Community comes first in our celebratory project visits!

We recently changed our name to The National Lottery Community fund, and to celebrate our new moniker we visited amazing National Lottery funded projects all around Scotland! Here are just a few of the inspiring groups we had a chat with last week to hear more about their awesome work, and speak to them about our new name!

Our Inverclyde Funding Officer Eimear and Communications Officer Aymie headed doon the watter to picturesque Port Glasgow to meet with the team at Parklea Branching Out. The community garden project was awarded £10,000 of National Lottery Awards for All funding to support their mission of using horticulture to help children with additional needs to get outside and socialise more.

Visiting Parklea in the winter was a particular treat for our officers, with bare trees exposing uninterrupted views out towards the Clyde – a perfect backdrop to the outstanding community work that the group do.

The team at Parklea Branching Out with Eimear

During the visit, the group gave Eimear and Aymie a tour of their charming log cabins, gardens and greenhouses, whilst explaining how National Lottery funding had helped them to continue their vital work.

Aymie noted: “It was fulfilling speaking with the group about how their work has benefitted the community, in particular children with additional needs.

“I thoroughly enjoyed hearing all about the Parklea Branching Out project. It was also a great opportunity to hear about the group’s future plans, and discuss how the project could apply for funding with us in the future.”

Gillian with the South Glasgow Bookbug group and their little ones

It is clear that communities are better when they come together and get involved in shaping their future – this is something that is demonstrated wonderfully through the South Glasgow Bookbug project.

Evaluation Manager Rowan and our Communications Officer Gillian visited Bookbug South Glasgow Project – a project that benefitted from £96,000 of our Improving Lives funding.

The South Glasgow Childcare Partnership Forum runs the Gorbals based Bookbug. The project directly supports children, young people and families currently experiencing challenging circumstances and isolation. The group aim to make a lasting difference to people’s lives rather than simply alleviating the symptoms or current problems they face.

Rowan and Gillian were invited to have delicious soup with the families and their wee ones, giving them a chance to chat to mums before the afternoon Bookbug session started. The session was for babies and young children of pre-school age, with the youngest attendee being just 16-weeks-old! Our officers got to see an abundance of little faces light up as they engaged with Bookbug.

Gillian explained: “It was so powerful speaking with some of the mums and to hear about how important these sessions are for them. For so many this is the only opportunity to get out of the house and for some it was the first place where they met others in similar situations.

“For those who had just moved to the country or area, it was where they found kindness, community, friendship and support.”

Bookbug South Glasgow has a remarkable effect not only on the children but the mums who attend the group, and proves a real asset to the Gorbals community.

Georgia from Vintage Vibes and Emma

Heading to the east coast, our Lothian Funding Officer Emma visited the Vintage Vibes project in Stockbridge. The project received a £350,000 Investing in Communities grant from The National Lottery Community Fund to help support their work with the older community who face issues such as isolation, loneliness and dementia.

Vintage Vibes was set-up by LifeCare and the Broomhouse Centre to help support the over-60s community in Edinburgh. The project provides long-term one-to-one volunteer home visiting, social contact and supports day-to-day activities for people aged over 60.

Vintage Vibes organise and facilitate an array of social activities from fantastic day trips to exciting home visits accompanied by furry companions.

Emma met with staff and volunteers at Vintage Vibes to have a chat about our new name and to find out more about how the project supports the older community in Edinburgh. Our funding officer was given a tour around the vivacious Broomhouse Centre, where she got to see the inspiring work first-hand.

“It was lovely to visit Vintage Vibes to celebrate our new name, and catch up with not only staff but some behind the scenes volunteers!”, Emma added.

The National Lottery Community Fund are proud to support ideas and projects that matter to people and communities. These projects were just a few examples of the excellent work National Lottery players have helped make possible. We might have a new name, but we will still continue to work closely with communities to help them realise their potential.

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