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Communities in the Highlands and Islands receive funds to help prepare for winter

By Staff Reporter

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A range of community organisations have received funding to help people in the Highlands and Islands be more resilient this winter.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) says its funding will "help protect the welfare of those most vulnerable, enhance community facilities or services, or improve communication to support the local response in the event of a significant emergency event".

The company's resilient communities fund is awarding more than £60,000 to seven groups across the Highlands, Skye, Orkney and the Western Isles, as part of a £140,000 investment across the north of Scotland.

Award decisions were made by a panel of representatives from the Scottish Government, Citizens Advice Scotland and Energy Action Scotland.

The groups benefiting from funding include:

  • Creich Croick and Kincardine District Day Care Association, which received £2490 to provide a generator change-over switch at the Bradbury Centre, an elderly service centre acting as the local resilience hub in the Bonar Bridge community.
  • Highland Senior Citizens Network, which received £19,941 to build the resilience of older people within harder to reach communities, better connecting those at risk during emergency events.
  • Skeabost and District Community Council, which received £840 to install a change-over switch and develop a resilience kitchen for use in an emergency event.
  • Stoneybridge Community Centre, which received £18,000 to develop a resilience hub at the local community hall to support the local response to emergency events.
  • Tain Royal Academy ASN Parent Council, which received £2500 to provide an outdoor nurture/reading garden to allow children with additional support needs and those with mental health issues to thrive.
  • THAW (Tackling Household Affordable Warmth) Orkney, which received £15,000 to support vulnerable households in Orkney, protecting their welfare and helping them stay warm in their homes.
  • Wester Loch Ewe Trust, which received £1526 to support local residents to access more affordable energy through research and IT equipment.

Lisa Doogan, SSEN's head of customer service and stakeholder strategy, said: “We’re delighted to see communities embracing the fund’s focus this year on building resilience and tackling issues of vulnerability across the north of Scotland.

Lisa Doogan – helping to build resilient communities.
Lisa Doogan – helping to build resilient communities.

“By funding projects to help protect the welfare of those most vulnerable, we can play our part in working with local groups and charities to build resilient communities now and for the years to come.”

In addition to the resilient communities fund, SSEN says it has been working closely with local communities across the north of Scotland, helping them create resilience plans for emergencies, such as adverse weather and possible power disruption during winter storms.

Ian McNamara, chairman of Highland Senior Citizens Network, added: “The Highland Senior Citizens Network is greatly appreciative of the generous grant awarded by SSEN to enable the network to continue to build on its work supporting older people in Highland.

“The grant will be used by our two experienced co-ordinators to keep older people better connected in the Caithness, Nairn, Lochaber and Easter Ross regions. Through this work we hope to develop the resilience of older people, including those with dementia. The positive outcomes of this work will then be spread across the Highlands.”

To find out more about the fund, visit www.ssen.co.uk/resiliencefund

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