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Awards: Skye, Mallaig, Oban and Inner Hebrides

We are delighted to announce 16 awards to groups in Skye, Mallaig, Oban and the Inner Hebrides including:  

Counselling Care Skye and Lochalsh 

Counselling Care, Skye and Lochalsh, provides professional counselling and psychotherapy services to adults, children and young people living in Skye and Lochalsh. The CalMac Community Fund will sllow CCSL to offer "fast track" access counselling sessions to those clients on their waiting list reporting mental health problems relating to the impact of Covid. This will enable the group to reduce waiting times and ensure that the most vulnerable clients can receive the sort of early intervention that can help to prevent a further deterioration in their mental health. Include outcomes. 

Portree Primary School Parent Council 

Portree Primary School Parent Council serves the parents/carers of children attending Portree Primary School. Their beneficiaries are the pupils of Portree Primary School. With support from the CalMac Community Fund the group plan to arrange a Community Cafe within the school on a regular basis. The children will be responsible for growing ingredients, cooking, advertising, setting, serving, entertainment, meeting and greeting etc. The wider community will be invited to attend, including the seniors' centres and care homes in the area.  

Mallaig Community Council 

Mallaig Community Council facilitates a wide range of activities which promote the well-being of the community, and they aim to bring local people together in order to help facilitate change which will benefit residents of the area. In 2020 they distributed Christmas gift boxes to all residents of Mallaig aged 70 or above (approx. 150 people). The gift boxes contained cards crafted by Mallaig Primary School and Christmas gifts purchased by Mallaig Community Council. They received a list of all residents aged 70 or above and distributed the parcels to the doors themselves, the experience of these boxes gave people a sense of community spirit and improved their wellbeing. The Christmas box was a good way to interact and stay in touch with people who were otherwise relatively isolation, and they hope by repeating the project that can encourage residents to participate more actively in community life once they feel confident to do so. The CalMac Community Fund will enable this project again in 2021. 

Appin Skiff 

With few easily accessible leisure facilities there is limited scope for local group fitness activities and other outdoor team sports. Appin Skiff is for everyone in the local community, and are committed to involving adults of all ages, local children, and teenagers. Key to the project is the social interaction between community members through a common interest. The project will benefit the community with a shared vision, a sense of teamwork & companionship, learning new skills, increased physical exercise and the enjoyment of rowing on the sea in Port Appin. Such interaction is especially important in this rural area where social isolation can become a very real problem.  

Oban Saints Amateur Football Club 

Oban Saints are a community football club with 160 members run by volunteers who provide weekly coaching and fitness training sessions for youths and adults in the Oban area. The club are connected with the community and brings people together to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle while enjoying the game they love. Support from the CalMac Community Fund for operating costs will allow boys and girls and players of all ages to continue engagement throughout winter months.  

Lismore Community Transport 

Lismore Community Transport (LCT, a registered charity est. 2014) provides community transport to those in need because of age, mental or physical disability, poverty or isolation, on Lismore. The CalMac Community Fund enables the group to continue to provide a transport service to the elderly and infirm people of Lismore. They run a service 3 days per week taking people to the shop, post office, cafe and Doctors Surgery. They also do 2 or 3 runs per month to Oban for those who need to access shopping at other store, get haircuts, or access other services not available on the island. They will organise runs to the Glasgow area for hospital appointments and visits if required.  

Mull Native Woodlands Group 

The Mull Native Woodlands Group aims to work with owners and managers of forests and woodlands on Mull to influence and encourage planting schemes which produce regenerated, thriving and self-sustaining woodlands with increased biodiversity, and which also connect people now and in the future with the woodland environment. The CalMac Community Fund will enable the group to and continue to provide opportunities for volunteering and increase the number of volunteering activities that can take place by providing more tools. Through volunteers, local residents can take part social interaction and hopefully increase their skills and employment opportunities.  

Aros Park Historic Walled Garden 

Aros Park Historic Walled Garden is based in Tobermory and was established to restore the long-overgrown walled garden at Aros Park. The overall aim is to create an accessible-for-all garden that will bring the community together in a beautiful, natural setting, with quiet areas for contemplation, a space for open-air performances and exhibitions, family-focused trails to follow, opportunities to volunteer as a gardener for both physical and mental health, workshops to develop new skills, and a venue for events. CalMac's support will help create community outreach, education and interpretation materials to support efforts to get the community involved in the restoration of Aros Park Historic Walled Garden. It is hoped the project will combat social isolation and offer opportunities to develop new skills in horticulture. 

