Fallago funds are making a difference to quality of life in Berwickshire

Five Berwickshire projects are among 21 Borders initiatives to share funding of over £62,000 from the Fallago Environment Fund’s Covid-19 Recovery Grant Programme.

By Kevin McRoberts
Sunday, 28th June 2020, 7:45 am
Gemma Robertson (right) and project participant Hannah are delighted with the grant for The Learning Place.
Gemma Robertson (right) and project participant Hannah are delighted with the grant for The Learning Place.

The projects support wellbeing and resilience, active lifestyles, disabled access and the implementation of social distancing measures.

The Fallago Environment Fund, which shares the benefits of the Hermes Infrastructure and EDF Renewables-owned Fallago Rig Wind Farm in the Lammermuir Hills, launched the special £100,000 Covid-19 Fund in April to help Borders residents recover from the impact of the coronavirus crisis and lockdown.

The initial tranche of successful applications sees £62,632 being shared with charities and community groups.

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The Learning Space at Gavinton has received £4,968 to build a new greenhouse and provide butterfly kits and growing kits.

It is also providing bird, bug and bat boxes to deliver a nature project to improve the mental health of young people with barriers to learning and development.

Gemma Robertson, from The Learning Space, said: “All of the children we support face huge life challenges and we’ve had to significantly change the way we work with them during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“This grant will allow us to undertake a very special project that will enable our children and young people to nurture and tend butterflies and plants, giving them a shared sense of purpose, a place to safely interact and a way to improve their self-confidence and mental health.

“We’re hugely grateful for the fund’s support.”

Westruther Parish Youth Group receives £4,992 to support a community volunteering initiative at the charity, which uses horses to work therapeutically with young people and address mental health and self-esteem issues.

Eyemouth Community Council has been awarded £2,600 to widen the Memorial walk and Loaning walk, which link the town with the coastal path, to allow social distancing and encourage outdoor exercise.

Eat, Sleep, Ride at Reston and Lamberton, which uses horses to work therapeutically with young people and address mental health and self-esteem issues, has been awarded £5,000 to provide staffing, training and materials to support a community volunteering initiative.

And Coldstream Gateway Association has received £900 to provide plants for volunteers to use in floral displays throughout the town to promote wellbeing and a positive atmosphere.

The Fallago Environment Fund is supported by Roxburghe Estates, Hermes Infrastructure and EDF Renewables.

Gareth Baird, chairman of the fund, said: “Covid-19 is having a huge impact on all our lives but we have witnessed some truly heartwarming community spirit in the Borders since the crisis began.

“Through these grants, the fund hopes to help Borders community groups reduce and repair the negative impact of social isolation and improve wellbeing and quality of life.”