Housing developer awards £5000 to community groups in Musselburgh
A Scottish housing developer has recognised the dedication and positive impact of five good causes in the Musselburgh community, awarding each with a £1000 grant.
The Dundas community fund – which had been extended to allow more time for deserving groups in and around Musselburgh to apply – came to a close at the end of July.
Hollies Community Hub, Blue Triangle Housing Association, First Step Community Project, Changes East Lothian and DadsWork were the chosen recipients, with each playing a vital role in the local area.
The roll-out of the £5000 fund came as the Livingston-based firm launched its 140-home Wireworks development in the seaside town, forming part of its pledge to deliver lasting benefits to Musselburgh, in addition to contributions of up to £400,000 towards schooling and infrastructure.
Craig Fairfoull, head of sales and marketing at Dundas, said: “We were thrilled that the decision to extend the community fund resulted in four times the number of original applicants. It did, however, make the decision to choose just five recipients out of a strong, deserving and varied group of applicants that bit harder.
“It has been a real pleasure to learn about each of the applicants, their inspiring causes and their contributions to the local community - I’d like to thank each and every one of them for their interest in the fund and wish them every success in achieving their project’s endeavours.
“While it has been a challenging task, we are really pleased to be able to announce the five recipients of the fund and believe that their initiatives are essential in supporting the local area.”
Hollies Community Hub, an organisation which aims to help elderly people in Musselburgh retain their independence by providing them with a safe space where they can engage with and meet their friends, will be using the £1000 fund to organise fun excursions to the East Coast for its members.
Liz Shannon, manager of Hollies Community Hub, said: “The Hollies would like to thank Dundas for allowing us to take our lunch club members for a much-needed day out. After nearly two years of social isolation, a trip down the coast with a fish supper and ice cream will be a day for them to remember and a chance to reminisce with their friends about past trips.”
Blue Triangle Housing Association is a supported homeless accommodation service which houses up to 14 young people at a time, helping them gain independent living skills. The community fund will help the group revamp its enclosed garden area to provide its tenants with a safe and secure communal area for socialising.
Steven Cranston, assistant project manager at Blue Triangle said: “We are so thankful and grateful to Dundas for this opportunity. Our garden area can now be upgraded, which will provide our service users with a space to relax while also giving us the opportunity to teach them how to grow fruit and vegetables and how to then be self-sustainable by cooking what they grow.”
Set up by a group of local parents over 30 years ago, First Step Community Project works within the close-knit Musselburgh community supporting vulnerable families who are facing extreme financial difficulties during the current cost of living crisis.
With its funding from Dundas, the group will be issuing Winter Warmer Packs which seek to provide families with essentials such as hot water bottles, flasks and thermals, as well as useful information on how to help save on energy bills while keeping warm and healthy over the winter period.
Jennifer Mitchell, Early Years Manager of First Step Community Project, said: “From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank Dundas. We will now be in a position to help families and community members ahead of what’s expected to be a very tough winter.”
Changes East Lothian is a mental health and wellbeing charity which provides free support services for over 16s living, or registered with a GP, in East Lothian. The charity provides counselling, therapeutic and peer support groups, as well as a wide range of activities and volunteer opportunities.
Marina Ramsay, communications and engagement officer at Changes said: “Accessible mental health support is crucial for the happiness and wellbeing of people in communities across East Lothian and the funding will allow us to reach even more people, reassuring them that help is within reach and they don’t have to face challenges alone. We are incredibly grateful.”
DadsWork, a charity that delivers much-needed support and services to men, fathers and male carers, will be using the fund towards its four-week programme for new expectant dads which aims to increase their confidence as they prepare for fatherhood.
Kevin Young, project manager of DadsWork said: “As a charity, we are delighted to be awarded £1000 from Dundas. As we know, emotional, practical and physical support for men is vitally important and this support should be readily accessible and offered locally. DadsWork and its beneficiaries thank Dundas for their donation and the benefits it will bring.”
Through a partnership with Tesco, East Lothian Council and NHS Lothian, Dundas acquired The Wireworks site after receiving planning permission to regenerate the former Brunton Wireworks site and neighbouring land in 2008.