UK360 - Episode 43 - The Mac Twins

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15 April 2013, 12:24

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Scotland: The Mac Twins host the second in our series of Big Lottery Fund specials of UK360 – the programme that gives a voice to local communities across the UK.

This month on UK360, we're going to be focusing on projects supported by The Big Lottery Fund in each of the four nations; here we're focusing on some of the projects the Big Lottery Fund has enabled to help change lives and make a difference in Scotland.

The Big Lottery Fund is the largest distributor of Lottery money to good causes and distributes around £600m every single year. It has awarded an estimated £6bn since 2004 to projects supporting health, education, environment and charitable purposes. And today we're only just scratching the surface on what that money has helped achieve!

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UP-2-US
The Up-to-Us campaign is run by the Parents and Change organisation. The aim is to provide care and support for deprived young people across Scotland, as well as providing advice for parents to help strengthen their bond with their children. Thanks to Up to Us, Connor and Angelia now have a much-improved relationship, and Connor is now also taking up new activities, such as judo and karate, to help focus his energy. More information: http://www.u-2-u.org/

FOULA ELECTRICITY TRUST
Heading north to the tiny island of Foula in the Atlantic, we hear from local resident Isobel Holburn who has lived there for over 50 years despite there being no electricity or running water. With Big Lottery Fund support, Foula has just received their first 24-hour electricity service. One of BIG’s core aims is to enable people to identify a problem within their community and empower them with the ability to fix it. The Big Lottery Fund has allowed the residents of Foula – all 28 of them – to improve their quality of life while preserving their local environments. More information: http://www.fces.org.uk/

THE ENGINE SHED
In Edinburgh, The Engine Shed offers work experience and training to people with learning disabilities. With BIG funding, the organisation has given those working there a chance to develop in a professional environment they otherwise may never have experienced. Chris Hicks is part of the team, and tells us how it’s affected him. People with learning difficulties sometimes feel disadvantaged in the workplace, so an initiative like this one often makes all the difference. More information: http://www.theengineshed.org/

SOUTH AYRSHIRE ESCAPE FROM HOMELESS
After years of struggling with depression and mental health problems, Mellissa Frost found help at the Big Lottery Funded SeAscape organisation and talks to us about how she is turning her life around. Charitable organisations play a vital role in helping those with mental health problems, and the Big Lottery Fund continues to support charities that are helping those with mental health problems live a proper life. More information: http://www.seascape-ayr.co.uk/

THE WISE GROUP: ROUTES OUT OF PRISON
In Glasgow, Bruce Budge is a Life Coach for the Routes Out of Prison scheme. A reformed prisoner himself, Bruce works to help former offenders find employment and avoid falling back into a life of crime. He tells us about his personal experience of prison and his resolve to help others. Thanks to Big Lottery Fund support, Bruce Budge is able to help improve the lives of ex-offenders. The Big Lottery Fund gives him and the Wise Group vital funding to continue helping reformed criminals get their lives back together, and prevent offenders from becoming stuck in the revolving door back to prison. More information: http://www.thewisegroup.co.uk/

COWAL ELDERLY BEFRIENDERS
Up in the Highlands, the town of Cowal has one of the highest elderly populations in the country, so local residents have set up an Elderly Befriending scheme with Big Lottery Fund support to help keep them active members of the community. We hear about the scheme from 97 year old resident Bill Mather. With 50% of Scotland’s population elderly population expected to be over 60 by 2033, this is a service that will only become more important. More information: http://www.cowalbefrienders.co.uk/

SIKH SANJOG
Back in Edinburgh, a project that has benefited greatly from the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All scheme is the Sikh Sanjog and Punjab'n De Rasoi Social Enterprise Project. The organisation has been helping Sikh women since 1989 with the tools, training, and support to succeed in education. BIG funded Sikh Sanjog recently, which enabled them start a new ‘Pathways to Education’ programme for Sikh women of all ages. The £400,000 from the Awards for All scheme has helped massively with the new project. More information: http://www.sikhsanjog.com/

AUCHENCAIRN INITIATIVE
Finally, we head to the small town of Auchencairn where the previous post office had been run from a portacabin, but is now at the heart of the community. We hear from Alison Parker about the town’s new and improved post office. As an essential part of any community, it shows just how important money from the Big Lottery Fund has been in improving life across Scotland. We hope the post flows through Auchencairn for many years to come! More information: http://www.auchencairn.org.uk/

Remember, If you have a film that highlights an inspiring project in your community, email us at UK360@communitychannel.org and it might make it to a future programme.

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