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Latest Awards

Cobhair Bharraigh SCIO 

Cobhair Bharraigh (Help Barra) provides day care to people on the islands of Barra and Vatersay. They provide services for the elderly, including people living with dementia, people living in isolation and the islands most vulnerable. Service users spend time with their peers, out with the confines of their own homes, in a safe and caring environment. They provide a hot, two course meal is provided, along with the opportunity to participate in a range of activities. All the service users are collected from home using an escorted accessible bus, provided by Voluntary Action Barra and Vatersay Community Transport Service. The CalMac Community Fund will enable the project to continue with support towards transportation. 

Margaret ann Beggs, Care Services Manager said: "Cobhair Bharraigh SCIO are delighted to have secured an award towards transport costs to allow service users to access the day care centre. This aims to reduce social isolation and improving health and wellbeing."

Dunvegan & District Senior Citizens Club 

Dunvegan & District Senior Citizens Club (DDSCC) with the support of the CalMac Community Fund will continue to provide opportunities for older people living in Skye to meet up regularly, have lunch and go on trips. This project supports the health and wellbeing of older people living in an isolated island community. It provides regular social opportunities, helping to address issues of loneliness and isolation. The frequency of the activities supports the development of friendships, helps older people to develop a support network and promotes inclusion. 

Richard Wood said: "All the members of Dunvegan and District Senior Citizens Club would like to thank the CalMac Community Fund for the generous award granted to us. 

"This award will be used to ensure the continuing success of our club which has been running now for many years, providing an opportunity for senior citizens living in the Dunvegan area, to meet for a lunch and social gathering. In addition, it will help to fund outings to other areas of the island during the year." 

Iona Village Hall Community Trust 

Iona Village Hall offers a broad range of recreational activities, from toddler groups and fitness classes to weddings. Membership is open to all 170 island residents and the hall is utilised by locals and visitors alike. CalMac's Fund will support the halls Island Living Room project. This will comprise three to five drop-in sessions per week of around four hours each in the village hall for 22 weeks over the winter period. At this time of year all other local hospitality spaces are closed and opportunities for socialising become limited in this remote island location. The drop-in sessions are intended as a chance for island residents to spend time in a heated community space, either to work, socialise or just relax and have respite from cold homes which are often hard to heat. The project will be open to Iona's 170 residents and is a direct response to community feedback about hall service provision. 

Anja Jardine, Chair IVHCT: "We are delighted to receive an award from the CalMac Community Fund in support of our 'island living room' informal/drop-in sessions over the winter months. This will be a space where people can socialise, relax or work in the warm village hall whilst island hospitality settings are closed. We hope that these sessions will help to promote community relationships & wellbeing, and reduce isolation in the winter months whilst taking the edge of those heating bills."

Lorn and Oban Healthy Options 

Lorn & Oban Healthy Options aims to help people in this community manage long term health conditions and lead healthier lives. This work is undertaken by specialist staff who use a person-centred approach to tailor advice, support and interventions such as exercise classes, walking groups and gym sessions to clients. The CalMac Community Fund will support a hardship Support  Fund to help its clients to access its services. The Support Fund project would mean the group could assist those service users who face barriers to participation, such as transport difficulties, lack of IT equipment for accessing online fitness classes, or the need for counselling to support their mental health. Recipients of this fund would be identified by trained support staff when new referrals are discussed at regular meetings. 

Clachan Sands Community Hub 

Clachan Sands Community Hub is working to renovate an old BT phone box to create a community 'hub' which will be a space where the community can share local information and raise awareness and enhance participation in community life through organised events. 

Lismore Gaelic Heritage Centre 

Lismore Gaelic Heritage Centre is responding to local community consultation and is being supported with funding, from the CalMac Community Fund, to enable a series of Sunday Afternoon/Evening concerts over the winter months. They aim to entertain, educate, and become a regular social gathering to reduce social isolation and increase community cohesion.  

MacDougall of Dunollie Preservation Trust 

The CalMac Community Fund is enabling Dunollie Preservation Trust through their Dunollie Links social impact programme to support two groups it runs to encourage better health and wellbeing among children, young people and adults in the local community. 

"The Staff and Trustees at Dunollie Museum, Castle & Grounds are delighted to receive a CalMac Community Fund award, which will be used towards our Dunollie Links Community Programme over the winter months. The activities funded will help improve wellbeing and reduce social isolation for the participants. Our thanks to CalMac for helping us to continue this work, which helps community members from Oban and the surrounding area."

Seann Eolaich 

Seann Eolaich are a new group, which formed in early 2022 to offer unpaid carers a chance to come together. They particularly focus on support for carers who have lost a loved one or have had a loved one move into care, to help them move forward with their lives. Unpaid carers can be lonely, feel isolated, struggle financially, and have limited social life - none of these issues just stop when their caring role ends or changes. The CalMac Community Fund will allow the group to deliver their work and benefit their service users wellbeing for one full year. 

