Community Choice Small Grants: Here's the groups in Falkirk district who have been successful in their bid for funding

Groups and organisations across the district are almost £110,000 better off thanks to a funding windfall.

Friday, 21st January 2022, 4:58 pm

After a public vote, 26 nominees have secured funding totalling £109,985 from the Community Choices Small Grants Programme.

Run by Falkirk Council in partnership with the Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership, Community Choices aims to provide local people with a way to apply for public funding to improve their local area and communities are then invited to vote to decide how public money is spent.

Almost 3300 eligible votes were cast by residents in favour of projects they felt best reflected the strengths, needs and aspirations of their local community.

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Rod McNeill, Chairperson of Bo’ness Car 4U with members

This time around every bid made for a Small Grant of up to £5000 were successful.

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, leader of Falkirk Council, said: “By taking the time to vote, local people have ensured a wide range of groups and organisations will receive funding to kickstart or continue projects that bring to the life the aim of Community Choices – to make the area fairer, healthier, more connected and more inclusive.”

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One of those groups successful was Bo’ness Car 4U with its volunteers “over the moon” to hear its bid for £5000 had been successful.

The Lymph Notes choir

The charity, which launched its free hospital transport service for cancer patients this month, will use the funding to help cover volunteer mileage costs up to December 2022.

Registered as a charity in May 2020, the pandemic initially stopped its search for volunteers and funding but thanks to a push at the end of last year, the charity now has seven volunteer drivers and hopes to at least double that number by summer.

Using the service is simple. GPs - based in medical practices in Bo’ness - refer patients who have been diagnosed with cancer and are unable to get to and from hospital appointments on their own, to the charity. Bo’ness Car 4U then liaises directly with the patient to arrange transportation, picking them up and dropping them off at their home.

Rod McNeill, Bo’ness Car 4U chairperson, said: “Because the funding will help cover our biggest outlay – mileage - until the end of the year, it provides us with peace of mind. Having that financial security also means we can focus on growing our volunteer numbers as well as secure further funding to help us continue the service into 2023 and beyond.

“We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for us through Community Choices, it really is appreciated. Your support will not only help us reduce the length of time a patient is away from home, but also the stress they face travelling to and from treatment at a very difficult time in their lives.”

Another charity to successfully secure a Small Grants awarded, this time for £4800, is Strathcarron Hospice. The hospice, based in Denny, will use the money to fund its ‘Lymph Notes’ Choir for the next four months.

The choir was initially launched in August 2021 as a pilot musical therapy programme for those living with lymphoedema, a chronic condition where a collection of lymph fluid cannot drain away.

Lymphoedema can be caused by a variety of factors, including cancer, cancer treatments, trauma, injury or genetics, and results in swelling – often of the limbs, but other parts of the body such as the head and neck can be affected too. Although it can’t be cured, it can usually be well controlled.

During the initial six-month pilot, the choir, currently based in Denny Baptist Church, provided its 17 members with an opportunity to meet others living with the condition as well as have a creative outlet. As a result, members recorded, on average, a 35 per cent increase in their mental health and mood.

Now, the choir’s recording of Caledonia is raising vital funds for the hospice, which provides specialist palliative care and expert end of life care to people living in Forth Valley, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth.

Margaret-Anne Garner, lymphoedema specialist at the Hospice said: “What the choir has been able to do is create a safe space for people with lymphoedema and lipoedema to meet, build relationships and share experiences, all the while learning new skills.

“We are extremely grateful for the support shown by all those who voted for our project. The Small Grants funding will allow us to continue running the choir, providing members with a way to manage their condition as well as reduce feeling of isolation and anxiety.”

The full list of successful grant awards is:

Bo’ness and Blackness – Grange Primary School £5000; 3rd Bo’ness Scout Group £5000; Bo’ness Car4U £5000; Tuesday Club £3000; Bo’ness Rugby Football Club £2000.

Grangemouth – Young Portonians Theatre Company £5000; 4 The Benefit of All £4940; Equi-Power RDA £4920; Grangemouth Old People’s Welfare Association £2100.

Denny and Banknock – Strathcarron Hospice £4800.

Carse, Kinnaird and Tryst – Carron Kith £5000.

Bonnybridge and Larbert – Forth Valley Water Polo Club £5000; Pause and Breathe £5000; North Star Explorer Scouts £4000

Falkirk North – Keep Camelon, Tidy Clean and Green Campaign £5000; COBALT £5000; Falkirk Made Friends £4706; Love Falkirk £4380; Scottish Senior Citizens Computer Club (Falkirk Branch) £650.

Falkirk South – Plus Forth Valley £5000; Enable Scotland (Falkirk Branch) £5000; Tamfourhill Tenant’s and Residents Organisation £4050; Belmont Tower Residents Social Club £3639; Jock Tamson’s Bairns £3000.

Lower Braes – Laurieston Bowling Club £3800.

Upper Braes – Maddiston Evangelical Church £5000.

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