Berwickshire volunteers boost

Berwickshire Association for Voluntary Services (BAVS) has received a boost of more than £3,200, thanks to staff at the local NFU Mutual agency.

By Kevin Janiak
Friday, 30th July 2021, 12:20 pm
Vicky Carmichael, NFU Mutual Borders agent with Juliana Amaral, executive officer at BAVS.
Vicky Carmichael, NFU Mutual Borders agent with Juliana Amaral, executive officer at BAVS.

The rural insurer announced the £2m Agency Giving Fund in February to support frontline charities impacted by the ongoing lockdown measures, after £1m of support was delivered by the fund in 2020.

To ensure the donations were directed where they were needed most, NFU Mutual reached out to its network of agents to nominate local charities to receive a share of the fund.

And this year, the nominated charities were BAVS, Border Women’s Aid and Cheviot Youth.

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Juliana Amaral, executive officer at BAVS, said: “The fund will enable us to continue our community capacity work, offering specialised support to local charities and community organisations.

"Our focus is to support our communities to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, building on the community activism that emerged during such difficult times for us all. The donation from NFU Mutual will allow us to continue this fundamental piece of work.”

Richard Forsyth, senior agent at NFU Mutual Borders, said: “Covid-19 has continued to have a huge impact on everybody this year. All of the charities have been making a wonderful difference to our community during these challenging times, and we are extremely proud to hear how our support will make an impact.”

Gail Stephenson, chair of Cheviot Youth, said: “This has been a difficult time for the charity as we restructure to face the challenges of the pandemic by working more closely with families and the local community.

"This money will go towards providing vital mental health support services for children, young people and family members free at the point of delivery in the Cheviot area ... thank you NFU Mutual.”

Brenda Evans, admin officer at Border Women’s Aid, told us: “In this last year, the work of Border Women’s Aid has become ever more challenging. The pandemic has seen a significant rise in domestic abuse, and new ways of operating have had to be introduced.

"We continue to adapt, to support and meet the needs of women and children in the Borders who are affected by such abuse.

“We are delighted to receive this substantial donation from NFU Mutual Borders”.