Tagsa Uibhist 

The CalMac Community Fund are supporting Tagsa Uibhist's community garden. The award will contribute to the salary of a part time community gardens assistant for the community gardens project. The project provides opportunities for individuals, families and groups to enjoy gardening and grow healthy food for their own consumption. The site includes allotments and offers horticultural sessions and workshops to groups. The focus is on health, wellbeing, therapeutic activities and support. More vulnerable individuals receive help to take part in the activities. 

Olivia MacLenna of Tagsa Uibhist: "On tackling our communities need & demand for reducing social isolation, and improving mental health, we at Tagsa Community Gardens, offer our nurturing, garden environment for the benefit of community members who most need and appreciate this wonderful space, offering regular, outdoor, garden activities, whilst simultaneously allowing for social interaction amongst our volunteers and growing a wide range of healthy and nutritious food for the Uist folk."

Uist Community Riding School 

The Fund will support the Riding School with core and equipment costs and in turn benefit the wellbeing of the group's participants. Horse riding has been proven to provide many health benefits to anyone interacting with horses, and that the already have vulnerable adults who attend and interact with the horses on a weekly basis to improve their health and wellbeing.  

Urras Coimhearsnachd Bhràdhagair agus Àrnoil 

CalMac will enable Bragar and Arnol Community Trust deliver a Festive Events programme including a Christmas party for children, a community Christmas evening, and a cèilidh/concert. They are also planning to deliver approximately twenty free food bags at Christmas to those in the community who are isolated and/or vulnerable. 

Western Isles Citizens Advice Service 

WICAS operates across all island groups, with bases in Barra, Uist, Harris & Lewis. They provide a citizens advice service to all members of the community, offering telephone, online and face to face appointments. Topics include, but are not limited to, benefits, money advice, legal, patient advice, pension advice, and energy issues. CalMac's Fund will support the group distribute food/fuel vouchers to clients who are most in need across the Western Isles. In turn, tackle the cost-of-living crisis and alleviate poverty. 

Hector MacLeod, Strategic Manager: "WICAS are very grateful to CalMac for this award, which will allow us to provide additional support to our clients in most need during these difficult times. Living in the Western Isle brings its own additional challenges, over and above the current cost of living crisis, and we are very appreciative that CalMac are providing this additional assistance to our communities"

Arran Community Land Initiative 

The Arran Community Land Initiative fosters participation in land-based education, recreation and sport. In addition to a community garden, allotments, polytunnels, and apiary, they run an extensive tree planting programme and have constructed paths for all to enjoy the wider site. They run weekly gardening sessions with a hands-on approach, and everyone is welcome regardless of age or level of experience. Volunteers are able to take produce home and 'delivery boxes' are distributed by social workers to targeted individuals and families on the island. CalMac's support will allow the group to invest in equipment to allow volunteers to engage in the project and reduce social isolation and improve wellbeing among volunteers and beneficiaries.

Nick Burgess, Chair of Arran Community Land Initiative: "This award enables Arran Community Land Initiative to purchase a sickle bar mower and improve our publicity for the site. In particular to maintain and improve health and well being by maintaining paths and access better and also by reducing growth around newly planted trees thereby increasing their survival rate to promote biodiversity and carbon capture. Part of the award will also go towards improving publicity in general of the community land and the availability of organic produce from the community garden".

Campbeltown Picture House 

The CalMac Community Fund will support the Cans Film Festival. The Fund supported this project previously and agreed to continued support due to the need and increased demand for the Kintyre Foodbank. The Foodbank has 63 clients who regularly use their service. In September 2022, they supported 66 adults and 22 children. This is a significant increase from last year - in the whole of October 2021 they had a total of 25 visits and had exceeded this number in the first 10 days of October 2022. This project will tackle poverty and wellbeing. 

Cove and Kilcreggan Youth Café 

Cove and Kilcreggan Youth Cafe provide an alcohol and drug-free meeting space for young people in Kilcreggan. They organise regular social sessions, where young people can come together and 'hang out', all overseen by an experienced youth worker. The CalMac Community Fund will support the retention in employment of their Youth Worker delivers water sports, football, special effects make up sessions, street dancing, snow sports sessions, and climbing wall sessions. In recent years they have also opened a skate park on an old tennis court which has been very well received. CKYC have an open door policy and foster a non-judgmental environment, where young people can socialise or seek advice and support. The facility is open for 3 sessions a week all year round. 

