Highland Charity Awarded £15,000 Community Connect Funding

Highland Cycle Ability Centre was handed a huge financial boost after becoming the latest good cause group to be awarded funding of £15,000 through Scotmid Co-operative’s Community Connect initiative.

The charity came out on top after receiving the most member votes in Scotmid’s North Region, encompassing Inverness, Dundee, Aberdeen and Perth, at the Annual General Meeting in Dundee last night (Tuesday 1 May).

Following in-store voting and an exciting ballot at the company’s AGM, Highland Cycle Ability Centre was recognised with the top award while Perthshire’s Alyth Youth Partnership won £7,500 and Dundee’s Positive Steps received £2,500, through funding generated from the sale of single-use carrier bags.

Based near Inverness, Highland Cycle Ability Centre provides a cycling service aimed predominately at youngsters and young adults with physical or learning disabilities. The charity now plans to use the Community Connect funding to support the extension of an outreach programme over the next two years – taking the track to young people, who will benefit from the service.

Highland Cycle Ability Centre Chair Joanna McGregor said: “We’re absolutely thrilled about being awarded £15,000 through Community Connect from Scotmid and an enormous thank you to everybody who voted for us.

“We are reliant on community donations for ninety per cent of our funding and so this award will make a wonderful difference to the youngsters with disabilities who we serve and engage with.

“This funding will help us to push out our outreach programme in the community. The main recipients will be the young people we serve and now with this Community Connect funding we can make everybody involved happier, fitter and feel more included.”

Scotmid Co-operative Chief Executive John Brodie said: “Congratulations to Highland Cycle Ability Centre, who have been awarded £15,000 funding through our Community Connect initiative, which is funded from the sale of single-use carrier bags.

“The outcome was decided by the votes cast by our members and it is great to be able to award all the short-listed groups with funding to enable them to continue the good work that they do.

“Our core purpose is to serve our communities and improve people’s everyday lives, so it is very pleasing to see Community Connect continue to develop into an extremely worthwhile initiative for our members and local good cause groups – bringing people together and bringing worthwhile projects to life.”

In addition to Community Connect, Scotmid Co-operative’s Community Grant programme continues to grow in importance and popularity – last year over 1,000 local community groups applied and were awarded a grant of up to £500 and these projects range from Primary Schools’ breakfast clubs to communal garden renovations.

Image: (front row, left to right): Joanna McGregor, Founder and Chairman of Highland Cycle Ability Centre, Gareth Jenkins, Centre Manager, Lesley Thorpe, Autism Support Manager, (back row left to right): Jill Murray, Supporter, Clive Murray, Supporter, Alastair McGregor, Founder Trustee


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