Lottery funding boost gives nurseries a helping hand

Seashells nursery
Seashells nursery
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Two Berwickshire nurseries are among ten groups Scotland wide to benefit from the latest round of the Big Lottery’s Communities and Families fund.

Chirnside Whizzkidz will use their £1,940 award to help them to continue to run their breakfast club which is attended by around 40 of the village’s 200 school pupils. The money will pay for activity materials and cover staff costs.

The parent committee and volunteers who have been running the breakfast and afterschool club for pre-school and primary school children at Chirnside for the past ten years will use the funding for training their breakfast servers and running costs for the breakfast club.

Seashells Nursery in Eyemouth is celebrating being awarded £8,521 to expand its provision for children aged two to three.

At present, the group is limited in how many children in this age group it can cater for due to financial constraints, limited staffing, and to the equipment, toys and facilities being more geared to the slightly older age group.

“It’s really good news for the nursery,” said Lynsey Finnie of Seashells Nursery. “It means we can bring more PE equipment and musical instruments in for our two/three year olds who attend the afternoon sessions.

“Music helps with their speech and language development and we will have a wide variety of instruments for them all. The grant will also help with extra staffing - we will be able to have an extra member of staff in the afternoon sessions who will specifically look after children who are being left by the parents for the first time.”

The Communities and Families fund, that funded both Eyemouth and Chirnside groups, is an initiative supported by the Scottish Government and Big Lottery Fund. Its latest grant funding was £81,327 to the ten groups across Scotland.

Maureen McGinn, chair of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland Committee, said: “The Communities and Families Fund helps projects give Scotland’s future generations a good start in life. I’m delighted to announce funding for wide ranging initiatives which will develop children’s social skills and learning abilities, creativity and confidence. We’re keen to hear from groups across the country which could benefit from this funding.”

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People, said: “The Scottish Government wants Scotland to be the best place in the world for children to grow up and a key part of achieving that involves helping families and communities to flourish.

“This joint venture with the Big Lottery Fund will help make that happen by allowing communities to bid for funding to deliver the kind of projects they need to improve the lives of local children and families.”

The Communities and Families Fund has a budget of £4.5 million from the Scottish Government and £1.5 million from the Big Lottery Fund. Groups can apply for between £250 to £10,000.

To find out more about the scheme and how to apply go to