Lorn Toy Library 

Lorn Toy Library, known locally as Oban Toy Cupboard is a community- led toy lending library that also provides year-round stay and play sessions for under 5s. They aim to be accessible to all local children and provide facilities which improve the health and wellbeing of young children and their families. The Library provides toys to families suffering the effects of poverty, providing specialist resources to children with additional support needs, and a readily accessible social network to parents who have limited resources (e.g., BAME families, single parents, or those living on the islands and more remote villages). Their play-based resources support child development at a nominal cost and free at point of access for anyone who needs it. They offer families who are struggling a place where they can meet other families in a relaxed, child-friendly environment, find the space and time to play and build the bonds of attachment with their child, and self-refer for behavioural support and advice from a range of professions (psychologist, health visitors, paediatric physiotherapy).  

Argyll Lomond and the Islands Energy Agency 

Argyll, Lomond and the Islands Energy Advice (ALI Energy) works to promote sustainable energy use and renewable energy regeneration, to address fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions. They work with individuals and families to reduce energy costs, provide advice and assistance and signposting to sources of grant support, insulation, dealing with dampness and energy debt help. The CalMac Community Fund will support the group develop mental wellbeing capacity within their team to best serve their clients. 

Colonsay Book Festival 

The Book Festival will be the first major community event on Colonsay in 2022 and will support social inclusion and the mental well-being of the community and is intended to be a kickstart to local events in 2022. 

Arinagour Primary School Parent Council 

Arinagour Primary School Parent Council serves to help the primary school in its work with all the pupils, creating partnerships between the school and the parents/carers and with the wider island community. Their main role is to organise and support fundraising efforts that benefit the education of the school pupils. The school being located on the Isle of Coll means that it is designated as deprived due to its remoteness. The CalMac Community Fund will enable swimming lessons at the Atlantis Leisure Centre with a qualified instructor, which they do not have the facilities for or access to on Coll. The trip will also involve a geographical study, historical visit to Dunstaffnage Castel and scientific visit to the Ocean Explorer Centre. The pupils will meet up with other children from local primary schools and participate in an Active Schools session with the co-ordinator for Oban. There is no swimming pool on Coll, so the trip provides important opportunities to learn to swim and learn water safety skills that are essential for life on a small island. The experience will provide new learning and developmental opportunities to young people, supporting literacy, numeracy, health, wellbeing, financial skills, time keeping, decision making and teamwork. The young people will have opportunities to enjoy new experiences, be more independent of their families and develop supportive friendships and relationships.  

North Argyll Carers Centre 

North Argyll Carers' Centre supports unpaid carers across the Oban, Lorn, and Isles area. Their aim is to make a positive difference to carers' lives, ensuring their voices are heard and that each individual receives tailored support. CalMac will support their 'Our Caring Island Lives' project. This project will allow the charity to send their Training and Activities Co-ordinator to make a visit to each of the eight islands where they support carers over the course of a year: Mull - North, Mull - South, Iona, Coll, Tiree, Kerrera, Lismore, and Luing/Seil. Whilst there, the Co-ordinator will hold group sessions on each island and offer 1:1 visits with carers who are not comfortable meeting up in numbers or unable to travel. This will allow the Co-ordinator to offer trained support to any carer who indicates they are in need, as well as provide an opportunity to socialise with like-minded people for carers that wish to.  

Argyll Wellbeing Hub 

Argyll Wellbeing Hub offer scheduled peer support groups in Oban several evenings a week for people of all ages with mental health issues, including a men's group, women's group, and young people's group, as well as drop ins where people can access support and talk about their issues in a safe environment. With support from CalMac they plan to run a series of activities for the men's and women's group. 200 people will benefit from the programme directly by attending sessions, as well as their wider family who will benefit from participant's improved wellbeing.  

Minds Matter Club Oban 

Minds Matter Club were created with the goal of helping local women to receive peer support with their mental health and wellbeing in an informal setting. The Community Fund will support the Club's therapy and wellbeing project. This will include offering their members opportunities to take part in art therapy, horse therapy, and a wildlife boat trip. They have identified a local Stables that offer horse therapy and have contacted a local art therapy practitioner who is able to delivery sessions. They hope these sessions will help women to improve their mental wellbeing in informal settings and provide opportunities to socialise with like-minded people.  

Girl Guiding Argyll- 1st Tobermory Guides 

1st Tobermory Guides was established to provide a varied programme of activities to inspire, challenge, and encourage girls aged 5-14. CalMac's Community Fund will support their 'Go Guiding' project. This project will look to restart activities after the Covid-19 enforced lockdown and implement a programme of events over a 10-week period that enthuse existing and new members to take part in future plans. The activities will allow children to build confidence, gain self-esteem, make friends, and learn new skills. There are also benefits to the wider community, by providing children with a regular diversionary activity, and by subsidising places it means any girl who wants to take part can do. 

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