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£1m National Lottery boost brings Scottish communities together

A digital skills class for older people in Aberdeenshire, a Men’s Shed in East Kilbride and a buddy scheme for older and disabled people in East Lothian are amongst 144 projects sharing in over £1 million of National Lottery good cause cash.

The projects, many of which will combat feelings of loneliness and isolation felt by people across Scotland, are sharing in £1,054,804 from National Lottery Awards for All Scotland – a quick and simple way to access small National Lottery grants of between £500 and £10,000. See a full list of awards

Based in rural Aberdeenshire, Benholm and Johnshaven Heritage Society will use its award of £8,904 to run a social and educational group for older residents in Johnshaven and surrounding villages. Older people will learn a range of digital skills to help them connect and keep in touch with friends and family online.

Karen Kennedy, Strategy Development Officer, said, “We are overjoyed that we have been awarded a National Lottery grant for our Young at Heart Club. We will bring people together who live in rural and coastal villages and who have no easy transport options available to them to get out and meet other people. Now, thanks to this funding, we can pick them up and drop them off from their own homes giving them the opportunity to learn new skills, make new friends and have a great time.”

East Kilbride Men’s Shed receives £9,450 to improve their premises which will allow them to reach out to even more isolated older men in the town.

Derek Miller, Chairman, said, “My ill health meant I couldn’t continue with my gardening business so The Men’s Shed has been my salvation and given me a whole new lease of life.  Most of our members are men who leave full time work and find themselves lonely and missing the camaraderie and routine of the workplace.  During the cold dark days of winter is often when you feel the loneliest but we are here all year round to supply a cup of tea, a biscuit and a bit of good natured banter. This award will help many more retired men in our community who are currently sitting in their homes and wondering what’s next for them.”

Thanks to an award of £10,000 the New Beginnings Club will be able to set up a Best Buddy Scheme in East Lothian to help tackle loneliness and isolation for disabled and older people in the region.

Sarah Allan, Chairperson, said, “We are delighted to receive this support from National Lottery players. Members of our club know the huge importance of friendship and how important it is to feel like an active, valued member of the community. This funding means that many other people can experience this feeling too and help to change lives for the better. The Best Buddy scheme will allow us to match existing members with newcomers and open them up to what our club is all about; activities, fun, friendship and adventure.”

An award of £8,150 will help to re-establish the Borders Older People Forum. This newly reformed group will co-opt a range of organisations from across the region to address isolation and loneliness and to champion older people’s issues and concerns.

Diana Findlay, Chairman, said, “This funding is crucial as it allows us to engage with groups throughout the region and will help more local older people to come along and have their say.  The Borders has the largest population of older people in Scotland so it’s very important that our voice should be heard on issues that are important to us. Sharing these views and concerns will help us to improve the lives of the most vulnerable, lonely and isolated older people in our rural region.”

In North Lanarkshire, REAL Women will use their award of £3,500 to bring women of all ages together to enjoy a range of social and well being activities.

Sharon Bissett, Co-founder, said, “This funding will allow us to pilot our project helping women who are lonely and isolated and who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. We will now be able to set up a support network which will help them make connections with others and take part in a wide programme of events and activities.”

A National Lottery Awards for All spokesperson said: “This is National Lottery money making a real impact helping bring people and communities together across Scotland. Many of these projects will give people who feel lonely and cut off from the outside world a chance to re-connect and make new friends. All the projects receiving funding are fantastic examples of small amounts of money making a big difference.”

National Lottery Awards for All Scotland is now more straightforward to apply to and faster to get funding from. Applications are received on a rolling basis and can be received at any time. To find out what National Lottery Awards for All Scotland could do for your community visit our website  or phone 0300 123 7110.

For more info contact Big Lottery Fund Media Team: 0141 242 1458

Twitter: #NationalLottery @BIGScotland

Notes to Editors:

  • National Lottery Awards for All Scotland is a joint awards programme from the Big Lottery Fund, Creative Scotland and sportscotland.
  • National Lottery Awards for All Scotland makes grants to help people take part in arts, sport, social, environmental, health related, educational and other community activities.

National Lottery Awards for All Scotland welcomes applications and focuses on funding smaller organisations with an annual turnover of less than £250k (except for schools).


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