Bursary Groups across East Lothian Benefitting from Grants

by Chris Fairbairn

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

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TWENTY groups improving the lives of people in East Lothian were awarded a share of a £20,000 bursary in July 2017.

Funded and organised by CALA Homes (East) and run in partnership with the East Lothian Courier, we have once again taken the opportunity to catch up with a further four inspiring beneficiaries – to learn of their progress since receiving a grant.

East Lothian Dragons Basketball Club offers children of all backgrounds the opportunity to play the sport, made easier by the group moving between a number of the region’s towns.

After successfully receiving a grant of £500 they will be able to ensure proper court markings at the venues they play and have also purchased new equipment such as balls and bibs.

Malcolm Sievwright, of East Lothian Dragons Basketball Club, said: “The group started again around five years ago and since then we have grown to where we have around 60 players between the ages of eight and 14 years old playing competitive basketball.

“Our current venues are lacking in up to date court markings and deteriorating equipment, so this grant means we will be able to upgrade our facilities and improve the kids play.

“We aren’t a big club so every bit of funding helps and we are so grateful CALA have decided to fund us.

“We are looking to expand the group to ensure that we can provide competitive basketball in East Lothian for all primary and secondary school children – and eventually to add senior basketball to the club roster.”

Also awarded £500 from the bursary, 1st Cockenzie and 2nd Port Seton Brownies are using the money to transform a community garden – and will benefit 50 young girls from the local area.

Lynn Young, an organiser with the Brownies groups, said: “When the Brownies recently took over a community garden in Port Seton six months ago, they decided they wanted to make it an enjoyable place for the village to use again.

“The girls have spent some time tidying it up for their Brownie gardener badges but now that we have CALA’s grant, we will be able to buy better equipment and more flowers for the garden.

“The girls are keen to buy some paint to make the garden a colourful and beautiful place again so it can be enjoyed by the rest of the community.

“We have 50 Brownies spread across the two clubs all aged between of 7 and 10. We aim to help the girls build in confidence by learning new skills and being part of a team.”

Irene Grant, Clark Community Choir, said: “We are a group of generations singing together, a choir that brings people from as young as 3 to as old as 90, and we encourage people to sing together.”

“£500 is really a lot to us and we are extremely grateful for this.”

North Berwick Community Centre Management Committee received £2000 to go towards providing a Family Support Worker to work directly with mothers dealing with difficulties relating to maternal mental health.

Katie Nevans, Community Development Officer for the North Berwick Community Centre Confident Families Group, said: “The funding from the bursary is so vital to us as it helps us run our three groups- confident parents, confident children, parenting pathway and healthy minds happy babies, all focusing on maternal mental health.”

“It’s really important to us as our group is entirely funded by donations so to have this grant from CALA really makes a difference.”

Philip Hogg, Sales and Marketing Director with CALA Homes (East), said: “When we first launched this initiative we simply did not expect the response we eventually received – and once again these four causes highlight the diverse and incredible work being done in this region.”

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Chris Fairbairn of Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

Chris Fairbairn

Chris Fairbairn is a PR account manager with award-winning public relations agency Holyrood Partnership. He is part of an expert PR team delivering PR services to a wide range of clients from headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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