Sixteen charities across the UK are set to share almost £1.2 million funding from the ScottishPower Foundation, which supports incredible projects that make a positive impact on people and communities across the country.
From Beith to Bournemouth, this year’s Foundation-funded projects – which support art and culture, education and empowerment, citizenship and society, and biodiversity and climate change – were selected on the basis of the significant and lasting contributions they will make to society, while enhancing people’s quality of life.
Almost £9.2 million has been awarded to successful charities since the Foundation was established in 2013.
Among the charities receiving funding this year is Cardiff-based Size of Wales, which will use its £79,350 funding to share its ‘MockCOP’ model across the UK. The project encourages conversations on climate change among young people in a similar style to the United Nations COP26 climate change conference, which will be hosted in Glasgow later this year. MockCOP is developing a network of young people equipped with the skills and knowledge to advocate for action on climate change and lead the change in their own schools and communities.
The Museum of East Anglian Life will use the £122,000 it’s been awarded for its ‘A River for All’ project. It will work to bring public access to previously inaccessible woodland and rivers, and commission artists to interpret the natural world to encourage exploration and bring semi-derelict allotments back into use, providing spaces for growing food in collaboration with community groups. The project aims to improve wellbeing, support lifelong learning and help people experience and protect nature.
DangerPoint, based in North Wales, has been awarded £36,590 towards its interactive ‘Sustainable Futures’ educational resource. The innovative tool will help engage and inspire young people to develop their awareness of climate change issues while giving them the practical skills to enable them to make changes to their own behaviours and encourage others to do the same.
The Culture, Heritage and Arts Assembly, Argyll and Isles (CHARTS) has been awarded £65,600 for its ‘Heritage Horizons’ project. The initiative will provide opportunities for young people in rural areas with high levels of unemployment to get involved with local museums and heritage venues. They’ll undertake work placements contributing to educational, archive and visitor services, leading to national accreditation. The project aims to support young people into the industry and help address current challenges presented by an ageing workforce.
Melanie Hill, Executive Officer and Trustee at the ScottishPower Foundation, said: “Once again, we were overwhelmed by the extraordinary work being delivered in our communities – day in and day out – and we’re very proud to support this year’s charities. The ScottishPower Foundation is committed to supporting projects that make a hugely positive impact on people’s lives and that’s what these organisations do in abundance.
“From improving education to promoting environmental protection and enhancing lives, the charities we’re supporting this year are doing truly transformative work.
“We know that throughout these challenging times, people are relying on the support of charities more than ever before, and with the help of the ScottishPower Foundation, this year’s projects can go further and make a difference for more people.”
Lorna Langton, Funding and Partnership Officer, DangerPoint, said: “To hear that we had been chosen as a beneficiary for the ScottishPower Foundation in 2021 was amazing, it has given our staff and supporters a much-needed boost during the uncertain times of the pandemic. This funding will enable us to add a new interactive educational scenario to the centre so that when we are able to welcome children and families back to Dangerpoint they will have a fantastic new zone to explore!”
Jenny Cousins, Director, Museum of East Anglian Life, said: “After a year in which many of us have been on regular local walks and thought a lot about nature, it’s wonderful to have been awarded this grant for our River for All project. The grant will enable so much transformational work at the museum and provide many opportunities for people to get outdoors and get involved.”
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 full list of this year’s funding recipients are:
- 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) – ‘Heritage Horizons’ will provide opportunities for young people in Argyll and Bute’s rural areas of low income and high unemployment to engage with museums and heritage venues. Creative placements contributing to educational, archive, and visitor services will lead to nationally recognised accreditation for participants, reduce inequalities and address current challenges presented by an ageing workforce, through building youth employability-skills.
- DangerPoint – 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 – ‘Figurenotes: Everyone can play!’ will help transform music education across Scotland and beyond. The programme will embed a fully inclusive system in the curriculum that gives children access to an easier way to play music. Active participation in music making has proven benefits for wellbeing and key learning outcomes such as improved communication skills.
- Dundee Industrial Heritage – The Dundee Dome Experience is a dramatic new gallery at Discovery Point museum that will combine panoramic 360° views, an immersive VR/AR experience and stunning artwork to create exciting new learning opportunities connecting local heritage with the global environment.
- Dynamic Earth Charitable Trust _ Now in its second year, the Dynamic Earth Planetarium will develop a new programme of innovative science engagement for underserved groups. New elements include a ScottishPower Foundation Community Pass, offering free visits and supported learning for disadvantaged people; teacher training; and new learning materials to accompany flagship shows on climate change and marine biodiversity for all visitors.
- Edward’s Trust – This project will remotely support children and young people aged 5 to 16, who have lost a parent, sibling, or grandparent to improve their wellbeing, reduce the anxiety caused by their bereavement and have hope for their future. The therapeutic support will enable children to remain or return to school if their absence is caused by the bereavement.
- Finding Your Feet – This programme aims to improve the wellbeing of Scottish amputees by delivering activities that reduce social isolation, increase physical fitness, reduce the stigma around mental health and improve the ability to self-manage.
- Museum of East Anglian Life – ‘A River for All’ project will work to bring public access to previously inaccessible woodland and rivers, and commission artists to interpret the natural world to encourage exploration and bring semi-derelict allotments back into use, providing spaces for growing food in collaboration with community groups. The project will improve wellbeing, support lifelong learning and help people experience and protect nature.
- The Support And Mentoring Enabling Entrepreneurship (SAMEE) – The Disabled Entrepreneurs Business Start-up Service project will teach valuable self-employment skills to 75 disabled adults living in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole enabling them to escape living in poverty through successful self-employment start-up.
- Scottish Autism – ‘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.
- Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland – ‘Tools for Transition’ will provide support, advice and advocacy to children aged 0-18 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.
- Scottish Wildlife Trust – ‘Action for Nature in Ayrshire’ will support volunteers and community groups to deliver activities to boost biodiversity and improve access to the greenspaces in their area. As well as improving the wellbeing of a wide range of local people, the project will equip them with the skills and knowledge to protect the nature in their neighbourhood going forward.
- Single Homeless Project – The ‘Using creativity to inspire access to sustainable employment’ programme will work with individuals that are homeless/at risk of homelessness to become less isolated, explore their creativity and enter different forms of education, training or employment. This project has been created in response to COVID-19 and seeks to use creative arts as a springboard for vulnerable people to improve their mental health and enter employment.
- Size of Wales – Young people who take part in the MockCOP programme across the UK are inspired, equipped and well-networked to advocate for action on climate change at a local, national and international level to initiate their own change projects in their schools and communities.
- Street League – The ‘Transforming Lives’ project will work with secondary schools across six regions in Scotland to engage over 700 young people most at risk of future unemployment. Through a combination of sport and employment workshops, it will provide a bridge for young people living in the most disadvantaged communities and support them into sustained employment, education or training opportunities.
Further information on the Foundation can be found at www.scottishpowerfoundation.com