Islay & Jura Community Enterprises Limited 

Trading as the Mactaggart Leisure Centre, the group provides a wide range of sporting, leisure, educational, and social services/activities for the island communities of Islay & Jura. The CalMac Community Fund will support the group tackle the cost of living by bringing expert advice to the island rather than supporting people to access advice on the mainland. For example, Argyll & Lomond Energy Initiative to deliver support ways of saving and reducing energy costs; Argyll Community Housing Association support people in debt and experiencing poverty/trauma; Citizens Advice will help people maximise income & review or access any benefit entitlement including universal credit and Islay & Jura Credit Union will help people save and borrow money from a trusted source. 50 people will benefit from the support. 

Gary Scott of MacTaggart Leisure Centre said: "The cost of living crisis is serious and is affecting everyone, especially our more vulnerable & disadvantaged groups on Islay & Jura. Funding from the CalMac Community Fund will help these people access the support and advice they need in order to get through the winter" 

Kilmory Bus 

The Kilmory Community Bus supports local residents to access transport, particularly in communities where there is limited public transport available. The bus is a community asset that is well used for a range of community activities. The CalMac Community Fund will enable children learning to swim by providing accessible, reliable transport. Without this project going ahead some children may miss out on the opportunity if their parents are unable to provide transport.

Amanda MacDonald of Kilmory Bus said: "Grateful thanks to CalMac for supporting Kilmory Community Bus. This community transport has been run by volunteers for the last 30 years and is a valuable asset to the island improving social isolation and connecting people."

Isle of Arran Music School  

The Music School build relationships and improves mental health and reduces social isolation among their young participants. They believe that making music in groups has wider social value besides the development of individual friendships, providing opportunities to communicate and connect with other people and create a sense of belonging. As Arran is a large area with a small population, there is a high chance of social isolation which bringing the children together through the club can help combat. The CalMac Community Fund will support the group with equipment costs and support the sustainability of the group. 

Kintyre Recycling Ltd 

Kintyre Recycling Ltd has been delivering opportunities and support for people who face barriers to employment through waste management services for the Kintyre Community for over 20 years. Support from the CalMac Community Fund will support their school uniform recycling project for one year. KRL has developed a project to reuse school uniforms with the aim of reducing waste and supporting low income families to order and receive reused uniforms free of charge. The core aim of this project is to reduce waste and to reduce the financial stress to families, especially during what it going to be a very difficult year financially. Beyond this, the project also aims to remove the stigma of using second had items, by showing this a positive way of supporting climate change, that children could connect with."

Tricia McNicol-Cook: "Kintyre Recycling was formed as a response to the need for inclusive employment for those with special needs. The community-led organisation delivers opportunities and support for people who are facing barriers to employment. In addition to creating employment opportunities, Kintyre Recycling also supports the community through a number of programmes, including the charity's current drive to provide school uniforms for families in need.  The award from CalMac will be used to enable Kintyre Recycling Limited to work along with Argyll and Bute Council in delivering the School Uniform Project in the Kintyre area. The aim of this project is to work towards the reduction of waste, whilst helping families with the cost of school uniforms for their children from Nursery up to senior school age. The company collects, sorts, organises cleaning and presenting used uniform items for collection from the Kintyre Recycling's' Hazelburn premises in Campbeltown. This has created an employment opportunity for a member of staff who was encountering some issues due to learning difficulties in finding suitable work in Campbeltown. This person is now currently employed to work for 2 days each week on this project. 

"KRL would like to say thank you to CalMac for supporting us with this donation. Gestures like this enable our team to help more people in our community."

Starter Packs Inverclyde 

Starter Packs Inverclyde provide basic household items such as bedding, towels, crockery, pots and pans, cleaning and hygiene items, kettles, toasters, and so on. These are mostly to people who have been homeless who are moving into a new tenancy with nothing but are also available to 'New Scots' (refugees from countries including Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine etc.) moving the area. The CalMac Community Fund will help Starter Packs provide warm blankets and hot water bottles through the winter months. CalMac's support will provide 130 hot water bottles and 135 blankets. These items will be added to their Starter Packs and provided to new referrals over the winter months. 

June of Starter Packs Incerclyde: "The funding from CalMac will enable us to provide warm blankets and hot water bottles to individuals and families moving into a new tenancy after a period of homelessness. This will tackle poverty and make a huge difference to the people we help."

Tarbert Soup Group 

The Tarbert Soup Group provides recreational activities for members of the local community. The main activity of the group is a bi-weekly lunch club for elderly residents on a Monday and Friday attended by 20-25 members each day. The service has recently evolved, due to the current economic climate, and now also deliver an essential foodbank every Wednesday between 12-2pm where people can have tea and cake, and then choose food items they require to take home. This is used by both members of the lunch club but also other members of the community as well. The foodbank has supported as many 172 people in one week and numbers fluctuate depending on pay days and when benefits are due. The CalMac Community Fund will support the annual rent of the premises to allow the services to continue in premises suitable to donate and store food, in compliance with food safety standards. Securing running costs will ensure they can continue to support a minimum of 50 people per week with the lunch club and foodbank. They are expecting the demand to further increase due to the cost of living crisis, and the additional effects this will have during the winter months, especially with electricity prices soaring people are already choosing between food and heating, in some cases going without both. 

