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Cowal and Bute groups benefit from CalMac Community Fund

The latest round of the Fund, delivered in partnership with Foundation Scotland, welcomed applications from west coast community groups addressing mental health, improved well-being and social isolation including encouraging re-engagement with community activity.

Cowal Play and Family Therapy offer counselling and therapeutic services to children and their families in Dunoon and across Cowal (and Argyll). Their aims are to promote the positive mental health and well-being of children, particularly those impacted by anxiety, adverse experiences, developmental trauma, and or experiencing additional needs. They work in a range of schools and have their own therapeutic space; offering play therapy, counselling, children's yoga, therapeutic movement, creative therapy groups, parent support, attachment focused family therapy and mental health and well-being education in schools. The CalMac Community Fund will support the group with resources to invest in their facility ensuring a welcoming and useable space for visiting families.

Fyne Futures offer volunteer and wage-based opportunities to support local people to engage in environmentally friendly activities. Their project, supported by the CalMac Community Fund, will focus on upskilling members of staff, and the development of product templates. This will allow Fyne Futures to run a series of workshops based around raising awareness of using waste as resource. They hope their beneficiaries will experience increased social interaction, improving their mental health and wellbeing.

Since its launch in 2019 the CalMac Community Fund has helped 195 groups with:

  • Health and Wellbeing outcomes including improved mental health, improved self-esteem and increased physical activity.

  • Social and Community outcomes including greater access to local community and social activities, development of new friendships and development of new life skills.

  • Education and Skills outcomes including improved teamwork and communication.

  • Employment and Volunteering outcomes including the generation of 903 volunteering hours.

Projects supported by the Fund have engaged with over 4,500 people living in our communities. Recent research has forecasted that for every pound awarded through the CalMac Community Fund, communities' benefit from a social return of £7.32. It is expected to deliver £965,467.88 of value over two years.

Reeni Kennedy-Boyle of Fyne Futures said: "The CalMac Community Fund is a great way to tap into a small grant that can have big impact for our community. For Fyne Futures it means being able to upskill our team and offer a new experience for people to engage with for personal and environmental benefit."

Gordon McKillop, CalMac's Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, added: "The CalMac Community Fund exists to benefit the lives of people living in our communities, and we are continuing to see its impact and value. We are excited to see the benefits from the projects we have supported this year including opportunities for young people living with additional support needs to engage in swimming on Islay, a soup group in Tarbert Loch Fyne for over 60-year-olds and Harris Voluntary Services' Musical Memories engages people on the island living with dementia.

We are pleased with the Community Fund's reach and look forward to the supporting worthy causes in the future."

You can find more information about the successful projects by visiting:

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