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Community Fund boost for Lewis youth groups

Seven Lewis based youth groups are set set to benefit from ferry operator CalMac's Community Fund.

The latest round of awards from the ferry operator will help support groups take part in activates ranging from golf to music and art, and from swimming to piping. 

Back Football and Recreation Club is using their award to organise professional golf tuition for a group of sixteen young people. 

'We're really grateful to CalMac for this grant, which will allow us to run some junior golf tuition at the club later this year. We have some really enthusiastic youngsters who are itching to get out onto the driving range to develop their skills,' said Louise Stewart from Back Football and Recreation Club

In Ness the local music and art group based at Taigh Dhonnchaidh - Duncan's House - identified a need for activities for children with additional support needs. Their project will provide music therapy support for this particular group providing a safe space for them and their carers, giving them the chance to socialise with their peers on a regular basis.

Similarly in Kinloch the Historical Society identified a lack of arts craft activities for young people. With support from CalMac they now plan to set up a regular arts and crafts club.

In the north of the island sports and leisure group Sporsnis will use their award to organise affordable after school fitness sessions for local young people

Swim Western Isles' award will use their award to buy starting blocks to prepare their young swimmers for competitive swimming meets. The club currently has 77 young swimmers unable to get access to this type of training at the moment.

The recently established Lewis and Harris Youth Pipe Band are using their award to help them get uniforms for all band members something that is currently beyond their financial reach.

Finally in Stornoway the Fèis Eilean an Fhraoich Gaelic arts group's award will support a year long programme of Gaelic song, masterclass workshops and a concert celebration during this year's Fèis week.

CalMac's Community Fund drives social value by supporting non profit organisations, based in a mainland port or island the company serves, delivering projects to benefit the lives of children and young people living in west coast communities. Organisations can apply for an award between £500 to £2000. 

So far the Fund has supported 76 projects from woman's football in the Outer Hebrides, to the Campbeltown Sea Cadets and a Gaelic youth club on Skye. 

Each application was judged by a screening panel of young people recruited from across the company's network, in partnership with Young Scot and Erica Clark of Community Learning and Development at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

'The variety of projects put forward in Lewis really impressed the judging panel. All seven of these projects will play a big role in widening opportunities and removing barriers facing young people on the island,' said CalMac's Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Gordon McKillop.

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