Let’s Celebrate! Big Lottery Fund supports projects across Scotland

Free live music in East Ayrshire, cultural events for Glasgow’s Afghan community and a celebratory LGBT festival in Fife are amongst the first Scottish projects sharing in £64,417 from the Big Lottery Fund’s new Celebrate programme.

Across Scotland, 15 groups of all shapes and sizes will use the cash to run their own events or activities that allow people to celebrate what makes their local community special. The other 12 graant recipients are listed at the end of this article.

Bringing people together through live music, Darvel Music Company in East Ayrshire receives £5,000. Aiming to diversify and expand on its existing live music events, the group will use the cash to hold a free community celebration day featuring music, film, and arts and crafts workshops.

Darvel Music Company chair Sheila McKenna said: “We are delighted to receive this award and the opportunity to bring the community together through lots of different music-related activities. It will be great fun to “Celebrate, Good Times, Come On!” in Darvel in 2017. The application form was simple to fill in and I would encourage other groups to consider Celebrate in applying for their own community events.”

The Glasgow Afghan United receives £5,000 to help bring BME people, refugees and asylum seekers together to meet new people and to learn about Scottish culture and heritage. They will hold four events – a St Andrew’s Day celebration, a poetry event on Burns Night, a National Heroes event and a fifth birthday celebration – as well as a 12-week youth football programme.

Abdul Bostani, chair of Glasgow Afghan United, said: “We are delighted to receive this award from the Celebrate fund for five different activities. These will bring a diverse community of people together to celebrate Scottish culture, while stimulating a sense of belonging for ethnic communities in Scotland. It will have a positive impact on our group and we are looking forward to getting started.”

In Fife, the LGBT community will come together to celebrate diversity and equality with a celebration event in Dunfermline. Thanks to a £4,925 award, Pink Saltire will use the award to organise a special Rainbow Gala with the help of local volunteers.

Charity founder Stuart Duffy said: “We are delighted to receive this amazing support from the Celebrate programme. Part of our charitable aim is to celebrate individuals and organisations that make life better for LGBT people right across Scotland. As local residents, we realised there was no Pride event or opportunity for our community to come together in Fife and wanted to do something about that.  This grant enables us to organise a really special event to recognise our diverse community and it’ll provide a springboard for more events in the future.”

Big Lottery Fund Scotland chair Maureen McGinn said: “Today’s grants celebrate what’s special about individual communities across Scotland. From music and arts festivals to cultural and heritage activities, these events will bring people together to volunteer, have fun and meet more people in their area.  I am delighted to see such a wide range of groups sharing in these first awards, and I look forward to even more communities celebrating and benefiting in the future.”

In a UK wide survey, the Big Lottery Fund found that almost two thirds (63%) of people asked reported that they have never or cannot remember ever coming together to celebrate with their local neighbourhood.

In response to these findings, the Big Lottery Fund asked for local groups and organisations to apply for funding through the Celebrate programme, to hold events or activities that would bring bring people together and celebrate what makes their local community special.

There is £5 million available in total across the UK. To be eligible to apply for a Celebrate grant of up to £5,000, applicants must be part of a constituted group which has its own bank account. The Big Lottery Fund welcomes applications from voluntary or community organisations, schools and statutory bodies, particularly those who have never considered the Big Lottery Fund as a potential source of funding.

Organisations are encouraged to submit their applications early to avoid disappointment as once funds have been allocated, Celebrate will close to new applications. For more information, go here

The 12 other Scottish groups receiving Celebrate grants:

Islay & Jura Community Enterprises Limited £4,555

This group provide a wide range of sporting and leisure activities for the local community. The funding will be used to celebrate the group’s 25th anniversary and the people in the community who contribute towards the running of its activities.

The Causey Development Trust, Edinburgh £4,921

This group will use the funding to celebrate ‘World Car Free Day’ and to raise awareness of being environmentally friendly within the local community.

Sauchie Community Group Clackmannanshire £4,448

The group work to relieve poverty and educate people on available opportunities in their area. They will use the funding for four different celebrations to bring the community together throughout the year.

Dumfries and Galloway Third Sector Interface £1,292

This group represents a range of organisations that have a social or environmental purpose within the local area. The group will use the funding to celebrate the people and volunteers recognising their efforts.

Kingsway Court Health & Wellbeing Centre, Glasgow City £1,368

This group provides a range of services and activities for local residents in the Kingsway complex in Glasgow. The group will host the fifth annual harvest event for local people in September to welcome new residents and promote involvement in the community.

Maryhill Mobile Children’s Services, Glasgow £5,000

This group will use the funding to celebrate their 30th anniversary. The celebration will include a ceilidh, art workshops and dance performances. The events will be open to all families and children from the local community.

Royston Youth Action, Glasgow £4,939

This group are responsible for managing a former church in Roystonhill. The group will celebrate the hall’s history and members.

SAS, Glasgow £4,950

This group represent the Afghan community in Scotland. The project will bring together BME people from different backgrounds and faiths at a cultural event to celebrate Eid in the west end of Glasgow.

Highland Disability Sport £5,000

This group provide sports for those with a disability or additional needs. The project will celebrate culture by hosting 5 events that will promote different sports within Inverness.

Volunteer Centre, Scottish Borders £4,239

This group develops and promotes volunteering by removing barriers to participation and improving opportunities. This project will celebrate volunteers in the Scottish Borders, acknowledging people who volunteer as the unsung heroes of the community.

Braehead, Broomridge & District Community Development Trust, Stirling £5,000

This group delivers projects that improve community life in the Braehead & Broomridge area of Stirling as well as running the Braehead Community Garden. The project will establish monthly BBQs and an end of harvest season event in the community garden.

Fauldhouse Community Development Trust, West Lothian £3,780

This group delivers a range of services that aims to improve the social, economic, environmental, and cultural wellbeing of the community in Fauldhouse. The project will encourage people to celebrate their local history and heritage through a range of events.

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