Community groups and good causes facing uncertainty or hardship because of the coronavirus are to share in a Christmas gift of £18,280 from Scottish Sea Farms. This brings the total donated by the salmon farmer to £1.3m since 2011.
In total, 43 local causes across the company’s farming regions of mainland Scotland, Orkney and the Shetland Isles are set to benefit from grants of up to £500 from the company’s Heart of the Community Trust.
The funds were allocated from Scottish Sea Farms’ Heart of the Community fund, using cash which had not been distributed during the year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Heart of the Community Coordinator Georgie MacKenzie said: “In addition to the main Heart of the Community fund which gives out grants of anything from a few hundred pounds to £10,000, each of our farm managers is given a £500 community allowance annually to support the local cause or causes of their choosing. It’s a great way of ensuring that the money goes where it’s needed the most.
“This year however, with the coronavirus taking up everyone’s focus from March onwards, only a small number of farm managers had been able to allocate their awards, with the result that there was still £18,280 remaining in the fund.
‘To ensure local causes benefited before the year was out, each farm manager was asked to nominate projects in their communities where the funds might make a real and positive difference to those struggling because of coronavirus.’
The initiatives chosen range from food banks, mental health charities and befriending schemes, to community hospitals, nursery groups and aid for refugee families in Scotland.
The Oban offices of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute and the Samaritans also stand to benefit, as do several local schools.
Alan Tangny, Farm Manager for Spelve on the Isle of Mull, chose to support the library at Salen Primary School, where four of his five children are pupils, with a gift of £500.
As a father of five, he has four children currently at the school. and his eldest was also a pupil there. He said: @They are having to quarantine books that are taken home so having extra books will be a big help.”
The company’s Northern Isles Regional Manager, Richard Darbyshire, picked Fernvalley Wildlife Centre for his allocation. He said; “As with so many local organisations, it’s been a tough year financially for the Centre after being forced to close for months. £500 won’t fix all of the problems that come with that but if it helps the Fernvalley team to continue looking after the animals then it’s money well spent.”