Heather Bellshaw of Tarbert Soup Group: "Tarbert Pantry is delighted to be supported by CalMac at this very challenging time. The cost of living in our small rural community is much higher than in more urban areas where there is a choice of shops. 

"We aim to alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty of this by providing food at our pantry foodbank and a warm welcome to each and every person coming along". 

Branchton Community Centre 

The CalMac Community Fund will support Branchton Community Center deliver its 'Don't Leave Anyone Behind' project. This will comprise workshops aimed at the junior and senior youth groups at the Centre to educate them about social inclusion and the effects of poverty, as well as a trip to the pantomime for all members of the youth groups, and two Christmas movie nights with snacks and a selection box, which will be offered to the wider community as well as the groups. The charity hopes this project will teach young people valuable skills, and also offer them some festive treats and cheer in what for many local families will be a very difficult Christmas financially. Up to 120 young people will benefit from the project. 

Cairdean og Allt nan Gall 

Cairdean og Allt nan Gall (CAG) is a social group for older people in the Point area of Lewis. The group provides a social and educational function to help improve the quality of life of older people in Point, focusing on reduction of isolation and improvement of mental health. The Fund will support the group with running costs to deliver its activities allowing people, many of whom are experiencing fuel poverty, to connect with one another and engage in social activities to reduce isolation. 

Duncan Don, on behalf of Cairdean og Allt nan Gall: "We are indebted to the CalMac Community Fund for the generous support we have received. The aim of the group is to prevent social isolation in the community and the award will help towards the cost of the hire of the meeting hall, insurance and organised day trips." 

Stress Monkey Club CIC 

The Fund will support 'Time to Dance' which aims to create an inclusive environment for all, particularly those who have been isolated whether by age, illness or other reasons, and bringing people closer to their communities. Attendees don't have to dance, but are still encouraged to come along, have some tea and cake and socialise. Some of the funding would also go towards hosting online Rhythm for Life movement classes specifically for people living with dementia and their carers, who cannot attend the in-person Time to Dance programme. These will be delivered online live from one of the care homes in the area and will rotate to different care homes each week in order to encourage greater engagement. 

Louise Davidson of Stress Monkey commented: "Time to Dance is a great way to stay connected, tackle social isolation, and support those who need it most! It's a fun life affirming way to enhance inclusive community engagement." 

Tong Recreation Association 

CalMac will support the weekly Ceilidh group which provides a warm and safe space for people in the community to help combat the cost-of-living crisis but have blossomed into a project that has helped people to make connections - reducing social isolation, and as a way of helping people by providing a therapeutic way to tell stories. By continuing with this project, they hope they will continue to see these benefits, with the additional outcome of being able to record the event and people's stories for future posterity. 

Failte Centre 

The Failte Centre provides a space for 29 local clubs to hire, ranging from a weekly lunch club for older people, an autism support group, a dementia support group, baby and toddler groups, and various church groups. Each group uses the venue regularly for their activities, ranging from weekly, fortnightly, quarterly to annual basis. Over 800 people attend the clubs and, including those who hire the function rooms for private parties and other events, about 22,000 per year use the centre. The Fund will support the centre with operating costs to continue to benefit the lives of people using the centre. 

Breasclete Junior Youth Club 

Breasclete Junior Youth Club aims is to help and educate girls and boys through their leisure time activities, including provision of social experiences they may not have access to otherwise. It serves a cluster of villages comprised of Breasclete, Tolsta Chaolais, Calanias, Garynahine and Lochganvich which have a combined total of around 350 residents. The Fund will support the group with transport to Lewis Sports Centre and upgrades to storage facilities. 

Lewis and Harris Youth Football Association 

Lewis and Harris Youth Football Association create opportunities for young people living in the Western Isles to participate in football and CalMac will support their under 13s players travel to and train with a professional football club on the mainland. 

Horshader Community Development Trust 

The Fund will support the popular Blasta (Tasty in Gaelic) Lunches which was a regular lunch club for over 65s living on the Westside of Lewis providing a hot meal and some companionship to overcome social isolation and to improve mental health and wellbeing. They also plan to deliver hot meals to the elderly who may not be able to leave their house. They will also provide transport to and from lunch via the community minibus to improve access. Approximately 50 elderly people will benefit. 

Carole Miller of Horshader Community Development said: "We are delighted to receive an award from the CalMac Community Fund in support of our Blasta Lunch Club project. During these difficult times it's great to have a company that not only provides a transport lifeline to the community but is also committed to helping improve social isolation and malnutrition in our community by way of supporting our lunch clubs." 

