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CalMac Community Fund makes a difference in Largs

Groups in Largs have benefited from awards made by the CalMac Community Fund.

Age Concern Largs offer activities that support accessibility, reducing isolation and supporting connection among over 60s. The CalMac Community Fund will support improved accessibility in the outdoors area within the centre. The outside area also affords increased comfort to those members who are concerned about covid. The provision will support continued opportunities for increased socialisation, connection and reduction in isolation, supporting improved well-being, especially for those nervous to return to indoor settings. Over 150 people will directly benefit from this project.

Largs Station Community Garden have converted a disused rail track in Largs into a vibrant community garden. The group's main work is the upkeep of their two gardens, which the CalMac Community Fund will support, and engaging with the community. The group has around 50 volunteers who are the beneficiaries of the project. Volunteers gain a sense of community and achievement, those who do not have a garden have a chance to take part, and many gain a sense of fulfilment through participation. Volunteers enjoy the social aspect of the group, and they state that their bereaved volunteers especially enjoy purposeful activity and company. Others with physical, mental health or emotional needs find that these are met by working outdoors and enjoying community conviviality. 

Since its launch in 2019 the CalMac Community Fund has helped 195 groups and supported more than 11,000 people during challenging circumstances with:

  • Health and Wellbeing outcomes including changes to people's physical health, psychological and emotional well-being

  • Social and Community outcomes including improved social engagement and cohesion, reduction of isolation and increased cultural awareness

  • Education and Skills outcomes including improved teamwork and communication and new technical, recreational and life skills

  • Employment and Volunteering outcomes including changes to employment opportunities and the generation of 1,734 volunteering hours

  • Environmental outcomes including raising awareness of local environmental issues and challenges and promoting sustainable living.

This year The Fund, delivered in partnership with Foundation Scotland, will help people connect with services and each other, and especially helping those who are most in need. The Fund would like to support groups and projects working to reduce social isolation, improve health and wellbeing, address poverty issues, and those supporting local and community transport.

Eligible organisations can apply for an award between £500 and £2,000.

Gordon McKillop, CalMac's Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, said: "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 Funds reach and welcome local groups to apply to the Fund now."

Laura Berrisford, Funds Adviser at Foundation Scotland, said: "We are delighted to be supporting the CalMac Community Fund again this year. It's been exciting to see the real difference awards from this fund have been making to these groups in Largs, and to communities across the entire CalMac network. We're looking forward to hearing from organisations' seeking funding through this year's programme, and finding out about the brilliant work going on to support communities on key issues up and down the country"

You can find more information about the Fund by visiting:

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