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National Lottery funding helps Aberdeenshire community groups begin Covid-19 recovery journey

By Kirsty Brown

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Across Scotland 103 community projects are today sharing in £2,140,644.

Announcing the funding, The National Lottery Community Fund’s Scotland Chair, Kate Still said: “It’s great to see a such a variety of projects being funded to help people of all ages and backgrounds begin to adapt and recover from the pandemic whether it’s supporting more people like Shaun learn new skills and begin to meet up with friends and families or helping those who may feel scared and anxious to take those small steps back to normality.

“As groups are beginning to bring people together again National Lottery players can be proud to know that the money, they raise is making a huge difference helping to re-connect people of all ages in communities across Scotland.

"The National Lottery Community Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes.

"Thanks to National Lottery players, last year we awarded over half a billion pounds (£588.2 million) of life-changing funding to communities across the UK.

"Over eight in ten of our grants are for under £10,000 – going to grassroots groups and charities across the UK that are bringing to life amazing ideas that matter to their communities."

A number of groups across Aberdeenshire were able to clinch a share of the funding to benefit people of the north-east.

Kemnay Community Council secured £1700 to help them set up a community food larder following community resilience work carried out during the pandemic.

Secretary Fran Patrick said: ""A support initiative - Lend a Hand Kemnay - was set up initially by two local residents who then became members of the Community Council and together we have been able to offer essential support to those in need of help in the village.

"However now that Covid restrictions are easing, Lend a Hand Kemnay is transitioning from Covid support to community resilience, focussing mainly on alleviating food poverty.

"The group has kindly been given the use of two small rooms within the Village Hall and have redecorated and refitted them in order to create a Community Larder, and this is where the National Lottery funding has been so helpful.

"We had already received some funding from Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action to start off the project, however the National Lottery funding has allowed us to complete the project.

"It has funded the redecoration costs and also the purchase of additional storage units and health and safety items.

"We have also been able to fill our freezer with food and will be using the remaining funds to purchase additional goods for the larder.

"As well as these funding awards, Lend a Hand Kemnay is grateful for the ongoing generosity of the local community who have supported the initiative by donating food and essential household goods."

The type of inclusive swings that the Belhelvie Community Trust are looking to install at the play park.
The type of inclusive swings that the Belhelvie Community Trust are looking to install at the play park.

Belhelvie Community Trust were able to secure £8000 toward funding the installation of a double accessible swing in the play park at the Sand Bothy.

Belhelvie Community Trust's Rosie Nicol said:“Belhelvie Community Trust runs and supports community projects in Belhelvie Parish.

"We are very aware that we are lucky to have such a beautiful beach on our doorstep, however we also realised that not everyone can enjoy a day out at Balmedie Country Park because of mobility problems or other disabilities.

"We now run Balmedie Beach Wheelchairs, have installed a Changing Places facility in the public toilet block, and last year we installed an inclusive roundabout in the play park.

"We decided to fund raise for another piece of equipment.

"We were very grateful to be helped by Cerebral Palsy Aberdeen , Arnold Clark and Ellie, a local supporter who set up a Just Giving Page.

"We are delighted to say that The National Lottery have now made up the remaining cost, so we will soon be ordering an inclusive swing."

Another big winner with this round of funding was Tarves Parish Church, who received £9,999 to build a new shed that could be used as storage space by groups who utilise the Youth Hall.

Other groups who were successful were Braemar Community Limited who secured £10,000 to employ a project development officer to oversee completion of a project to build affordable housing in the area, Donside Community Council who received £9,500 to run an online community hub to benefit the people who live in and around Alford and Gordon Woodworkers who got £5000 to upgrade their woodturning workshop.

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