With funding support from the Berry Burn Community Fund, Grantown Museum was able to undertake learning and research that uncovered new stories and deepened the community’s understanding of our rich heritage.
We shared this in a meaningful and effective way. Two, high quality exhibitions about Strathspey history with associated publications were created at a time when giving a cultural experience to our community was crucial in enhancing people’s wellbeing.
We produced a series of podcasts that will enable people to continue to engage with aspects of Strathspey heritage in the future.
With support of the BBCF, the Friends of Blairs Loch (SCIO) have created a wonderful venue in a woodland, loch side, setting that can be used by schools and special interest groups for educational, recreational and well-being activities. Just a few miles south of Forres, on the Altyre Estate, the Boathouse, Bothy & Stable facility is an important new addition to the paths, bird hides and picnic areas at Loch of Blairs that are popular with the local community.
BBCF awarded Craigellachie Village Council with a grant which allowed them to purchase and erect new tennis nets for the tennis courts in Craigellachie, meaning tennis could continue to be played on the courts.
We are very grateful for the Berry Burn grant to appoint two part time staff to manage the Savings and Loans Co-op. Recruiting, training and supporting new volunteers was needed to replace those that had retired at the onset of the ‘lockdown’ in March 2020. Marketing, telling and finance small teams have now been set up. The Virtual online system was required and with the introduction of our card payment and Equifax credit scoring facility this resulted in greater efficiency and confidence in our lending. This has also been a beneficial way of supporting members to better manage their money.
Work on an ambitious project to improve disabled facilities for the community, as well as providing increased storage capacity, recently started at Craigellachie Village Hall. The new extension will allow not only existing and new groups to meet, but will also allow the village hall to be used by more than one user group at the same time. The increased floor area and space will benefit many more people within our community and also provide for a more inclusive experience for disabled people and those with mobility issues.
The Berry Burn Community Fund award was instrumental in enabling us to progress stage two of our three stage Access for All Project. We now have disabled access and modern toilet and baby changing facilities in our church building and have completed some much-needed repair work to the integral hall. Without the support and patience of the BBCF trustees and administrator we would have struggled to reach our fundraising target and complete the work. The facilities we now have mean that all users of the building can feel comfortable and confident that their needs will be catered for.
Forres Pre Kickers is a toddler football class run on Saturday mornings. We have two classes of 15 currently, with a waiting list in operation. The funding from Berry Burn has allowed us to expand our exercises and make use of different types of equipment on a week to week basis. The classes are aimed at being fun, building confidence in group situations, and introducing the basics of football.
Forres Skate Park Initiative (FSPI) with the funding from Berry Burn has been able to move this project to the next level with a complete Feasibility and Option Appraisal. Having this report will help with future funding as the costs are around £250,000 to build the park.
Nature 4 Health delivered two Branching Out programmes (a half day for 12 weeks each) successfully in Elgin and Forres woodlands. 23 participants engaged with each other, nature and themselves to increase resilience and improve holistic wellbeing as well as equip them with tools to help them on their life journey. Feedback was excellent and many new ways of being and doing were signposted to give them an idea of where they may wish to progress.
Speyside High School aimed to encourage reading for pleasure among S2 pupils, choosing fiction that made a connection with our rural community, or introduced pupils to contemporary Scottish teenage literature. Funding enabled the school to gift a book to every S2 pupil, who read either Run Wild by Gill Lewis, Sky Hawk also by Gill Lewis, or Evernight by Ross Mackenzie.
Pupils’ book responses clearly demonstrated how characters and themes captured their imaginations. Learning during a pandemic has prompted us to consider digital books in future, and online resources that pupils can use to explore the topics featured in stories.
One of the English teachers was talking to a pupil who said ‘You know Miss I don’t like reading and I’ve never finished a book before but that book we got for Christmas I enjoyed it so much I read it to the end and I’ve been looking for more books to read’