachment though positive play. Members of the lending library will continue to be able to hire a wide range of toys and learning resources at a nominal cost and for unlimited amounts of time.
‘With this award, we will also be able to subsidise our stay and play sessions, known as The Toy Cupboard, and ensure each session is led by our play leaders and toy librarian. Parents and carers can join us with their children to play, try out different activities and toys and be inspired to play more with their young children.’
The award will support around 150 families with young children across Oban, Lorn and the isles and we know our members will also be hugely appreciative of the support CalMac is providing so we can continue to provide this service.’
The Calmac Fund is also supporting Lismore Community Transport.
Duncan Drysdale from that project said: ‘The award will assist us to keep the service going since it was severely curtailed and unable to generate income due to Covid restrictions. The funds have enabled us to open the service to more members of the community and is encouraging vehicle sharing and providing an opportunity for young and old to meet socially. The ability to take vulnerable people to Oban for shopping, hospital and other appointments is another aspect of the service we can provide. All this helps to enable people without transport of their own or elderly and vulnerable members of our community to stay in their own homes on the island.’
Other groups to receive an award from the CalMac Community Fund include: Appin Skiff, Oban Saints Amateur Football Club, Mull Native Woodlands Group, Aros Park Historic Walled Garden, Argyll Lomond and the Islands Energy Agency, Colonsay Book Festival, Arinagour Primary School Parent Council, North Argyll Carers Centre, Argyll Wellbeing Hub, Minds Matter Club Oban and Girl Guiding Argyll – 1st Tobermory Guides.
Since its launch in 2019, the CalMac Community Fund has supported 195 groups.
Gordon McKillop, CalMac’s corporate social responsibility manager, said: ‘The CalMac Community Fund was created to make a difference for our communities and customers and we are continuing to see its impact and value. We are excited to see the benefits from the projects we have supported this year.’
For more information about the successful projects visit www.calmac.co.uk/communityfund.
Caption: Oban Toy Cupboard celebrates receiving CalMac community funding
NO_T19_Oban Toy Cupboard