£4,000 boost for town charities

E-Scape Youth Services in Hawick.
E-Scape Youth Services in Hawick.

Two Hawick charities have been awarded funding boosts from a nationwide cash pot totalling £9m.

Escape Youth Services has been given more than £2,070 by the Co-op local community fund as part of its first payout since the scheme was launched last September.

Sian Snowdon of the Escape Youth Cafe in Hawick.

Sian Snowdon of the Escape Youth Cafe in Hawick.

Home Basics, at Annfield Mills in Teviot Crescent, did almost as well, pocketing £2,030.

One per cent of what each Co-op member spends on own-brand products goes into the cash pot, along with money from the 5p plastic bag levy.

A total of £9m was available to community groups across the UK, and £43,000 of that was given out to 21 organisations in the Borders.

That windfall means that improvements to Escape Youth Services’ Havelock Street youth centre are now a step closer.

Sian Snowdon of the Escape Youth Cafe in Hawick.

Sian Snowdon of the Escape Youth Cafe in Hawick.

Its team of 10 staff began fundraising for improvements to the property after it moved there over two years ago.

The money from the Co-op will be put towards the cost of upgrading its windows and doors.

Sian Snowdon, the charity’s voluntary youth work services manager, told the Hawick News: “We are extremely grateful for any level of support to enable us to improve our facility and assist us in making a difference to the lives of local young people, who are at the heart of everything we do.”

More than 40 volunteers help out at the charity, which provides a drop-in service for its 150 members aged eight to 18, offering opportunities to get involved in arts, sports, creative media and cooking.

Furniture-recycling charity Home Basics, also operating from premises at Walkerburn, will use the money to raise awareness of its services with the aim of attracting new volunteers.

Rufus Olins, chief membership officer at the Co-op, said: “The Co-op has always been community-focused.

“The original Rochdale Pioneers were motivated by the need to improve the living conditions of those within their local community, and they also understood that values were just as important as value.

“By listening to our members, we are able to identify what communities care most about and then offer support that really makes a difference, and by working with and supporting local good causes, great things are happening.”