Fourteen UK charities are in the running for a share of £30,000 as part of this year’s ScottishPower Foundation Awards, which showcase incredible projects that make a positive impact on people and communities across the country.
The shortlisted projects – which support individuals, families and young people across the UK – range from developing skills for employment to arts programmes and support for mental health to raising awareness of climate change and sustainability.
The ScottishPower Foundation Awards 2021 are open to recipients of this year’s ScottishPower Foundation funding, which saw almost £1.2 million awarded to a wide range of outstanding charities. The annual Awards – now in their eighth year – are an opportunity for funded projects to apply for additional funding, with each category winner receiving £5,000 and the runners up awarded £2,500.
Nominated projects are judged in four categories: the Innovation Award, the Education Award, the Community Engagement Award, and the Charity Champion Award – which gives special recognition to the outstanding contribution made by an exceptional employee or volunteer who exemplifies what their organisation stands for.
The shortlist was selected by a judging panel made up of experts from ScottishPower and the skills and education sector. This year’s judges are Arthur McIvor, Senior Client Manager for Energy & Utility Skills; Marina Livingstone, Programme Director at Strathclyde University Business School; Sheila Duncan, Human Resources Director for ScottishPower; and Melanie Hill, Executive Officer and Trustee of the ScottishPower Foundation.
Melanie said: “This year’s shortlisted projects are a great example of the difference the ScottishPower Foundation’s funding can make and the tremendous efforts and lengths our supported charities go to in order to make a positive impact in the lives of their beneficiaries. Despite all the challenges of the past 18 months, they have continued to support, educate and inspire people and communities across the country and go above and beyond to help others and make a difference.
“The commitment, resilience and creativity of these fantastic charities is exactly what the ScottishPower Foundation Awards are all about and it’s a privilege to be able provide additional funding to help them keep up their invaluable work. I can’t wait to see the winners and runners-up revealed on Awards Day.”
The winners and runners up will be announced on ScottishPower’s Twitter channel – @ScottishPower – over the course of Awards Day on Friday 3 September 2021.
The ScottishPower Foundation was established in 2013 to make a significant and lasting contribution to society, enhancing the lives of people living in communities throughout the UK. It provides funding to help support the advancement of education, environmental protection, arts and culture and citizenship. It also supports charities who aim to provide relief from poverty, disability, or other disadvantages.
The ScottishPower Foundation Awards 2021 shortlisted charities are (in alphabetical order):
Action for M.E.
‘M.E. Advocacy Service’ will empower young people and adults with self-advocacy skills to make informed choices and be involved in decisions about their support and care to increase health, wellbeing and self-worth, through the provision of direct advocacy support and workshops.
Culture, Heritage and Arts Assembly, Argyll and Isles (CHARTS)
CHARTS’ ‘Eco Cluster Garden’ project has established a creative network around a community garden based at The Rockfield Centre, a newly-refurbished culture and heritage venue in Oban. The project will explore Oban’s heritage in an entirely new way, re-establishing elements and activities of the past into modern day life. The Eco Cluster Garden is engaged in CHARTS’ Heritage Horizons project – funded by the ScottishPower Foundation – where it is developing an invaluable youth placement opportunity to research horticultural dye-making within local heritage context.
The innovative and interactive ‘Sustainable Futures’ educational resource will be used to engage and inspire children and young people to develop their awareness of issues surrounding climate change and give them practical knowledge and skills that will enable them to make changes to their own behaviours and influence others to do the same.
Drake Music Scotland
‘All Join In’ is an inclusive music education programme committed to raising aspirations for children with additional support needs and removing barriers to participate in music making. While schools were closed due to COVID-19, the programme created over 150 music-making video resources for teachers to share with pupils and their families at home.
Musicspace@HOME, a fully inclusive and innovative virtual music session, was developed to help disabled people deal with the stress and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The music sessions helped provide a routine, improve wellbeing, and created feelings of independence during lockdown, helping disabled people feel connected and unforgotten during a difficult period.
Dundee Heritage Trust
Dundee Heritage Trust community engagement activities for families, young adults and older people include regular talks and specialist tours which use themes from the city’s industrial and social heritage to bring together people of all ages and backgrounds. The charity also provides formal learning opportunities for around 8,000 pupils each year from schools across Dundee, Angus, Fife and Perthshire. Visiting classes are given guided tours and get to see demonstrations of working machinery and take part in workshops to learn more about Dundee’s industrial past.
Edward’s Trust ‘Take A Moment’ project remotely supports people who have lost a loved one. As part of the project, Edward’s Trust created wellbeing packs designed to reduce the anxiety caused by bereavement and help improve wellbeing. As well as receiving a pack, families could also access a session with a wellbeing therapist to help provide hope for the future.
Finding Your Feet
Finding Your Feet supports families affected by amputation and limb absence, and provides a welcoming environment where people feel accepted and empowered. The charity worked tirelessly to redesign its offering during the pandemic to ensure it could continue to offer support online and via telephone
Museum of East Anglian Life
‘Book-a-garden’ project was set up in the first lockdown to provide local families and people with disabilities, who did not have access to green spaces, free entrance to the museum’s garden. This was just one of many community-based schemes the museum undertook during lockdown. Others included providing a space for young people on college training as well as providing a workspace for people with learning difficulties.
The Support And Mentoring Enabling Entrepreneurship (SAMEE)
SAMEE launched a virtual work experience programme for young people with special education needs and disabilities. The programme, co-designed by a SAMEE intern with autism, was launched after SAMEE noticed the lack of work experience opportunities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual work experience week is aimed at helping raise the career aspirations of disabled young people and offers them a chance to explore the day-to-day challenges that mirror those in a real-life work experience environment.
‘Affinity’ will deliver an online coaching and counselling service for autistic individuals and families throughout Scotland, supporting them with the long-term effects of COVID-19 on mental health and wellbeing. Scottish Autism, together with expert associates, will help participants develop coping strategies to support them in their daily lives, including supporting children at school and adults in the workplace. The Advice Line is an accessible service to support the mental health and wellbeing of autistic people in Scotland.
Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland
‘Tools for Transition’ will provide support, advice and advocacy to children and young people with spina bifida/hydrocephalus facing the transition from nursery to primary and primary to secondary school. A bespoke programme of support will be delivered including school talks, continence support, and finance and benefits advice for parents to ensure that children with spina bifida/hydrocephalus have the best possible start in life.
Single Homeless Project
The Britannia Hotel Service was established as a part of the Government’s ‘Everyone-In’ scheme in March 2020 as a response to the pandemic. It provided immediate wrap-around support for people in the London borough of Camden who were sleeping rough, or who were in supported accommodation but unable to shield due to shared facilities. On a daily basis, Single Homeless Project was also able to provide clients with medical services, GPs, addiction and mental health support, and move-on support.
The Achieving Potential programme provides clients with a clear pathway away from dependence on services and into secure employment. Through the provision of education, training and employment support, Single Homeless Project empowers its clients with the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to live independently.
Size of Wales The Youth Climate Ambassadors programme encourages conversations on climate change among young people to help equip them with the skills and knowledge to advocate for action on climate change and lead the change in their schools, communities and beyond. In the last year, the Youth Climate Ambassadors have met with the US Ambassador to the UK to discuss COP26 and climate change, spoken at online UN events and been key members of several steering groups in Wales.
Street League uses the power of sport to tackle poverty and give young people the opportunities they need to succeed. Its ‘Head – Body – Future’ online employment and sport programme helped understand and meet the needs of young people during lockdown and ensured they had money for food and data bundles to access online support and apply for jobs.