£27,000 birthday present being shared by Borders projects

Birthday gifts from the National Lottery amounting to almost £27,000 have been handed out to community groups in the Borders.

Bosco Santimano of You Can Cook in Galashiels.
Bosco Santimano of You Can Cook in Galashiels.

It’s now 25 years since the lottery’s launch, and it’s been splashing the cash to mark that milestone.

Earlston Community Council has been given £8,113 to pay for groundwork and gardening equipment to use at land at Earlston High School to grow flowers for planters throughout the town, as well as soft fruit and vegetables for a lunch club.

Kalewater Community Company has been handed £8,687 to build a path leading to land behind Morebattle’s village hall recently acquired thanks to the Scottish Land Fund.

And community interest company You Can Cook has been awarded £9,997 to pay for 24 cooking demonstration sessions at Galashiels Library to promote healthy eating.

Earlston Community Council secretary Sheila Gibb said: “The project is still in the very early stages because Earlston in Bloom only kicked off last November, then in early 2019 they started to investigate the idea of taking on the neglected garden at the high school.

“In April, they and Beyond Earlston put a bid in to Scottish Borders Council’s localities fund, which wasn’t successful, but volunteers have been working hard since then on the clearing and preparing of the garden.

“The grant means they can now start its transformation into a community garden and make the space a usable nursery garden and more.

“They plan to repair the old poly tunnel, extend propagation space, establish a soft fruit-growing area and an allotment-style vegetable growing area. We are also looking at a biodiversity area beside a pond.”

Bosco Santimano, executive director of You Can Cook, said: “We are delighted to have received this funding from National Lottery Awards for All to run a healthy eating project in Galashiels Library.

“It is designed to bring library users and community groups together to learn and share their cooking skills and knowledge.”

A National Lottery Awards for All spokesperson said: “Over the last 25 years, National Lottery players have raised an amazing £3.1bn for 64,000 good causes in Scotland.

“Most of these awards have been for £10,000 or less, so it’s wonderful to be able to celebrate this birthday milestone with a further 173 groups benefiting through the small grants scheme, National Lottery Awards for All.

“It’s great to see group in southern Scotland sharing in the celebrations with projects that will bring local people together to meet new friends, learn new skills and build confidence amongst people of all ages.”

National Lottery Awards for All Scotland awards grants of between £300 and £10,000 to local groups. For details, go to www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk or phone 0300 123 7110.