Ness Sports and Recreation Association 

CalMac will support up to six months' worth of subsidised sporting activities for 40 young people aged between 12-17 years, comprising weekly mountain biking sessions in Stornoway, regular gym instruction/access and weekly evening five-a-side football sessions for both boys and girls. These activities are very popular but at full cost, are mainly unaffordable to local teenagers. These sessions aim to decrease anti-social behaviour amongst some of the local teenagers by providing them with healthy, structured activity and will improve the fitness and mental health of all participants. 

P2B Community Association 

The Fund will support P2B Community Association to provide a year-round warm and activities hub for vulnerable members of the community of the Parkend to Branahuie areas of Lewis. The provision of a social warm, safe space and some food on a regular basis will benefit vulnerable members of the community- not just the elderly, but also potentially single parents and young people impacted by the costs of living criss who may be struggling with mental health issues relating to poverty. By making the space open access to all, it could encourage greater inter-generational contact and community cohesion. 

Stornoway Running and Athletics Club 

CalMac will support the club to widen accessibility of the club on the island and reduce social isolation in a geographically isolated community by supporting the club to upskill volunteers to drive the club's minibus. In turn, ensuring the club can travel to as many events as possible and allowing young talent to compete as much as possible, as well as enhancing the day to day running of the club. 

Alison Robertson of Stornoway Running and Athletics Club Comments: "We are grateful for CalMac's support to help with transport across our communities.  The club provides opportunities for runners and athletes at all levels to get fitter, compete and have fun together across the islands and on the mainland.   The most environmentally friendly way to transport a group is by minibus, but minibuses require skilled drivers. CalMac are providing an award to fund driver training." 

The Shed Project 

The Fund will support the Shed Project to pilot a work experience and life-skill-building programme for young people on Lewis. This will complement the traditional offering in school, which has currently been paused in Stornoway. The group state that unemployment in young people on Lewis is higher than other comparable economies elsewhere in Scotland. The group therefore consulted with its young members where 86% of respondents stated they would like to learn life skills and grow in confidence. The project will support around 15 young people. 

Matthew MacNeil, Youth and Schools Development Manager. "The Pilot Project at The Shed Youthwork are so appreciative of the support received this year from the CalMac Community Fund. 

"The award that CalMac have made has enabled us to work in partnership with the management team and Community Education department at the Nicolson Institute/Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, collaborating with the business community and local employers to provide a programme of life skills for pupils in S5-6." 

An Talla Solais 

An Talla Solais provides a number of creative projects in the community - including with schools, individuals with physical/mental health needs, those in care settings and other voluntary groups.  The Fund will support the group deliver six mindfulness and creativity workshops to combat loneliness and social isolation. 

'An Talla Solais is an art centre based in Ullapool.  The project that CalMac have funded will provide creative activities for our community which will address social isolation and wellbeing by providing a inspiring six-week programme of activities.  We are thrilled with our award and are looking forward to delivering a great project.' Mhairi Muncaster, Creative Development Manager 

Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band 

CalMac will support the group's travel and accommodation costs to compete in the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow in August providing 29 young band members with experience of competing at an international level. The band believe that the Championships will benefit young people's confidence and socialisation skills and lessen their sense of isolation. 

Comann Eachdraidh Eirisgeidh 

The Fund will support monthly lunch events to provide community members of all ages with an activity that will help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness incurred partly because of Covid. It is hoped that this activity will provide an opportunity for people to meet in a warm environment and enjoy the company of others who have common interests and exchange stories that will be recorded to provide a rich cultural heritage. In doing so, the sessions will provide a small respite from energy bills in the coming months whilst also reducing social isolation around a shared interest and a meal. 

Bun-Sgoil Shleite  

The CalMac Community Fund will support Bun-Sgoil Shleite deliver swimming lessons for the rurally isolated young people of Sleat Primary School. 

Portree Youth Club 

The Fund will support Portree Youth Club by hiring a Youth Worker to lead the project's activities and engage young people who identified a need for a non-sports or arts group to meet and socialise. The impact of the project would be an enhancement of a new service provision for young people being offered in a remote island location with a dearth of similar activities available. The youth club intends to offer opportunities for young people to connect and reduce social isolation. 


CalMac will support the SEALL for All project which will distribute free tickets for live stage performances in remote rural locations in Skye. SEALL hopes the project will uphold its belief that no one should be denied access to quality performance and that all members of rural communities should be able to attend SEALL's events at a venue near them. The project represents a midstream approach, having identified a section of the community not benefitting from SEALL's services due to deprivation and seeking to address this.   

