Some projects we have funded

The Ross of Mull and Iona Community Transport Scheme (RoMICTS)

busThe Ross of Mull and Iona Community Transport Scheme (RoMICTS) was established as a charity in 2012, to help meet local travel needs of sparsely scattered remote island communities of south west Mull and Iona, where bus services are very limited.

Last year, RoMICTS received a Supporting Communities Fund award towards the general running costs of the community transport scheme.  As soon as lockdown restrictions abruptly disrupted normal patterns of community life in March 2020, fliers were distributed to every local household to publicise arrangements for free deliveries of prescriptions, locally ordered groceries or food parcels, on request, to any address within 25 miles. With additional volunteer drivers coming forward to help provide deliveries using their own vehicles, and Mull’s Waterfall Fund meeting mileage expenses, the scheme worked well, meeting every request received by allocating duties to drivers best placed to undertake pickups and deliveries each day.

Following easing of restrictions, RoMICTS resumed activity with our dedicated vehicle, assisting with deliveries of food parcels, and providing essential passenger journeys e.g. for health purposes, but carrying just one person (or household) at a time, with masks, ventilation, sanitiser and disinfecting regimes in place, in line with Community Transport Association COVID guidance.

Bute Shinty Club, Ladies Section

A great example of how the Supporting Communities Fund has helped and supported the health and wellbeing of Ladies on Bute is the Bute Shinty Club, Ladies Section

Ladies playing shintyLadies playing shinty

  • With the funding awarded from the Supporting Communities Fund, Bute Ladies Shinty section were able  to enter 2 teams in to the Ladies Shinty Development league last year.
  • All the Ladies were amazing- they made it to the final in Fort William.
  • The Ladies also took part in the Mod Cup in Glasgow against Glasgow, Mid Argyll.
  • Bute Ladies section have done an fantastic job starting out in the game.  It’s even encouraged a younger group of girls to take up Shinty.    They now have a girls Primary and Secondary Team. who have taken part in local tournaments.
  • The ladies had a chance last year to play at Bute Highland Games. This was  a great opportunity to showcase how much the ladies have developed in the last year.
  • Last summer(2019) some of the younger members were able to attend the Shinty Summer Camp, where Anna Stanczky won best endeavour award.
  • Ladies Captain, Heather Ferguson also won  the Live Argyll “Young coach of the year “ award.
  • As well as playing Shinty, all the girls give up their own time to fundraise for local charities. The most recent fundraising  event during lockdown was to walk 1000 miles during May , raising £1420 for the Victoria Hospital, Rothesay.

Islay Link Club

Islay Link Club is a small peer support group with big ambitions and a big heart, supporting better mental health and working to decrease the stigma of a mental health diagnosis.  With a modest investment from the SCF of £350, matched by a donation from one of the distilleries,  members of the group bought gardening materials and worked together to create a planted feature to enhance the town of Bowmore.  They found that working together in a different way, outdoors, learning gardening skills and using collaboration skills did an immense amount of good for lifting their moods and increasing confidence. As a bonus they all made new friends during the project. 

Islay Link Club - garden  Islay Link Club - garden

This is the Islay garden that was left to get overgrown, last year Laphroig Distillery offered to help the Link Club and Kids Club clean it up. The money was needed to buy plants and tools to help.

Route 81

The Footprint Friday environmental awareness project was successfully delivered.  This included participation in the ‘Every Can Counts’ initiative as well as 34 peer led sessions with the young people and 2 community beach cleans.

The project gave the young people of Route 81 an amazing opportunity to work together to help make a difference and make their centre more eco-friendly. They had great fun, learned many new skills along the way and successfully managed to positively influence their peers and the wider community to be more environmentally conscious.

Becoming more environmentally friendly has been an issue that Route 81’s young people and youth workers had wanted to tackle for some time. Running a very busy Youth Project and making changes and developing activities to promote awareness was challenging and time consuming.

Thanks to the Supporting Communities Fund we were able to begin this invaluable piece of work by running our ‘Footprint Friday’ project in 2019!

Understanding the impact we have on our environment was the theme and recycling and can crushing at busy Friday night Youth Sessions suddenly became the popular norm!  Activities over the 12 month period included Beach Cleans, Recycle Workshops (creating jewellery and Christmas decorations from cans and old bike tyres), Educational workshops and the reviewing of all of our resources and things that we sell within Centre 81.

Putting learning into practice, re-enforced the practical difference everyone could make on their environment and we really grateful we got the opportunity to do this through the Footprint Friday project!

Children writing on a whiteboard and recycling cans  Children picking up litter  Children making things

Crossroads North Argyll

Crossroads North Argyll – the Supporting Communities Fund award paid for respite activities for carers.  The carers were taken on trips around the local area with people who share similar experiences.  The club was held on a Monday to give people a boost after the weekend and was an opportunity for people to have some time for themselves.  Friendships were formed, confidence increased and loneliness and isolation was reduced.

The Carers are collected from their homes and this allows them to attend the group.  This project has helped to break down some of the isolation that the Carers feel at times.  They have greatly benefitted from sharing their experiences, making friends with other Carers and getting peer support, who understand what each other are going through.   The Carers have also said that they have received support for themselves in many different ways including from the Support Staff and the Manager of the Project.

Crossroads North Argyll

Bookends

Bookends project

The Bookends project began as a week long festival in 2016 with authors, storytellers, musicians, a quiz and theatre. It started as a way to bring literature and other arts into a small community and to share these with local schools and to appeal to all ages. They "dressed" the local village hall with donations from local businesses and individuals creating The Reading Room which has walls lined with bookshelves, hundreds of pre-loved books and comfy couches, soft lighting and a welcome cuppa and home baking. When the week was over they started to dismantle the space but the community asked them to leave it as a little haven to visit more regularly. The volunteers formed themselves into a charitable organisation and with help from community funding, were able to open The Reading Room one day a month for all ages, locals and visitors to come to read, chat, unwind and have company. Over the years and with more support and funding they have been able to extend the number of days they can be open and they often say that Bookends is a mental health club masquerading as a book festival. 

By responding to the community needs and with local funding  they became sustainable and have extended the reach of their guests to Hope Kitchen and Oban High School  They have set up pop-up days in Taynuilt and Kilninver Village Halls and worked with wider groups like Luminate which caters for older people and Book Bug and The Scottish Book Trust to encourage a wide group of younger readers to join in. They are proud of the inter generational aspect of Bookends.

Covid put a stop to the festival last year but they are poised to introduce the Bookends pop-up days whenever it is safe to do so.

Find out more about the Supporting Communities Fund and how to apply.

Did you know?

treesSince 2015, Argyll and Bute Council’s Supporting Communities Fund has supported
492 Community Projects across Argyll & Bute


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statueSince 2015, Argyll and Bute Council’s Supporting Communities Fund has supported
41 History and Culture Projects


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wellbeingSince 2015, Argyll and Bute Council’s Supporting Communities Fund has supported
89 Wellbeing Projects

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musicSince 2015, Argyll and Bute Council’s Supporting Communities Fund has supported
45 Musicmaking Projects


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personSince 2015, Argyll and Bute Council’s Supporting Communities Fund has supported
60 Youth Projects


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plantSince 2015, Argyll and Bute Council’s Supporting Communities Fund has supported
51 Environmental Projects


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busSince 2015, Argyll and Bute Council’s Supporting Communities Fund has supported
47 Transport and Inclusive Community Projects


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Graphic Source: The Noun Project