Local charities in line for funding

Lee Valantine of Equitots Lanarkshire Community Interest Company.
Lee Valantine of Equitots Lanarkshire Community Interest Company.

Three local charities are in line for cash awards of up to £15,000 after being shortlisted for funding from Scotmid Co-operative’s Community Connect initiative.

Equitots Lanarkshire Community Interest Company, Esteem Clydesdale and St Andrew’s Hospice have all made it to the final list of organisations nominated by Co-op customers.

The scheme was trialled last year and enables Scotmid members to award groups in their local area with funding of either £15,000, £7,500 or £2,500. The funding is generated by the sale of single-use carrier bags and the groups are short-listed by a members’ selection panel. Members then collect votes by swiping their Community Connect card after every in-store purchase and final votes will be cast at Scotmid’s West Region Ordinary General Meeting on October 1.

The funding will be used by Esteem Clydesdale to train more volunteers and increase support for both individuals and their families facing mental health issues. Equitots Lanarkshire Community Interest Company is looking to enable an inclusive equine-assisted learning and forest school programme within local schools, for children who have additional support needs. St Andrew’s Hospice will put the funding towards a new mini bus, to improve patient experience when travelling to external appointments.

Lee Valantine, of Equitots Lanarkshire Community Interest Company, said: “We hope that it will enable us to provide more Lanarkshire children, who might not have otherwise had access to our service, with the opportunity of using ponies and forest school activities as an alternative learning approach which will help boost not just their physical but also their mental health.”

Theresa Elder, Esteem Clydesdale, added: “The funding will help us expand our offering and help more people in the Clydesdale community, particularly in isolated and rural communities. Our focus is supporting individuals and families facing mental health problems and thoughts of self-harm, and we want to train more volunteers and increase the number of self-support groups and hubs.”

Lorna McCafferty, from St Andrew’s Hospice, said: “The funding will not only allow us to continue providing crucial services but will also be used to purchase a new mini bus to assist patients to attend our outpatient services.”

Further information is available at scotmid.coop.