Uig Church of Scotland 

The Fund will support Coibhneas Còmhla: a monthly lunch and art class for those in the community who are vulnerable, who have cognitive challenges, and who are socially isolated. The project aims to reduce social isolation, improve mental health and raise awareness and acceptance in the community of cognitive challenges. It also aims to improve services available within remote and isolated communities, strengthening support and providing opportunities for members to create friendships. 

Rag Tag and Textile 

CalMac's Community Fund will support Rag Tag and Textile deliver cost free craft classes for people experiencing mental ill-health or isolation in the Skye locality. The project will offer an opportunity for people whose mental health is not great for a variety of reasons, specifically social withdrawal due to Covid-19 and rural isolation, to access Rag Tag's services.   

Gill Terry, Director at Rag Tag and Textile, said: "We are delighted to have received support from the CalMac Community Fund for our project to run public craft workshops in Broadford on Mondays in 2023. The workshop sessions are open to all, and are free of charge, and will introduce participants to a range of new and exciting craft skills. The sessions will also help to reduce social isolation and loneliness, and act as a Warm Space for the day." 

Argyll Wellbeing Hub 

CalMac will enable activities for their men's and women's groups, and some joint activities. These activities include weekly local nature walks, a boat trip to Mull, Iona and Staffa, a cinema trip, a day trip to the Isle of Mull, and a 6-week block of exercise workshops. They will also run 6 x monthly 'Big Island Walks' over the summer months on Mull, Iona, Lismore, Kerrera, Luing and Easdale Island. The project will take place over 12 months and all existing members will be invited to participate. AWH will also extend the invitation to members of the local community, and Oban High School. The group expects 150 people to benefit from this project. The project aims to improve wellbeing. 

Hebridean Pursuits Outdoor Learning 

Oban-based Hebridean Pursuits Outdoor Learning offer tailored activities, year-round residentials and DofE expeditions and are specialists in working with disadvantaged young people aged 5-26 years. In particular, they work with young carers, vulnerable young adults, refugees, minority ethnic groups and the LGBT+ community, with the aim of making a positive difference to their lives. CalMac will enable two, three-day sessions, each for five vulnerable S2 pupils aged 12/13 from Oban High School receiving extra support for multiple issues from the school's family liaison officers. The sessions will be designed to help and encourage them further to reach their potential. 

Geraldine Deignan, Chairperson: "Hebridean Pursuits Outdoor Learning (HPOL) is so very grateful for the generous funding provided by the CalMac Community Fund that supports our work with young people from the Oban High School. In sharing challenging outdoor experiences our Young People build confidence, learn both self reliance and how to work together. They walk away having made lasting friendships." 

Pennyghael Community Hall 

The Hall has been closed for renovation for some time and the CalMac Community Fund will support the group to purchase outdoor equipment to allow them to continue to engage their rurally isolated community. In turn, reduce social isolation and improve the wellbeing of people living in South Mull.  

Charlotte Lines commented: "Pennyghael Community Hall is delighted to receive an award from the CalMac Community Fund. With this award, we have been able to make the hall a place for everyone to get involved and come along to events to try preventing social isolation. We also aim to help people's mental and physical health & wellbeing by getting out, seeing neighbours and friends but also making new friends while at hall events." 

Comunn Gaidhealach Mhuile 

The CalMac Community Fund will contribute to the cost of venue hire, tuition and tutor travel costs for three singing workshops for children aged 5-18 allowing them to learn and improve singing skills, build confidence and expand their social networks. 

Solar Thiriodh

CalMac will support Solar Thiriodh to purchase a second freezer and food vouchers for local people in need. The group work in partnership with the Co-op and receive free food that would otherwise be going to waste - including food that can be frozen and distributed. By purchasing an additional freezer it will allow them to store more produce, and to ensure less wastage - increasing their ability to help local families in need. The food vouchers are to support individuals in emergency need. They estimate approximately 30 people will benefit. 

Jackie Jones of Solar Thiriodh commented: "Solar Thiriodh is delighted to receive an award from the CalMac Community Fund for a second freezer. We began life at the start of the pandemic to help with the cost-of-living crisis on Tiree, including the distribution of FareShare frozen food from the island´s Coop. This extra freezer capacity will allow us to provide a better service to the households we support."

Craignure Village Hall 

The CalMac Community Fund will provide the opportunity for the maintenance, improved and continued use of a local community space, which without investment of both finance and time, will likely be lost. 

Oban Youth Café 

CalMac will contribute to the running costs of a new weekly youth group for S1 pupils within the cafe. Oban Youth Cafe hopes to form a group which will meet once a week for an hour and a half and will be staffed by at least 2-3 staff. Activities will include crafting and cooking and there is a pool table, Xbox, Wii and board games to use. It is hoped that the group will help the transition of S1 children into high school and help build friendships while learning new skills, the project will benefit S1 pupils by fostering connection across the year group, especially for those who have to live away from home during the week to attend school. It is estimated 187 young people will benefit from this new group. 

