On Wednesday 9th September we held our second Grant Making Showcase at the Royal Surgeons Hall in Edinburgh.
The evening started off with our host, comedian and WFS board member Susan Morrison, going through the itinerary of the evening for the audience and Women’s Fund for Scotland chair Fiona MacLeod explaining why she got involved with the Women’s Fund.
It was then time for our four groups to take the stage and pitch to the audience why they deserved the top grant. Just like our re-launch event, the audience ranked the presentations by a voting device which decided how spend the evenings grant making pot of £10,000.
Our top award was £5,000, followed by two grants of £2,000 and then one grant of £1,000. Everybody left a winner;
SAJE Scotland was awarded £5,000
Time for Change Project from Up-2-Us was awarded £2,000
Home- Start Wigtownshire was awarded £2,000
Dr Bell’s Family Centre was awarded £1,000
See below to find out what the money will be used for.
Glasgow Girls Football Club
Glasgow Girls FC, the group who took away £10,000 from the re-launch event, also came along to share their progress since 2013. It was fantastic to hear how much they have grown and their exciting news of a future trip to Gambia! It was also lovely to hear team captain Lauren Coleman express that by attending the Women’s Fund for Scotland re-launch event, it opened a lot of doors for the club and the girls. Without the funding and networking opportunities gained from that evening a lot of the amazing things which have happened may not have been.
See below to read more about Glasgow Girls FC progress.
“Our second live grant making showcase was a huge success, the evening really showed the passion, dedication and professionalism of women’s community groups across Scotland. The money received from the Women’s Fund for Scotland tonight will be a catalyst to change many women’s lives in the coming months.” Fiona MacLeod, Chair of Women’s Fund for Scotland
Saje Scotland is a registered charity and social enterprise programme which works to reduce and prevent domestic abuse in Scotland by offering their two programmes. The Freedom Programme is a course which helps women make sense of the abuse they are experiencing/have experienced and helps them heal and move forward. The women can then advance in to the Toolkit for Life programme which recognises a woman’s coping methods she may have developed through her traumatic experiences which may no longer be helpful, and think of other strategies to help her move on. Both courses are designed to empower women to make positive choices about their own lives and for lives of their children. SAJE Scotland took away the top award of the evening. The grant of £5000 will allow Saje Scotland to continue and improve their services and extend across Scotland. The organisation would like to introduce regular peer support meetings post programmes which will reinforce participants learning, self-belief and strengthen their abilities to continue and develop. The grant will also contribute towards volunteer expenses and childcare costs.
Janet Henderson from Saje Scotland said; “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the £5,000. Getting the biggest grant was unexpected and we are really excited about what we can achieve with this funding. Overall the Women’s Fund for Scotland live grant making showcase was a brilliant networking opportunity and we have met people who want to get involved in our project.”
Time for Change from Up-2-Us
Up-2-Us provides accommodation, care and housing
support services to vulnerable and high risk children and young people in the care and justice system throughout West Central Scotland.
Time for Change focusses on girls up to 21 years old who can be self-referred or be referred from West of Scotland Social Work or Secure Accommodation. The majority of the girls who use Time for Change have been in care and over 40% have mental health issues. Project workers provide one-to-one outreach support in the Community and are also based in HMP Cornton Vale one day a week to provide advice, liaison with other services and transitional support.
The £2,000 funding will cover costs to launch a pilot programme for Time for Change called Project Quilt. Project Quilt will allow the girls to tell their story through creative means. The girls can print memories onto material to make bags, clothing, pillow cases and more. The end result will be a large patchwork quilt made by the pieces from stories sewn together. This will be a symbol of the progress the girls have made in their lives.
Throughout the project the participants will learn new skills, gain confidence and build friendships.
Gail Wilson from Time for Change said; “We are ecstatic to have received £2,000 from the Women’s Fund for Scotland and are excited to start plans for Project Quilt. The things we can now achieve with this funding is so exciting.”
Home-Start Wigtownshire is a local independent charity offers free and confidential advice, emotional and practical support to families who have at least one child under the age of five.
Trained volunteers visit families in their own homes offering friendship and assistance with everyday difficulties. They also offer group support which is a chance for families to socialise with others who are living in similar circumstances.
Home-Start Wigtownshire provide three family groups in the area and with an increase in demand they are now running a 4th group in Stranraer. This group is a valuable resource by both families and referrers. The family sessions provides a safe and welcoming environment for attendees to make friends, receive peer support, and gain advice from staff and volunteers without judgement. Dads are also encouraged to come along as it allows them to see the positive impact of the group improving family dynamics.
The fourth group has been subsidised by funds raised from a coffee morning and afternoon however this money will run out by the end of September. The award of £2000 will ensure the stability of this group for the remainder of the year.
Mary Wilson from Home-Start Wigtownshire said; “We are delighted with our £2,000. We will be able to continue our group and support our local women. Presenting at the Women’s Fund for Scotland has been a great experience which we ourselves have learned from, this funding will be a big help to our organisation.
Dr Bell’s Family Centre
Dr Bell’s Family Centre provides a safe, welcoming environment for families with young children. The centre provides a range of services including a community café, a drop in crèche, employment advice and access learning opportunities, parent support, counselling, health and well-being appointments, free access to computers with internet access and cookery classes.
The Centre is open to all but target their provision towards disadvantaged families. An overwhelming majority of users are women and 35% come from ethnic community. Free crèche places are provided for those most in need, which allows the parents to make use of the centres services.
The £1,000 funding will be used to provide more free places in the crèche allowing more women to attend the centre’s activities and have much needed time to focus on themselves. The crèche also benefits the children who attend. The crèche staff use play to support each child’s specific needs. Over 60% of the children do not speak English as a first language and attending the crèche paves the way to successful transition into nursery or primary school.
Gill Webb from Dr Bell’s Family Centre said; “We are absolutely delighted with £1,000.
It will benefit parents who cannot afford child care. The Women’s Fund for Scotland was also a great opportunity for us to meet contacts.”
Glasgow Girls Football Club
Glasgow Girls Football Club received the biggest grant from our re-launch evening.
Coach Jim Strathdee said; “Being given £10,000 was totally unexpected, it was amazing.”
The bulk of the £10,000 was used to provide mains electricity throughout the club facilities and build an extension for a new kitchen, making a massive difference for players and visitors. The team bus was in need of vital repairs and a MOT which was also covered by the grant, and the bus is now wearing the Women’s Fund logo. The remainder of the money was used to provide free keep fit classes for local women. The classes ran for 20 weeks and proved very popular, being attended by 40 women aged between 18-50 years old.
Jim Strathdee continued; “Attending the grant making showcase was a great opportunity for us to be recognised and showcase what we do in front of a group of influential people.”
Fast forward two years and the club which had around 30 female members now has over 300, plus new boys teams.
They also shared exiting news that they have been invited to Gambia to encourage female participation in football and at the end of their trip will play the National African Ladies team in their stadium!!