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£6m Communities and Families fund ends on a high

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Communities and Families Fund
Release date:
17 5 2016

A multi million pound fund aimed at helping Scotland’s children get the best start in life today (TUESDAY 17 MAY) makes its final awards across Scotland.

From Shetland to the Scottish Borders, 83 community groups are today sharing in £511,412 from the Communities and Families Fund, a joint venture between the Big Lottery Fund and the Scottish Government. Download a full list of these awards

With a budget of £6 million, the programme has brought families closer together over the past four years through a total of 753 funded grassroots projects aimed at improving the quality of life of children under eight years old.

Amongst the final awards is a storytelling project in Aberfeldy, Perthshire which receives £7,070. The Birks Cinema Trust will use the cash to set up a new club bringing young people together through a programme of storytelling linked to the area’s heritage, geography and culture.

Claire Hewitt, Story teller, The Birks Cinema Trust, said: “Storytelling, storymaking and music are fundamental in bringing communities of all ages together.  Stories enrich our lives whether they are folk tales, traditional tales or life stories.  Traditionally stories have been used as a vehicle to pass on beliefs, community values and heritage.  They gather us together, eye to eye, mind to mind and heart to heart.

“In creating a literary and story rich community we hope this leads to a new generation of story tellers and music makers, a continuation of learning from each other and the elders in the community.”

Families in Edinburgh will get the chance to cook and have fun together, thanks to an award of £4,070 to the Broomhouse Healthy Strategy Group (BHSG). Using fruit and vegetables from the group’s shop families will try out healthy new recipes.

Lucy Aitchison, Project Co-ordinator, BHSG, said: “Through this funding we are able to run a programme of cooking for parents and their children together for families in south west Edinburgh. The Cooking With Kids sessions help introduce new foods and simple recipes to parents and their children, giving them the confidence to repeat the recipes at home. Getting messy in the kitchen with their kids is just so important in helping strengthen family bonds.

“The Cooking Up A Story sessions use stories, rhymes and songs as well as cooking around the theme of a children’s book each session and these are brilliant at not just showing what is possible in the kitchen for parents and kids working together, but how much fun can be achieved through a simple story.”

In Glasgow the Saturday Café today picks up its second Communities and Families Fund award. Thanks to a grant of £10,000, more children who have a range of support needs will be able to attend the ‘Café Juniors’ club. The club has been running every Saturday for the past two years and provides a wide range of recreational activities for local children aged five to eight years old.

Welcoming their second award, John Sharkey, Chair, The Saturday Café and Associated Clubs, said: “The Communities and Families Fund has made such a difference to the lives of our children, their parents, carers and siblings.  Being able to continue to offer The Café Juniors Weekend Club means disabled children as young as five years can play in a fun, safe environment whilst their parents or carers and siblings have a short break from their caring role, confident that the children are having a great time in the care of professional staff.”

Maureen McGinn, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland Committee, said: “Since its launch in May 2012 the Communities and Families Fund has helped to give Scotland’s next generation the best start in life. Over the past four years the programme has supported a wide range of activities in each of the country’s 32 local authorities, showing how small amounts of funding can often make the biggest difference.

“Each of the 753 groups funded by Communities and Families have put children and their needs at the very heart of their work, creating a legacy of which we are proud to have been a part.”

The programme closed to applications on Monday 29 February 2016.  The Communities and Families Fund had a budget of £4.5 million from The Scottish Government and £1.5 million from the Big Lottery Fund.

For more information

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: Lorna McNiven 0141 242 1451

Twitter: @BIGSCOTLAND Facebook: facebook.com/BigLotteryFundScotland

Notes to Editors:

  • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery for good causes and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans.
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.
  • The Big Lottery Fund Scotland is focussed on helping people and communities most in need throughout Scotland through its five-year £250m funding scheme as well as small grants schemes Awards for All and Investing in Ideas.
  • Since March 2007 Big Lottery Fund Scotland has taken devolved decisions on Lottery spending, the Committee, led by Chair, Maureen McGinn plays a strategic role in the future direction of the Fund in Scotland.