Scotmid Co-op announces £50,000 handouts in latest round of community funding

The money, raised from the carrier bag levy, will help groups such as Glasgow charity Street Connect and Inverness-based Highland Cycle Ability Centre

Scotmid Co-operative announced the latest winners of its Community Connect initiative this week with six local charities receiving a share of £50,000 funding generated from the carrier bag levy.

Launched last year, Community Connect enables members to vote for causes in their local region, with up to £15,000 funding being awarded to the winner.

Every member in the West and North regions was given a Community Connect card, and each time they shopped in a Scotmid store and scanned their card they were allocated one vote to cast at their regional AGM.

Glasgow charity Street Connect and Inverness-based Highland Cycle Ability Centre won the top awards of £15,000 funding in the West and North regions.

Street Connect supports disadvantaged individuals dealing with addiction problems and related life-controlling issues such as mental health, homelessness and isolation.

Volunteers at its Outreach Café offer a friendly welcome and information on the range of services available which includes rehabilitation support – the £15,000 funding will go towards refurbishing the building.

Street Connect’s co-founder Julie McAddock, said: “Winning the £15,000 funding through Scotmid’s Community Connect is absolutely brilliant and will go a long way towards helping us to achieve our goals. We plan to use the funding for the refurbishment of our Outreach Cafe, which is badly in need of a revamp.”

Highland Cycle Ability Centre provides a cycling service aimed predominately at youngsters and young adults with physical or learning disabilities. The charity plans to use the funding to extend an outreach programme over the next two years.

Chair Joanna McGregor said: “We are reliant on community donations for 90% of our funding, so this award will make a wonderful difference to the youngsters with disabilities who we serve.”

Scotmid chief executive John Brodie said: “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.”

Perthshire’s Alyth Youth Partnership and West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare were awarded £7,500 in their respective regions, while Dundee’s Positive Steps and Glasgow East End Community Carers each walked away with £2,500.

In addition to Community Connect, Scotmid Co-operative’s Community Grant programme gave support to more than 1,000 local community groups last year, with grants of up £500 going to projects ranging from primary school breakfast clubs to communal garden renovations.

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