Nine organisations across Dumfries and Galloway that are helping people facing hardship have shared a total of £8000 funding.
The small grants programme was part of the Response, Recovery and Resilience fund by Foundation Scotland.
Each award was targeted to help people facing challenges associated with accessing food, shelter, or basic amenities.
The programme was coordinated locally by Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway.
User and Carer Involvement received the maximum amount of £1000 towards providing valuable support for women in the Dumfries Hens’ Shed, by purchasing and posting out activity packs for them to do together in their weekly zoom meetings.
This helps the members maintain safe and healthy friendships and reduce isolation. The Dumfries Hens’ Shed is a place where women with learning disabilities/difficulties can meet to make friends, learn new things, and access training,
Glencairn Community Council’s award of £600 was used to provide a hot Christmas dinner for residents in the parish who lived alone, were unable to meet with family, unable to cook or afford a Christmas dinner and whose plans were cancelled at the last moment.
Over 43 meals, cooked by the Craigdarroch Arms Hotel in Moniaive, were delivered by volunteers who took the time to chat to those receiving the meal.
One Glencairn resident said: “It made me feel part of the wider community on Christmas Day.”
An award of £1000 went to Auchencairn Initiative to buy a commercial dishwasher to allow the village shop/cafe to produce bread, cakes, and takeaway meals every weekday and comply with hygiene standards. Friday evening is a particular favourite with 30 plus takeaway curries, cooked on the premises, sold in the village to boost morale during the pandemic.
Independent Living Support received £790 to administer energy top-ups for clients who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Many properties have outdated heating systems that can be costly to run and the grant will ensure those tenants are not exposed to fuel poverty.
Relationships Scotland Dumfries and Galloway received the maximum amount of £1000 to expand free counselling sessions to people in the region.
Food Train were delighted to receive £1000 to help support their grocery shopping service. Demand for the service has hugely increased during the pandemic and Food Train are able to support older people to access regular grocery shopping, with the fantastic support of many volunteers across the whole of the region.
Dumfries and Galloway Carers received £990, which the charity used to buy supermarket vouchers to distribute to 33 carers most in need, due to their lives being greatly impacted by the pandemic.
Carers were identified by their support workers, who recognised their need for some financial assistance towards grocery shopping.
Portpatrick Community Development Trust received a grant of £620 and helped vulnerable and shielding members of the community by providing a regular hot meals service for 37 people, with 567 hot meals served. A shopping service also helped 25 people shielding with over 100 shopping trips and 88 food parcels delivered.
The Trust team also helped to take people to doctor appointments, picked up medicine and provided advocacy support, with 12 successful interventions. A key part of the service was a listening ear for those isolating.
The final group Newstart Recycle also received the maximum grant of £1000 to enable them to work with referring organisations that provided vital support to members of the community in emergency need, during a period of unprecedented demand. Without this help, many would have had no basic household items such as beds, cookers, chairs or even clothing.
Picture: A volunteer at Auchencairn Initiative prepares the latest goods in the village shop.