Double lottery delight for Clydesdale groups

Two Clydesdale groups are celebrating after receiving funds from the National Lottery Community Fund.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 4:00 pm
Additional lottery funding will enable Wild Things to employ a part-time forest school leader to deliver fun courses for children in Clydesdale.

Wild Things Scotland, which is based in Biggar, received £9200.

The grant will fund a part-time forest school leader and training costs to deliver activities for children across Clydesdale. The project will reconnect children and communities with local woodlands and green spaces.

Healthy Valleys also received £9850 to employ an active travel project worker, Hazel Pringle, who will start working with the team on March 29. The money will also support and train volunteers to deliver active transport activities across rural Clydesdale.

Hazel Pringle is all geared up for her new role.

Both groups were delighted at their lottery windfall.

Claire Knox started Wild Things seven years ago and it became a not-for-profit community interest company five years ago.

It delivers mother and toddler sessions, after school clubs and a four seasons Saturday group, mainly in Biggar but also at Carmichael Estate and in Castlebank Park, Lanark.

Claire said: “It's a small organisation, run by myself and three or four other seasonal members of staff.”The lottery funding will enable us to employ a part-time forest school leader to deliver courses, 12 hours a week, in bookable blocks.

"It means we can put a plan in place to deliver courses over the next year and let parents know what’s coming up – hopefully starting this Easter.”

Wild Things is now looking forward to welcoming children back to the great outdoors. For a full programme, visit the website at http://wildthingsscotland.co.uk.

Amanda Taylor, Healthy Valleys team leader for resilient communities, is also looking forward to welcoming Hazel Pringle next week.

Her appointment has been made possible not only by the lottery fund, but by a Paths For All Smarter Choices, Smarter Places grant of £22,946. The Energy Savings Trust also stumped up £16,377, which enabled the team to buy ten e-bikes and equipment.

Amanda said: “We bought the bikes last March, then the pandemic hit and we were unable to use them.

"Our active travel project has been made possible, thanks to the three funders.

"Hazel will join us next week to help increase knowledge about active travel in our local communities with the aim of reducing carbon emissions.

"We’re looking at running information sessions in Carluke, Lanark, Rigside, Douglas, Kirkmuirhill, Blackwood and Carstairs Junction.

“We’re also hoping to organise open days to give people taster sessions on the e-bikes, as well as running road safety workshops.”The aim is to make it fun so we’ll also be challenging communities to notch up the most active travel miles by replacing local car journeys by walking, cycling or taking public transport.”

The project will launch in April. For details, visit healthyvalleys.org.uk.