University of St Andrews launches next round of funding for Fife
Community projects throughout Fife are invited to apply to the next round of the Fund for awards of up to £3000. Designed to increase engagement between the University and the community, funds can be used to benefit community groups and registered charities, promote knowledge, diversity and inclusion, widen participation and celebrate an area’s heritage.
Launched in April 2020 in response to community need during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and the first national lockdown, the University Community Fund has gone on to provide almost £120,000 in financial assistance to a wide range of local causes throughout Fife.
Projects to benefit recently include North East Fife Scout Council, which received £1500 to assist 12 Explorer Scouts selected to take part in the 38th International Patrol Jamboree being held in Blair Atholl this summer.
The funding award will go towards meeting some of the costs associated with taking part in the fortnight-long event, including training, equipment and transport.
Whilst at the camp, the Explorer Scouts will take part in an exciting and challenging programme of activities and have the chance to form lasting friendships with other Scouts from across the globe.
Slightly further afield, the Howe of Fife-based Heids & Herts Scotland charity has been another recent beneficiary of the Community Fund.
The charity’s ‘The Village Creative’ project was awarded £3000 to develop a programme of community arts workshops for people of all ages living in Howe of Fife villages identified as being affected by the dismantling of local infrastructure and services.
These half-day workshops will be led by local artists and encourage people to investigate art and creative activities such as photography, painting, pottery, creative dance and writing with the aim of reducing social isolation and loneliness in rural communities, creating enhanced health and wellbeing and increased community resilience.
In addition, the charity hopes that by utilising village halls for these events, it may help breathe new life into these resources and help reinstate them at the heart of communities.
Community Interest Company (CIC) FEAT, based at Silverburn Park in Leven, has also been supported by the University Community Fund.
FEAT Trading received £1450 for its Silverburn ‘Wheels to Work’ project which aims to remove barriers to work, volunteering and education by providing people with a free and safe way to travel.
The project is an extension of the CIC’s keyworker loan scheme which leased bikes to keyworkers during the pandemic. The scheme offered free bike hire to anyone who was struggling to get to work or further education on foot or by public transport. The funding allows project organisers to ensure bikes are safe and well maintained.
Applications for Round 2 of the Community Fund will be accepted from organisations and groups from across Fife, providing their activities have an impact on their local community.
The types of projects which are eligible for funding of between £250 and £3000 include those which:
- Benefit communities in the local area
- Increase engagement between the University and the community
- Promote knowledge exchange and widening participation
- Promote environmental sustainability
- Promote diversity and inclusion
- Celebrate St Andrews and the local area’s heritage, whether physical or cultural.
All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The fund will prioritise small, grassroots charities and community organisations over larger organisations. Local branches of national charities are eligible to apply if they are financially independent and locally managed, and national charities if they have a distinctive offering to the local community.
University Community Engagement and Social Responsibility Officer, Lesley Caldwell, said: “I am delighted that we are now able to launch the second round of the University of St Andrews Community Fund for 2022. Since the fund launched in April 2020, community organisations across Fife have shared in almost £120,000 of funding and helped make a real difference to so many good causes.
“The community in which we live and work is a key part of University life, and it’s only right that as an institution we play a role in supporting our community. The Panel and I look forward to receiving applications for the next round and I look forward to continuing the relationships we have built with those we have already funded.”