University reaches out to Fife communities amid cost of living crisis

7th November 2022

The University of St Andrews has launched the latest round of its Community Fund, with a specific focus on supporting projects across the Kingdom directly helping local people during the cost of living and energy crisis.

The University Community Fund was launched in early 2020 recognising the importance the University places on supporting grassroots organisations and projects, and the role they play in local society. The fund quickly came into its own during the Covid-19 pandemic, providing vital financial support to community groups across Fife during a very uncertain time. Since then, it has provided over £150,000 to nearly 100 groups and organisations across the length and breadth of Fife that deliver tangible benefits for local communities.

Now, with soaring food and energy prices hitting communities hard, the University is focusing its attention on reaching out to help those most in need.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Sally Mapstone FRSE, said: “The University Community Fund was launched at a time when our communities were facing unprecedented challenges due to Covid-19. It is appropriate that we now recognise and react to the challenges people across Fife face due to the cost of living crisis.

“This crisis and the escalation in energy prices is exacerbating inequalities and making life hard for so many people and we hope the financial support available from the University Community Fund will go some way to helping local organisations and groups at the forefront of delivering support within our communities.”

The University’s Community Engagement and Social Responsibility Officer, Lesley Caldwell, is also encouraging local groups to come forward.

She said: “Since we launched the University Community Fund it has been so good to hear how much the grants have helped a diverse range of local organisations deliver new projects and support their communities. Local groups which have had applications approved recently include Reforesting Scotland’s Hut of Wellbeing project on Falkland Estate for people suffering illness and their carers, Dunbog Community Hall for kitchen facility upgrades, and Lochgelly United Amateur Football Club, to provide an enclosed children’s football area.

Lesley added: “During this time of particular hardship, we hope that organisations – including those who may already have received funding – will apply for grants from this round to help them continue to meet the needs of local people. We know these organisations themselves can be struggling particularly from increased energy costs and we want to help where we can, especially as winter and the festive season approaches.

“Applications for this funding round can be made until Thursday 12 January 2023. More details on how to apply are available from the University Community Fund page of the website.

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