Rhinns Bumps Babies and Beyond 

Rhinns Bumps Babies and Beyond was established in 2021 following the pandemic to address the social isolation issues faced by parents and children living in a rural area with limited local support; the nearest baby group requiring a 24-mile round trip to Bowmore. CalMac will support core costs including venue hire and insurance. The project will continue to allow the group to build community relationships as well as combatting social isolation and improving the mental health of parents and young children. Roughly 10 families will benefit from the project.   

Mary Redman of Rhinns Bumps Babies and Beyond commented: "We were delighted to receive an award from the CalMac Community Fund. The award will allow us to continue to provide a place for mother's and young children to meet, make new friendships and tackle social isolation in the rural community. Being a new parent can be lonely in normal times, but especially so after lockdown and enforced social distancing. The 'Rhinns Bumps Babies and Beyond' group was set up in 2021 following the pandemic and subsequent baby boom!  

The grant will be used to cover our running costs, meaning any and all fundraising we do going forwards can be used to create events, fund outings, buy materials and further enrich the wellbeing of the members of our group." 

Skipness Village Hall 

The Skipness Village Hall serves the communities of Claonaig and Skipness. CalMac will support exercise classes for the residents of Skipness and Claonaig. The project aims to improve social contact opportunities during challenging economic times. Improve access to fitness and wellbeing classes and foster a community spirit with inclusive activities. 

Islay Natural History Trust 

CalMac will support social events including talks, walks and outings focusing on temperate rainforest, bats, bees, peatlands, wildflowers, geology, shoreside etc. The project reduce isolation by providing opportunities for people to get together including people who may experience additional barriers to taking part (as transport will be provided for those who need it). It will enhance health and wellbeing by providing group activities that are based in the outdoors and nature. It will increase use of and access to Baptist Church Bowmore community transport. And it will increase knowledge and awareness of local nature and pride in the local natural environment and all it offers.   

Jura Playground Association 

Jura Playground Association provide or assist in the provision of play areas in Jura. They bring together parents and individuals to campaign for the creation of safe environments for children, and to fundraise for the appropriate upkeep and maintenance - which the CalMac Community Fund will support. Through this provision, they hope it will benefit all families across Jura. The main impact will be for the playground to remain in a condition where it can be safely utilised all year round. From this, they hope that young people and their families can continue to utilise the space, and benefit from the health and wellbeing benefits that come from being outside and active. 

Colintraive Village Hall 

CalMac will support the Village Hall to deliver a 'Winter Warm Space'. This will provide local residents with a space to meet and socialise and keep warm without worrying about their own utility bills. The project would help to reduce people's own energy use over the winter months. The Hall is a key focal point in a rural community, and the project would help to bring people together and reduce loneliness. It will also help to reduce anxiety people have about the cost-of-living crisis, by providing one day a week when people do not have to worry about heating their homes. This will also have a secondary benefit on people's physical health and wellbeing through the benefits of staying warm. 

Rosalyn McKenna of Colintraive Village Hall: "Social isolation and loneliness is a real problem here and any opportunity to meet is very welcome. The hall committee have gone above and beyond to make sure everyone has been included as much as they possibly could. 

"Between Covid, cost of living crisis and rising fuel bills it is a very challenging time for all of us but especially in fragile places like this it is especially so. I'm sure I speak for everyone in that we are very grateful to CalMac for providing funding to enable the events to take place." 

Corrie Primary School and Early Year Class Parent Council 

The Fund will enable the whole school to attend swimming lessons. The group believe swimming is a vital life skill, but also an important tool to encourage fun, healthy lifestyle, with all the health and safety benefits that being able to swim brings for their island community. 

Inverclyde Shed 

The CalMac Community Fund will support Inverclyde Shed's community garden in Gourock with funding for tools, equipment and training costs to increase gardening and skills transfer opportunities. The community garden aims to alleviate social isolation and loneliness and provide opportunities for building friendships for a wide variety of people. 

"The CalMac Community Fund's support for our Shore Street Community garden project will help keep the garden and its volunteers active with new tools, safety equipment and skills training. The garden, located near CalMac's Gourock Offices provides a space to improve wellbeing & tackling social isolation by encouraging local people to keep active, build friendships and learn new skills. Surplus food produced goes to tackling cost of living, food inequality & poverty - the garden supplies regular veg boxes to other local good causes including the local food pantry, elderly care homes and local warm spaces." Bruce Newlands on behalf of The Inverclyde Shed. 

