Charities Back East Lothian Grant Scheme Unveiled by CALA Homes and The Courier

by Alicia Simpson

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Team members pose with bursary figures for Edinburgh PR story                                                                                                                GROUPS and   causes which won vital funding from a respected housebuilder have urged organisations in East Lothian to apply for their own share of a generous new grant scheme.

A range of positive projects stand to benefit after CALA Homes (East), in partnership with the Courier, unveiled an initiative to donate £10,000 across the county.

Groups, charities and good causes can apply for financial aid from the CALA Homes Community Bursary – with maximum grants up to £2500 – to help them deliver much-needed services and benefits to the area.

It follows a successful pilot scheme by the developer in Aberdeenshire in 2016 which transformed lives through diverse projects – from using puppets to heal grieving children, to bringing inspiring science workshops to youngsters in remote communities.

Sunrise Partnership in Aberdeen, which helps children and young people to deal with loss, change and bereavement, was one of the charities to receive a donation from CALA Homes.  Eileen Wheeler from Sunrise Partnership, said the application process was extremely simple.

She added: “With the help of CALA Homes Community Bursary we were able to purchase large puppets that we had wanted for a long time, but unfortunately were too expensive for us.

“The puppets are an essential tool as they allow children and young people to open up more freely about what they are going though, without feeling intimidated or embarrassed to express their true feelings. They also act as a distraction if a child or young person is feeling overwhelmed.

“Since buying the puppets we use them regularly and they have proved to be highly effective, allowing us to continue work which helps at least 70 children and young people every year. I would strongly encourage charities in East Lothian that are looking for a little bit of extra support to sign up now.”

The Aberdeenshire pilot scheme attracted a wave of applicants, with the £10,000 fund eventually being divided between 12 recipients. Another group which benefitted was a local branch of Children 1st.

Ashley Sharp, Senior Corporate Fundraiser at Children 1st, said: “The funding from CALA went towards our trauma and abuse recovery programme, which helps children who have experienced abuse.

“The money we could enable us to provide a month of therapeutic support for 10 children.  It’s fantastic to be supported by CALA in this way, as any local corporate backing is really crucial to us in terms of raising awareness of what we do and making connections with local businesses. We would definitely recommend others to apply.”

Another beneficiary was Aberdeen Science Centre, which applied for the funding to boost the work it does with young people outside of the city centre. It received £1000 towards new workshops to fire the imagination of kids who wouldn’t normally be reached.

Sonia Watson, STEM Learning Manager at Aberdeen Science Centre, said: “Thanks to the support from CALA, we were able to further the services we offer to families in rural and disadvantaged communities.

“We aim to inspire and educate everybody in science, no matter what their age, background or ability, so we deliver workshops in areas where science capital is quite low or that are too far out for families to travel into the city and visit the centre.

“CALA’s donation made it possible for us to buy equipment to run rocket building workshops as well as DNA and crime scene investigation workshops, which are always hugely popular.”

Other successful applicants include Alzheimer Scotland, which requested funds to run a music reminiscence group at its Dementia Resource Centre in Aberdeen; Woodside Junior Club, which took disadvantaged children to a pantomime; and Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (Aberdeenshire) which funded an art therapist to run clay sculpture sessions for stroke survivors.

The full list of successful applicants also included Grampian MS Therapy Centre, Grampian Deaf Children’s Society, Maggie’s Aberdeen, SensationALL, GCRA Ltd and CLAN.

Derek Lawson, strategic land director with CALA Homes, said: “It’s inspiring to hear how the pilot scheme helped such positive projects to deliver such meaningful results for so many people in the North East of Scotland.

“Now we want to do the same for hard-working groups doing brilliant and vital work all across East Lothian, including local charities, children’s causes, educational and community organisations that make a real difference to their communities.”

Groups can apply by filling in the application form on this page and posting it to CALA East Community Bursary, CALA Marketing (East), Cairnlee House, Callendar Business Park, Falkirk, FK1 1XE. You can also receive an application form by visiting www.cala.co.uk/bursary to or by emailing [email protected].

All applications must be received by no later than Friday, May 19, 2017.

For information on CALA developments in the area, please visit www.cala.co.uk.

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