Last year’s Giving Something Back Grants were a massive success. We had over 60 grant applications and gave funding to 13 incredible projects doing inspiring work across Fife.
We caught up with some of them to see what has happened since and how the grant they received has helped their projects.
Valleyfield Community Club is a local charity run by volunteers who seek to improve the local area through community-based projects.
‘The funding we received was for new benches to replace the ones falling apart in Valleyfield Woods. With the Giving Something Back Grant, we were able to replace three and add a further two. These should be good enough for safe use for the next 30 years. We were able to stretch the grant even further by doing the work ourselves. The grant came at the perfect time and was greatly appreciated.’
EATS Rosyth is a community-led charity in Fife, Scotland. They grow and share food, reduce waste, help the environment and improve food education.
‘The new Rosyth Community Hub is well on its way to completion and the funding from the Giving Something Back Grant has been hugely helpful in helping us to purchase furniture and furnishings – including chairs, tables, paint for the walls and kitchen equipment. As we mentioned in our pitch, the funding has paid for items that local community members use and sit on and eat from! So it has gone a long way in helping us make our Hub come to life. Thank you.’
Real Life Options supports people with learning disabilities, autism and age-related needs to have a strong voice and a real choice in how they live their lives.
‘The grant we received has helped our Hub so much. We have been able to purchase a drum kit and musical instruments for the people we support, and they love using them. We’ve also set up a mini nail salon for those that can’t cope being in busy environments, so we have the full kit and they can have their nails done in a quiet, relaxed environment.’
The Karate Initiative provides free equipment, training and grading to people who wouldn’t normally be able to afford to do this sport, allowing them to reap the benefits of karate - improved health, confidence, discipline and a sense of community.
‘Following our grant, our students have gone from strength to strength and continue to perform to the highest of standards. One of our students, Holly, competed to represent Scotland in the JKA European Championships being held in Switzerland on 1 April. Not only did Holly manage to get herself selected but so did another two of our students, Raj and Caitlin. As you can imagine, with the charity hoping to pay for all their expenses for this trip we are now frantically fundraising towards this goal. No money from the grant was used for this event, given that we have already spent it providing much-needed equipment for our students. However, it was a significant milestone for Carnegie Dojo and the Giving Something Back Grant allowed us to concentrate purely on
fundraising for the Europeans and not divert money away from other club needs. On behalf of the charity, can I again express my thanks to all at Fife Housing Group for your grant. It took a huge amount of pressure off the fundraisers who can concentrate on raising funds for competitions and other things if we know we have the money in the bank for all the different day-to-day needs. Without grants like yours, small charities would struggle in today’s climate where money is extremely tight.’
Linton Lane Centre has supported the people of Kirkcaldy for nearly 100 years, providing charitable support, a range of activities and acting as a hub for social and educational groups. It is regarded as the ‘heart of the community.’
‘Over the last few months, we have had a steady rise in people needing support with food and fuel top-ups. Kirkcaldy Foodbank has had to reduce the number of food parcels it can give out to once a week as they struggle to fulfil demand. So your grant has helped us to bridge the gap. Recently a young mum whose partner had left her contacted the centre in despair. She has two young boys
and found herself in a position where she had run out of gas and electricity. This was late on a Friday afternoon so no Foodbanks were open and Cosy Kingdom and Fife Council could not help until Monday. One of our team met them and was able to top-up their power cards and do a food shop for necessities like milk, bread, fruit, toilet roll etc. to the value of £50. We managed to buy a few treats for the boys too! The boys were excited to come along and help with the shopping and we received a message over the weekend saying they could relax and keep cosy with food in their tummies.
A man in his fifties came in to ask for help with food as he had to wait for over three weeks for his Universal Credit. He has to look after himself, his disabled wife and his teenage son. He had no petrol to get his wife to her appointment in Dunfermline and came to us in a state of panic. We bought vouchers for Asda to a value of £100 and £40 in petrol to ensure he could get to the hospital
and feed his family.
If we hadn’t received the funding these stories and many others would have turned out very differently. We could not have responded so quickly, which is why we seek funding so we can step in when other agencies are closed.
The centre is also supporting Ukrainian Families now. We have had two meal days with traditional foods being cooked by a lady who is already hosting a mum and her son. The first meal had eight people attend and the most recent had 30 adults and 13 children. We are using part of the funding to support these families as they have to go to the Foodbank, which we are trying to prevent. They have faced enough trauma from leaving their country and are still suffering so we want to make their lives here as simple as we can. We want to keep supporting everyone in the community and continue to run our programmes. We have just started family cooking classes which saw over fourteen families attend the first session. We have many more on offer and lots of plans for the future. It’s grants like yours that make this possible.
Our Facebook page is an excellent way to keep up with all that’s on offer and we get many Fife Housing Group tenants coming along. We would be delighted to welcome more so please follow us to find out what’s happening at the centre. We can’t thank Fife Housing Group and their Giving Something Back Grants enough for helping us to help the community at a time when the need is continuing to grow.’