St Peter's Children Centre 

St Peter's Children's Centre are an Ardrossan based parent and toddler group for families with children under three years. They aim to provide a welcoming, safe, stimulating and warm environment where children, parents and carers will feel valued and supported. They aim to promote friendships and play skills for children and among the adults who care for them. CalMac will support Boogie Babies which intends to promotes confidence and well- being through promotion of bonding and attachment through movement and music. It promotes confidence and self-esteem and encourages learning. The activity promotes social skills, language development awareness and musical appreciation. The project will allow parents who otherwise could not access services like this, the opportunity to participate. 

Three Towns and District Men's Shed 

The Three Towns and District Men's Shed provide recreational facilities and advance the social needs, health and wellbeing of men of all ages and backgrounds. An award from the Fund will allow the group to purchase a 3D printer. As a result, it is hoped that this project will offer two tangible benefits. Provide members with the opportunity to learn new, practical 3D printing skills. In the second instance, the technology will allow the Shed to produce and cut custom components and items for disabled residents. 

Jim Ingils, on behalf of Three Towns and District Men's Shed: "Following our recent award from CalMac we hope to introduce new members and along with existing members to train them to use the machines to help improve their mental health and well being while providing a social atmosphere to combat loneliness and  isolation. We also hope to produce items that will be beneficial to other groups in the local community." 

Three Towns Growers 

The Three Towns Growers operates an allotment and community garden, which is accessed by over 700 

people a year. Support from the CalMac Community Fund will support costs related to the fit out of a new 'community hub' at the Ardrossan allotments. This hub will allow TTG to have groups and workshops, a warm place to come and learn about cooking the produce grown onsite, and link in with the food poverty and food banks. It will also be a useful space for casual and drop-in meetings for members and volunteers. 

Clyde Coast & Cumbrae Mens Shed 

Clyde Coast & Cumbraes Men's Shed aim is improve men's mental health and reduce loneliness by providing a venue where members can get together, learn new skills, and pursue interests. This often takes the form of DIY/repair work but can be any hobbies that local members wish to pursue. An award from the the CalMac Community Fund will allow the group to purchase equipment to meet the demand of an increasing membership. The Shed is a place where men can make new friends, have a cuppa, a chat, a laugh, and get out of the house for a while to help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation, and generally re-engage members back into the community following a range of reasons including retirement and bereavement.   

Cowal Play and Family Therapy 

Cowal Play and Family Therapy focuses on providing support for children and their families facing challenging and traumatic circumstances. A range of support services are provided including family therapy, therapeutic yoga and movement, bereavement support groups, creative therapy, play therapy and emotional wellbeing support in schools. Support is provided online, at their premises and in school settings, working with between 30 and 60 children per week. The Fund will improve multiple aspects of their premises to make it more fit for purpose and welcoming for children and their families.   

Arran Pioneer Project 

The Arran Pioneer Project has established community gardens across Arran. The aim arose at the beginning of lockdown, to create publicly accessible green spaces that use nature-led design to grow a variety of different produce for community education and consumption, while helping the island to be more self-sustaining. CalMac's Fund will allow the group to purchase the compost, seeds, plants, tools and garden sundries that are required across all community garden sites for the season. They will benefit over 100 volunteers who currently maintain and develop the gardens.   

Simon Ross-Gill on behalf of Arran Pioneer Project: "The CalMac Community Fund will have a huge impact on the work of volunteers growing food at community gardens around Arran during the 2023 season, including purchase of compost, tools, seeds, plants and other equipment that is essential to run a successful growing season. The activities at the gardens bring people together to reduce social isolation and have a positive impact on the wellbeing not only of the volunteers, but everyone who enjoys the gardens and produce grown there, while also allowing people to access the space and learn the skills to grow healthy fresh produce for themselves and their communities." 

Greenock Wanderers 

The CalMac Community Fund will support the club to remove or reduce barriers for young people living in Dunoon to engage in the sport of rugby. In turn, improving physical and mental health among their young players, and improving their teamworking skills. 

Shona Mitchell of Greenock Wanderers said: "We are delighted to have received an award from the CalMac Community Fund. This will ensure young people from the Cowal peninsula can continue to travel to play rugby without worrying about the costs involved. This means rugby stays accessible to all with the benefits it brings of fun, friendship and staying fit and healthy.' 

Cumbrae Primary School Mega Club 

Cumbrae Primary School Mega Club is a group comprised of school staff, children and community volunteers which aims to facilitate inter-generational learning and strengthening relationships in their community through activities (both within and outwith school time) such as sewing, gardening and board games particularly for the children and elderly. The CalMac Community Fund will fund sand, paving slabs, sand and edging for the Millport community garden to make it accessible for all members to take part in sustainability activities. The project aims to encourage sustainability through gardening and heathy eating. It will also support children and the elderly to take part in physical activity outdoors - improving their physical and mental wellbeing. One of the project's main aims is to cultivate a sense of community in its young people and will do this through intergenerational learning through the project. 

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