Six Borders groups are celebrating after landing handouts worth almost £45,000 between them from a nationwide kitty of £750,000.
They are among 103 Scottish community, arts and sports groups to benefit from the latest round of grants paid out by the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme.
Now in its 19th year, the fund aims to give small community groups with an annual turnover of less than £250,000 access to grants worth between £500 and £10,000.
Tweedbank cancer charity the Lavender Touch was one of three organisations in the region to be given the maximum amount of £10,000.
The funding will help the charity – set up by four volunteers in 2003 to provide care at home and within the Borders General Hospital at Melrose and at health centres – to buy new office equipment and furniture.
Sheila Scott, secretary of the charity, said: “We applied to Awards for All for some grant money to buy new storage cabinets, desks, computers, chairs etc.
“This grant money will allow us, for the first time, to buy new equipment to help us become more efficient with the daily running of the Lavender Touch.
“It has always been very important to us that money raised through fundraising should go back to patient care, so funds were just not available to purchase what we wanted.
“Our focus has always been to use our fundraising money on the cancer sufferers we support.
“To receive grant money in order to create an up-to-date working environment is wonderful.”
A payout of £10,000 was also awarded to Peebles Golf Club to build a three-bay driving range and swing studio with floodlighting at its practice facility.
Work to install the range at the Kirkland Street club will begin next month, and it is hoped to be completed in May.
Martin Kelso, the club’s secretary, said: “We are very keen on junior golf, and we are very active in helping youths get into golf programmes.
“There is also a huge shortfall in the number of women playing the sport, so we have been offering courses for women to see if it is something they want to take up.
“The game is under a lot of pressure, and we want to get more participation on the go through the likes of this new range.”
The Borders Scrap Store will also receive £10,000, to go towards the cost of replacing its van.
John Cannell, manager of the Selkirk-based charity, said: “We do a kind of outreach service as a mobile shop that goes around schools, community groups and so on in the Borders, as well as East Lothian and sometimes up in Edinburgh.
“However, our current van is more than 15 years old and has broken down twice in the last year.
“We still have quite a bit more cash to raise, but we are hoping to have replacement in the next few months.”
A handout of £7,150 has gone to A Heart for Duns to pay for gardening materials and improvements to its site.
Hawick Harlequins Rugby Club has been given £3,500 to help pay for a revamp of its Baker Street clubhouse.
The 2nd Lauder Brownies pack is also in the money, having picked up £3,450 for a holiday to the girl guiding facility at Netherurd, West Linton.
An Awards for All spokesman said: “We are always surprised at the difference a relatively small amount of money can make, and these awards clearly show how National Lottery money is helping to change lives across Scotland’s communities.”