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Welcome Funding Boost for Relationships Scotland Orkney

Relationships Scotland Orkney, Burray Community Association and Orkney Student Pantry are amongst 453 projects sharing in £11,824,801 for a range of activities, helping to empower and connect people in communities across Scotland via The National Lottery Community Fund.

Local charity Relationships Scotland Orkney, will receive an award of £111,311 from The National Lottery Community Fund to expand their Intensive Family Support work. 

Relationships Scotland Orkney offers one-to-one support for adults and young people free of charge as well as counselling, family mediation, play therapy and substance misuse support. Over the next three years the project will work with around 600 people across Orkney who are experiencing challenging circumstances

One service user, a 70-year-old woman spoke about the difference the family support sessions have made to her mental health. She said:

“Recently I found myself in a situation when I knew I needed to get some help. I just didn’t have the energy to pretend to be me and felt myself withdrawing from family, friends and group activities I normally really enjoy.

“It’s hard to explain how much difference these regular meetings have made to my mental health and my ability to “find myself” again. To know, within those four walls, everything I say is kept entirely confidential, there is no judgement made.

“I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to have an organisation like Relationships Orkney where professional help is provided quickly.”

Tamsin Bailey, Service Director, Relationships Orkney, said: 

“The National Lottery Community Fund grant enables us to respond to people at their time of need. Having a Support Worker to speak to, who is a skilled and non-judgmental listener, can help someone to find a way forward when they feel lost or stuck.

“As a small charity, being able to access three years of funding makes all the difference: it means we can plan ahead and maintain continuity for our clients and invest in and develop our staff, so they gain more skills to help meet increasingly complex needs.”

Burray Community Association will use their award of £3,852 to run a social club in Burray Hall called Fun Fridays, where adults and children can chat, play games and have a snack provided by the hall. The club also runs ceilidhs and evening craft sessions for adults.

two boys playing pool in the Burray Community Hall

One regular attendee is Linda Young, who said:

“My two girls really enjoy coming to the Fun Friday sessions, it’s the highlight of the week. It was such a benefit last year, all the children could meet with friends in a safe, warm and friendly environment.

“The long, dark winter nights can really have an impact on your mental health, but having these sessions were a lifeline for some people, just to have a couple of hours doing something fun and enjoyable.”

Roger Jackson, Chair, Burray Community Association added:

“The Friday Fun Club project provided our local kids with a great couple of hours after school where they could play games, sing songs, eat healthy food and meet with other kids of a similar age. The funding also enabled us to put on ceilidhs and craft evenings where the rest of the families, and several of our older residents, were brought back together after the isolation of COVID-19.

“By getting additional funding for this project, we will be able to provide another round of these sessions – free of charge – for the benefit of everyone within our small village and the surrounding areas.”

Another project to benefit from a grant of £1,500 is Orkney Student Pantry. The pantry provides food and basic household supplies for students struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, helping them to stay in further education.

To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk     

Commenting on the recent funding, President of the Orkney Student Pantry, Emily Robinson said: 

“The foodbank on the Orkney College campus is accessible to all students at the college, and it is our aim that no Orkney based student will be forced to leave further education because of a lack of access to the basics.”

Commenting on the latest grant round of funding The National Lottery Community Fund, Scotland Chair, Kate Still: said: “National Lottery funding continues to make extraordinary things happen in communities across Scotland.  

“I am delighted that this funding will be used to support projects across Orkney which have been developed by and for local people which will allow communities to come together to make life better for everyone.

National Lottery player players can be proud to know that that money they raise is helping to support this vital work in Orkney.”

The National Lottery Community Fund distributes funding on behalf of National Lottery players who raise more than £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK.  

  The full list can be viewed here:

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