Record-breaking long distance cyclist Mark Beaumont says he was thrilled to present first-ever Community Connect award winners, Dundee charity Eighteen and Under with a cheque for £15,000 as part of Scotmid Co-operative’s exciting new initiative.
Exclusively trialled in Scotmid’s North Member Region and now scheduled to be imminently rolled out into the West Member Region, Community Connect was launched in May this year and following dozens of applications, three good cause groups were shortlisted to benefit from funds generated via the sale of single-use carrier bags.
Scotmid members collected votes every time they shopped in store so that they could decide which of the three groups got the biggest share of £30,000.
The three groups; 18 and Under, Links Park Community Trust and Moray School Bank based in Rothes, then vied for votes cast by members at the North Region’s Ordinary General Meeting held in Brechin at the start of October.
And following an exciting ballot, Eighteen and Under won £15,000 while Links Park Community Trust were awarded funding of £10,000 and Moray School Bank received funding of £5,000 – much to the delight of Beaumont.
A Scotmid member and Community Connect’s ambassador, Beaumont, who recently smashed two records during his 79-day cycle around the world, met Eighteen and Under at their local Scotmid store in Fintry, Dundee to congratulate them on winning the funding.
Beaumont said: “The first-ever Community Connect journey has come to a brilliant conclusion – congratulations to Eighteen and Under for winning £15,000.
“Eighteen and Under are a great charity that provide a valuable service to vulnerable members in society; worthy winners of Community Connect funding.
“I’m extremely proud to have been involved with the launch of this new initiative that will help to give good cause groups a big financial boost and ultimately help to improve the lives of people in our local communities.
“I’m really excited about the next cycle of Community Connect and to see who the short-listed good cause groups will be in both the North and also now the West.”
Based in Victoria Road, Dundee, Eighteen and Under provides long-term confidential support for young people (aged 18 and under), who have experienced abuse and the charity will use the much-needed funds to expand their reach onto the streets and estates to help young people at risk of exploitation.
Keiran Watson at Eighteen and Under said: “The £15,000 from Community Connect will make an enormous difference to us and the young people we aim to support.
“It means our volunteers can get out onto the streets and look out for and offer support to young people who are often unable to seek support. We estimate that this award will help us reach 1,000 more young people and empower them to turn their lives around.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to Scotmid and to everyone there who voted for Eighteen And Under.
“This is a significant amount of money for a small charity and will enable us to make a positive impact in the community and increase the safety of vulnerable young people. I would highly recommend other charities to explore Scotmid’s Community Connect scheme as a source of funding.”
The new short-listed good cause groups for both the North and West Regions will be confirmed by the end of October with Scotmid members in the West Region receiving Community Connect cards in the post to enable them to collect votes which they can cast at their AGM in April 2018.
Community Connect – the journey continues…
Caption (main image): Community Connect ambassador Mark Beaumont, Scotmid store staff Gemma Webster and Elaine Garbutt plus Eighteen and Under’s Shauni Cook and Keiran Watson celebrate the conclusion of the first-ever Community Connect journey outside the store in Fintry, Dundee.