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East Lothian playgroup receives funding boost from Scotrail Foundation

26 November 2013

An East Lothian playgroup is celebrating after receiving £3,000 from the ScotRail Foundation.

The Puffin Playgroup, based at the Pennypit Centre in Prestonpans, provides a full range of activities for children aged between two and four years old. The group, which started in August this year, will use the Foundation funding to support its team of experienced staff in delivering classes based on the Scottish Government’s ‘Birth to Three’ curriculum.

The Foundation, which will distribute £100,000 by May 2014, is open to applications from any group which supports children or young people, improves the environment or enhances the general health and wellbeing of local areas.

Beth Sibbald, chairperson of the Puffin Playgroup’s parent committee, said; “We are very grateful for this generous donation.

“The money will allow us to continue running the playgroup for the foreseeable future.

“The application process is very straightforward and the staff at Foundation Scotland were supportive and easy to deal with.”

Across the country, 26 groups will share a total of £42,000 with amounts ranging from £250 to just under £5,000. Over £3,000 in ‘match funding’ has been distributed among 14 members of ScotRail staff to enhance individual fundraising efforts.

Director Pat Callaghan, who manages corporate social responsibility for ScotRail, said: “We believe we are much more than a railway operator and have a significant part to play in improving our communities. The ScotRail Foundation has been created to offer support to deserving groups whose valuable work enriches the life of people in various parts of the country.

“The Puffin Playgroup provides a valuable service to people in East Lothian. Their work has a positive impact on the lives of young people as it prepares them for the transition to school education - and we are proud to support their efforts.”

The deadline for the next round of applications is Friday 17 January. Three regional committees of ScotRail staff, who volunteered for the role, will then meet to select the groups which best meet the criteria - and successful applicants will be announced in March 2014.

Foundation Scotland, an independent charity with more than 16 years’ experience, manages the fund on behalf of ScotRail.

Groups interested in submitting an application should contact Foundation Scotland on 0141 341 4960 or visit for more information.

For media enquiries:
David McNaught
Tel: 0141 333 9585
Mob: 07882798167

Notes to editors:

• The ScotRail Foundation is a national programme available to groups and organisations across Scotland. The fund is provided by ScotRail directly as part of its commitment to their social and corporate responsibilities and is managed by Foundation Scotland on ScotRail's behalf.

• Groups and organisations are encouraged to apply (individuals are excluded). Recommendations for grants and how the money will be distributed will be made by an advisory panel drawn from ScotRail staff.

• Further advice and guidance is available via or by emailing

• Having even a limited connection to a rail or local station project may improve success rate

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