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Scotrail Foundation Delivers Funding Boost in North Lanarkshire

25 November 2013

Two North Lanarkshire-based charities are celebrating the news that they will share a £6,150 funding boost from the ScotRail Foundation.

The groups are among the first batch of successful charities to receive financial grants from the newly established ScotRail Foundation, which was set-up in May 2013 to support groups from communities across Scotland.

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.

The groups in North Lanarkshire to receive funding from the ScotRail Foundation are: 

  • I Am Bikes, will receive £4,650 to help it meet the costs of setting up a community cycling hub and cafe in Cumbernauld. The group, set up in 2012, already recycles and refurbishes bikes, runs maintenance classes and encourages people, particularly children, to get involved in cycling as part of a healthy lifestyle. I Am Bikes also delivers training courses for unemployed young people to give them the skills and confidence to help them into work.
  • Bellshill and District Community Forum, which gives local people a voice in community planning and service delivery, is to receive £1,500. The Foundation funding will be used to deliver three, 12-week blocks of town centre sports activity, including street basketball and football, for local young people. The sessions, due to start in early December, will be open to all and will be based at the Bellshill and Mossend YMCA Centre.

Angela Fitzsimons, founder of I Am Bikes, said: “This support from the ScotRail Foundation could not come at a better time as it will allow us to get our new cycling hub and cafe opened in the next couple of weeks.

“It will provide a meeting point for local people and be the base for our new community cycling club. We get a lot of people coming to us who want to get back on their bike but just lack the confidence and knowledge to do so, that’s where we can help.

“Applying to the ScotRail Foundation is very straightforward and didn’t take long to complete. I would certainly recommend making an application to any other community group looking to secure additional help.”

Colin MacFarlane, treasurer of Bellshill and District Community Forum, said: “We were set up to champion issues for local people and are pleased that the ScotRail Foundation is helping us achieve that goal.

“The funding will allow us to put on a series of fun activities which is a great way to get young people engaged and provide them with a sense of purpose. Instead of not having anything to do in the evenings, they will be able to come along and give something new a try which will also help keep them fit.

“Applying to the ScotRail Foundation was very smooth and it’s heartening to see an organisation like ScotRail supporting community groups like ours.”

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 also been distributed among members of ScotRail staff to enhance individual fundraising efforts.

Local MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, Jamie Hepburn, also welcomed the news. Mr Hepburn said: “I am delighted that the ScotRail Foundation has made this generous award to I Am Bikes, which is an excellent organisation doing great work in my constituency. The fact that they are amongst the first batch of organisations to receive awards from the Foundation is testimony to that fact. 

“I know that I Am Bikes were also recently successful in securing funding from the Scottish Government Climate Challenge Fund as well, so it is clear that with this new award from the ScotRail Foundation, the future is bright for this fantastic group.”

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 lives of people in various parts of the country.

“The service which I Am Bikes provides for people in North Lanarkshire is extremely important. Their work is helping to deliver a legacy of more active and healthier lifestyles in the area and we are proud to be supporting them.”

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 of experience, manages the fund on behalf of ScotRail.

Groups interested in submitting an application should contact Foundation Scotland on 0141 341 4960 or visit www.foundationscotland.org.uk/scotrail for more information.

For media enquiries:
Chris Black
The BIG Partnership
Chris.black@bigpartnership.co.uk
07969 814 003

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 their 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 scotrail.co.uk/betterwaytobe or by emailing info@foundationscotland.org.uk

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

 

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