Community Connect: Harlawhill Day Care Centre

Harlawhill Day Care Centre has been short-listed to become one of the latest recipients of funding from Scotmid Co-operative’s Community Connect initiative – potentially being awarded £15,000 in order to help their elderly attendees with memorable experiences.

Community Connect was initially trialled in the North of Scotland last year and enables Scotmid members to award good cause groups in their local area with funding of up to £15,000, generated via the sale of single use carrier bags.

Now launched in Scotmid’s East Member Region – encompassing Edinburgh, Fife and the Lothians – Harlawhill Day Care Centre are one of three good cause groups, who have been short-listed by a Scotmid member selection panel to receive a financial award of either £15,000, £7,500 or £2,500.

The other short-listed Good Cause Groups are Broxburn Family Centre and South Queensferry’s Blood Bikes Scotland.

Scotmid members collect votes by swiping their Community Connect card after every in-store purchase and then cast their votes for their preferred good cause group at Scotmid’s East Region Ordinary General Meeting at Murrayfield Stadium in October.

Situated in Prestonpans, Harlawhill Day Care Centre provides elderly and vulnerable people with a quality day care service which aims to help them remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible.

The team uses a specially adapted bus to transport attendees from their homes to the day care centre, providing social contact and stimulation in homely surroundings.

The Community Connect funding, dependant on the amount awarded, will be used to facilitate a summer outing for all attendees of the centre and also activate a new project where a professional musician will work with the patrons, listen to their life stories before writing and recording it all into songs.

Harlawhill Day Care Centre manager Fiona Mitchell said: “We’re privileged to have been selected for Community Connect funding – we’re grateful to the Scotmid panel for giving us the opportunity amongst so many worthy charities.

“Getting short-listed is wonderful – so exciting and everybody connected to our Centre is spreading the word about our campaign.

“Our vision of taking all of the centre’s attendees, some of whom are socially isolated, on a day trip was one that we never thought would become a reality, but should we win the top Community Connect award we will be able to make it happen.

“Also the prospect of being able to fund the wee songs, poems or DVDs for our elderly attendees means they will have a treasure for their living history.

“We’re right at the heart of the Prestonpans community and the funding will make a memorable difference to everyone, who attends the Centre.”

Pictured (back row, left to right): Ana Filogonio (carer escort), Fiona Mitchell (manager), Helen Hunter (volunteer), Trisha Henderson (carer).

(front row, left to right): Rhianna Aitken (student), Daniele Mitchell (student), Katie Yorkston (school work experience).

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