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A child in kids clubs making craft items
A child in kids clubs making craft items

Wind farm fund sustains vital after-school club

A grant from the Greencoat Carcant Heriot Community Fund will ensure Heriot Country Kids after school club stays open in the face of loss of income during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Heriot Country Kids (HCK) provides the areas only after school club.  Its availability helps attract families to live in the area and contributes to the viability of Heriot school and the community as a whole. The Club offers great fun and activity for local children and plays a vital role in the lives of working families in Heriot and surrounding areas.
Before Covid, HCK’s after school club had many local children attending regularly and was largely self-financing through fees and local fundraising.  As parents’ working arrangements changed, the pandemic bit into household finances and social and travel restrictions kicked in, the number of children attending reduced.  With a significant drop in income from fees and with most community fundraising activities effectively prohibited or impossible to plan, the group faced an uncertain future.

HCK didn’t stand still.  The group mainstreamed outdoor activities and changed staffing arrangements, making sure the service maintained its high quality whilst reducing costs.  And their survey of all families with kids at Heriot and Fountainhall Schools and Nurseries confirmed local families wanted to use the after school club once Covid-19 restrictions died down.  The challenge was to stay afloat till then.

In the light of the exceptional circumstances affecting Heriot Country Kids' financial outlook, Heriot Community Funds Panel awarded a grant of £8,925 towards the after school club's running costs for 2021. The award will give Heriot Country Kids time to recover financially from the period of lost income and make sure this vital community service stays open throughout 2021. 

Kevin Roose, Chair of the Heriot Country Kids board of trustees, all of whom are parent volunteers, says the grant arrived at a critical moment:

“This grant is such a huge weight off our shoulders and will mean we can continue to operate for the next 12 months.  Hopefully, things will be back to something more like normal after that.  We'd like to thank the Heriot Community Fund Panel for recognising the unusual set of circumstances that resulted in our request for support.”

Colin Hood, chair of the Community Fund Panel, is pleased the fund will make such a difference:

”All of us on the Panel live locally, and we know that Heriot Country Kids plays a big part in our community.  We hope that this grant helps them ride out the current financial challenges, which are largely outwith their control, and gives them a solid footing for the longer-term.”  

Greencoat Wind UK provides an index-linked amount of £9,200 each year for the Heriot area as a community benefit from the nearby Carcant wind farm. Constituted and not-for-profit groups can apply for up to £10,000 for projects and activities which benefit people in the Heriot area.  The Heriot Community Fund Panel knows the local area, the local priorities and makes sure that the fund contributes as much as possible to community life. Follow the link below to find out more and how to apply.