Community Connect: Equitots

Equitots Lanarkshire Community Interest Company 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 support their equine assisted learning service.

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.

In Scotmid’s West Member Region – encompassing Glasgow, Paisley, Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway and Lanarkshire – Equitots 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 Esteem Clydesdale and St Andrew’s Hospice.

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 West Region Ordinary General Meeting in October.

Based in Carluke, Equitots are aiming to utilise the Community Connect funding to enable an inclusive equine assisted learning and forest school programme within local schools, for children who have additional support needs, require an alternative approach to learning, or who may be experiencing disadvantage.

Lee Valantine, of Equitots Lanarkshire Community Interest Company, said “We’re very thankful to have been shortlisted for Scotmid’s Community Connect funding.

“We hope that it will enable us to provide more Lanarkshire children, who might not have otherwise had access to our service, with the opportunity of using ponies and forest school activities as an alternative learning approach which will help boost not just their physical but also their mental health.”

The recipients of the first-ever Community Connect award for £15,000 was Glasgow based charity Street Connect, who achieved the most votes at the AGM in Bellshill last month and plan to use the funding to refurbish their Outreach Cafe in Glasgow city centre – helping support disadvantaged individuals dealing with addiction problems and related life-controlling issues such as mental health, homelessness and isolation.

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